Do you have to cook kale?

In this brief guide we will answer the following question, “do you have to cook kale?” We will discuss the different ways to eat kale. We will also discuss the nutritional value and health benefits of eating kale.

Do you have to cook kale?

No, it is not necessary to cook kale; you can also eat it raw. Kale is a leafy green vegetable that contains many health benefits. Eating kale provides you necessary vitamins and minerals. Ale is used in many recipes.

Eating raw kale is more beneficial as during cooking it loses its certain minerals and vitamins.

What is the nutritional value of kale?

Kale is a non-starchy leafy green vegetable. It is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin K, manganese, and vitamin C. kale is low in calories and high in fibres. Following nutrients are present in the 100 g of cooked and raw kale.

Nutrient Value (cooked)Value (raw)
Energy 28 kcal49 kcal
Carbohydrates 5.6 g8.8 g
Protein 1.9 g4.3 g
Fats 0.4 g0.9 g
Fibre 2 g3.6 g
Vitamin A146 mcg241 mcg
Vitamin B60.13 mg0.27 mg
Vitamin C41 mg120 mg
Vitamin K418 mcg390 mcg
Calcium 72 mg150 mg
Manganese 0.4 mg0.6 mg
Potassium 228 mg491 mg
Sodium 23 mg38 mg
Water 91 g84 g

What are the different ways to eat kale?

Kale can be eaten raw and cooked. As you can see in the above comparison of the nutritional value of cooked and raw kale that raw kale contains a higher amount of nutrients as compared to cooked kale.

Several vitamins and minerals are lost in the cooking process which makes your kale less nutritious. We have the following ways to eat kale.

Cooked 

  • You can add kale to your pasta. Sauteed kale can be added to your pasta and pizzas.
  • You can add cooked kale to your rice dishes.
  • You can eat sauteed kale with chicken and other vegetables.
  • You can add kale to your omelettes. You can eat healthy green vegetables for your breakfast.
  • You can make sauteed kale with your choice of meat, like fish, chicken, mutton, or beef.
  • If you like the taste of kale you can saute it with nuts and eat it as a side dish.

Raw 

  • You can eat uncooked kale in your salads. Always wash your kale properly before adding them to your meal.
  • You can add uncooked kale to your green smoothies. These smoothies could be a good start for your mornings.
  • Eating raw kale is healthier than eating cooked kale.

What are the health benefits of kale?

Kale has many health benefits, these are discussed below:

  • Kale is packed with vitamin C which helps to boost the immunity of a person. The absorption of iron is facilitated by vitamin C. It also helps to prevent hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. It also promotes the growth of skin capillaries and bones. 
  • Kale is high in antioxidants, which help to strengthen your immune system, improve growth, and reduce the risk of illnesses, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. The main antioxidants of okra are vitamin A, C, polyphenols, and flavonoids. 
  • Heart health is improved by lowering the risk of blood clots and oxidative damage when polyphenols are added to the diet. Because of their particular capacity to reach the brain and defend against inflammation, polyphenols may also enhance brain health.
  • Eating high-fibre meals can lower dangerous cholesterol levels in the blood, according to the American Heart AssociationTrusted Source (AHA). Kale disrupts the absorption of cholesterol by binding it.
  • Kale’s polyphenol concentration is another potential heart benefit. In a study around  1,100 participants participated and they consumed a polyphenol-rich diet and this diet reduced the inflammatory markers in the body. 
  • Raw kale is a good source of fibre and these fibres help in bowel movement. These fibres also act as a prebiotic to the healthy bacteria present in your gut.
  • Kale is a very good source of vitamin K. It helps in blood clotting and vitamin K also helps in bone formation. 1 cup of cooked kale contains 418 mcg of vitamin K.
  • Studies also prove that kale also helps to fight cancer in the human body. It contains certain compounds that have anticancer properties.

What are the spoilage signs of kale?

To know if your kale has spoiled, look for the signs mentioned below:

  • If your kale is showing microbial deterioration then you should throw it away.
  • Kale can go bad when they come in contact with moisture. So always store your kale in air-tight containers while storing them.
  • Change in smell is also a sign of spoilage.

Conclusion 

In this brief guide we answered the following question, “do you have to cook kale?” We discussed different ways to eat kale. We also discussed the nutritional value and health benefits of eating kale.

References 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5338147/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12094621/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kale

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.