Is kale a superfood?


More and more people are trying to be healthier each day.  A large chunk of that is watching the foods that we eat and making smart food choices.  The first step is to do what we’ve heard from doctors and our mothers for all of our lives, eat our vegetables.  But as it turns out, they aren’t all created equally.  Look at lettuces for instance.  Iceberg lettuce is all around, most salads that you consume are full of it.  And you look down at this big bowl of greens and think, gee this is soo very healthy, good for me!  But the problem comes when you dig a bit deeper, that lettuce is mostly water.  So we find some other leafy green, one that is full of goodness for us.  That’s when you see the claims that kale is good for you, so good in fact that it is considered a superfood.

For those that are making the claims that kale is the greatest superfood ever will first off point to kale’s antioxidants.  It is true that kale has quite a bit of vitamin c, beta-carotene and more.  They will say that kale has one of the highest OCRA ratings.  That stands for oxygen radical absorbance capability and is a measure of how well a food can scavenge up free radicals in the body that can cause harm.  Then they point out that kale has boat loads of flavonoids and vitamins which help your body.

Other people will tell you kale isn’t all that great of a superfood.  These people will point to the report released by the Centers for Disease Control that ranked 47 powerhouse fruit and vegetables on their nutrient density.  In this rating kale was only at number 15.  This puts things like collard greens, romaine lettuce and water crest higher up the list than kale.  The thing to remember about this list is it looked at 17 vital nutrients and determined what percent of your daily need was filled with 100 calories of each.  This means that foods with a lower calorie count will come up higher on the list due to the fact you need more of them to hit that 100 calorie point.  A good idea is to look at the facts of a serving of each veggie.

So at the end of the day is kale a superfood?  The problem with that term is there is no real definition of what it takes to be a superfood.  Doctors all seem to agree that kale is a good choice when you are looking for something to eat, but then again it probably isn’t the only thing that you should eat.