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11 Benefits Of Kale You Need To Know About

11 Benefits Of Kale You Need To Know About

Once upon a time, kale was referred to as a food for poor people. However, much like other ‘peasant food’ such as chia and quinoa, kale has become immensely popular in recent years. This is mostly due to the fact that the Western world has discovered the incredible health benefits that it has. In fact, these days, it is better known as the new King of Vegetables. But what is it about kale that is so beneficial and why should it be an essential part of your diet?

1. Rich in Vitamin C

In addition to promoting overall health, Vitamin C is also great for your hair. It helps to stimulate the production of sebum in your follicles, which is a natural conditioner and moisturizer.  It also helps to fight hair loss by eradicating free radicals. One cup of kale contains 134% of your daily Vitamin C requirements.

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2. It Plays Well With Others

Many of kale’s most healthy compounds are more effective once its combined with other food. For example, pairing it with good fats such as olive oil or avocado, make its fat-soluble carotenoids more readily available to your body. Or for an acidic twist, mix it with lemon to release for iron.

3. Protects Your Eyes

Kale is rich in Vitamin A, which assists your retinas in absorbing light and therefore helps them to maintain proper vision. Vitamin A also has cancer prevention properties that can stop cataracts later in life. In addition, kale contains lutein and zeaxanthin – carotenoids which protect your eyes from excessive exposure to ultraviolet light, just like sunglasses.

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4. Good for Brain Health

Kale contains alpa-linoleic acid (ALA), which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid.  It’s important because it assists in the proper function and general well being of your brain. But It doesn’t stop there.  ALA is also an anti-inflammatory and can help to fight diabetes, arthritis, obesity and depression.

5. High in Calcium

Incredibly, kale has a higher calcium content than milk. 100g of kale contains 150g of calcium, whereas milk only contains 125mg. This is particularly good news for those of you out there who are lactose intolerant.  Its high calcium (and Vitamin K) content means that it can help you maintain healthy and strong bones.  As such, it’s also a preventative for osteoporosis, including the strain that can develop during pregnancy.

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6. Good For Your Skin

Kale is packed full of antioxidants, which are essential for maintaining skin health. They help your skin to feel fantastic and look younger.  More importantly, antioxidants can assist in fighting diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s by helping to main low levels of free radicals within your system.

7. Assists Your Digestion

Kale is high in fiber, which makes it incredible beneficial for your digestive system. As a result, it can also be be a natural remedy for constipation.

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8. High in Iron

Your body needs iron for energy (as well as maintaining ordinary functions), and kale can help you feel energized throughout the day. This is particularly beneficial in the late afternoon when your coffee has worn off.

9. Creates a Healthy Immune System

Kale can help stave off colds and other nasties by keeping your immune system healthy. This is because it contains sulforaphane; a molecule that helps to nourish and maintain the immune system.

10. Cancer Prevention

The organosulfur compounds within kale are known to help to prevent cancer, particularly within the colon. The aforementioned Vitamin K also helps with cancer prevention. One cup contains a staggering 684% of your daily required intake of Vitamin K.

11. Healthy Heart

Fiber isn’t just good for digestion. The fiber found within kale lowers your cholesterol and blood pressure and can therefore help to prevent heart disease.

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Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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