Kale seemed to have a moment a few years ago. We saw kale popping out of every bag at Whole Foods Market and people were proudly wearing their ‘Kale’ sweatshirts and tanks (including Beyonce) all over Instagram. It seems that we’ve moved on to more exciting and exotic greens but kale shouldn’t be forgotten. It really is a superfood packed with nutrition that has been shown to fight disease and support optimal health.
One of the reasons that kale is such a popular smoothie and detox ingredient is because of its high protein and fiber content. 100g of raw kale has 2 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein which is critical for supporting the organs that detox and cleanse the body.
Fiber is a key player in the process in our bodies called enterohepatic circulation, which is the circulation of toxins (drugs, biliary acids, and other substances) from the liver to our bile. It has been proposed in scientific studies that vegetable fiber helps break down and flush out unwanted substances in the body by absorbing biliary acids during this process. Fiber has also shown to increase the flow of excretion and restrict the flow of compounds with carcinogenic properties to our colon.
Therefore being advised to eat more fiber when you’re feeling bloated or backed up is more than just an old wives’ tale! The protein in kale gives us one more reason to eat it regularly and especially during a detox since one of the roles of protein is to renew, repair, and improve immune function. Most of us know that protein is essential for building cells and muscle in the body so it makes sense that we require it to maintain the pathways in our systems that remove toxins from our bodies.
Without a consistent intake of protein our body begins to digest stored protein from our muscles and tissue which can lead to a variety of health challenges including poor liver function. So the irony is that if you aren’t getting adequate amounts of protein while detoxing, you’re actually harming the organs in your body that clean your body of detrimental components.
Sulforaphane is another beneficial chemical in kale that boosts our antioxidant ability and the good bacteria in our guts, enabling us to efficiently process food, absorb helpful nutrients, and pass toxins through the body.
The fiber found in kale also plays an important role in controlling our blood sugar levels, keeping our heart healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, fighting disease, and supporting healthy skin.
Add all of this to kale’s numerous other health benefits including reducing inflammation and cholesterol, possibly lengthening your life, and boosting the chemicals in your brain that make you happy it’s wonder we’re not eating kale with every meal!
If you’re starting to think that kale should be an essential part of your diet and detox plan then here are a few tips to ensure you’re getting the most nutrition with every bite.
It also worth noting that anyone who is taking blood thinning medication or who has a kidney problem should check with a doctor before adding more kale to the diet.