Kale, the winter vegetable of northern Germany, is one of the healthiest plants. It offers vitamins and minerals in great variety and quantity. It also contains little fat and calories, plenty of antioxidants and other substances that work against inflammation, microbes and cell damage. There is hardly a better meal to strengthen the immune system.
Profile of kale
- Scientific name: Brassica oleracea var. Sabellica
- Common names: Frisian palm, brown cabbage, leafy cabbage, leafy cabbage, curly cabbage, stalk cabbage, high cabbage, winter cabbage, spring cabbage (Switzerland), cabbage, Oldenburg palm tree
- family: Cruciferous plants (Brassicaceae)
- distribution: Kale is a cultivated form of wild cabbage. Wild cabbage is native to Europe's oceanic coastal regions - the Mediterranean, the Atlantic coast, England and Helgoland. Kale is grown worldwide.
- Parts of plants used: The leaves
- application areas:
- Vitamin and mineral supply
- Strengthening the immune system
- Promote blood flow
- Prevention of heart disease
Kale - an overview
- Kale lowers cholesterol.
- It contains a lot of antioxidants.
- The cabbage offers an abundance of vitamins A, C, E and K.
- The winter vegetables shine with a spectrum of minerals such as iron, magnesium and potassium.
- To fully benefit from these, just blanch the kale or eat it raw.
Ingredients and effects
Kale is low in calories and fats, rich in vitamins, fiber and minerals. For example, 100 grams of kale contain as much calcium as 200 milliliters of milk. This amount of cabbage also provides 105 milligrams of vitamin C - more than twice as much as 100 grams of lemon.
Antioxidants and vegetable protein
In their entirety, the substances strengthen the immune system, destroy free radicals that damage the cells and promote blood clotting. Kale contains a lot of antioxidants such as kaempferol and quercetin, which work against microbes and inflammation and protect the heart vessels. It provides a lot of vegetable protein and, after carrots, the most provitamin A of all plants.
Omega-3 fatty acids
The fat content is less than a gram, but it has it all. Because it mainly consists of alpha-linolenic acid, a polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid. This promotes blood flow and prevents inflammation. Kale offers numerous amino acids, fiber that stimulates digestion and a large number of phytochemicals.
100 grams of kale are enough to get the daily dose of vitamin C recommended by the German Nutrition Society. This promotes the absorption of iron from the food (which the cabbage also offers) and strengthens the immune system - one reason why the cruciferous plant is the ideal vegetable for the cold period.
The cabbage also offers vitamin E, which combats free radicals and counteracts premature skin aging, tightens the connective tissue and strengthens the hair. The vitamin K also contained is important for blood clotting and bone structure. It prevents deposits in the vessels, which can lead to arterial calcification in the long term.
Vitamin A, which kale also provides to a large extent, strengthens eyesight and protects skin like mucous membranes. Like vitamin K, it is important for bone building.
The fiber contained has a positive effect on the blood sugar level, it saturates and promotes digestion. They also bind the bile acid and lower the cholesterol level. Kale has the advantage of losing weight that it contains very few calories and saturates quickly.
Flavonoids, carotenoids and sulforaphane
The cabbage contains over 45 flavonoids, which lower the risk of cancer by protecting the body's cells. The carotenoids lutein and beta-carotene in cabbage prevent cancer, promote digestion and blood circulation.
The sulforaphane found in cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower has been investigated by scientists for several years because it presumably inhibits the formation of blood vessels in tumors as well as the growth of the tumors themselves and has no side effects.
To prepare kale, remove the leaves from the stalk and pluck them from the middle leaf rib. Throw away damaged leaves. Wash the cabbage leaves under running water to remove sand and dirt.
Flash-frozen kale contains the nutrients of the fresh, mostly even more, since the cabbage that you buy at the weekly market is no longer as fresh as the one that is frozen directly from the field. Curly cabbage from the jar and the can loses vitamin C.
Traditionally, kale is fried and boiled in a pan with Mett, Pinkel, Bregen or Kohlwurst, with bacon, smoked pork and onions. Many of its bioactive substances are lost in the process. However, they are largely preserved if you only blanch the cabbage briefly, steam it lightly or use it raw in salad and smoothies.
To get the vitamins, cook the plucked cabbage leaves in lightly boiling salted water for about four minutes. Then pour the water off and lift the cabbage out with a spoon, chill it with cold water and let it drain. The advantage of this method: the bitter substances disappear and the vitamins are retained.
Vitamins and nutrients are also largely preserved if you cook the cabbage in hot steam for 25 minutes. In steam does not mean in water. The water boils, but put the cabbage in a colander above the water.
Kale - salad and juice
In the United States, kale (English: kale) as a superfood. Diet-conscious Americans do not eat it as a hearty stew with fat sausage, but in the form of juice, smoothies or salad. Kale raw harmonizes with all green salads, especially with spinach, celery and cucumber. The dressing could consist of lemon juice, oil and spices.
Kale chips are the healthy alternative to potato chips. All you have to do is put kale leaves in salt and oil and bake in the oven at 150 degrees for 25 minutes. They go well with cheese and walnuts.
You can buy fresh kale from autumn to early spring, but the cabbage tastes best after the first frost because the cold increases the sugar content. The leaves should look green and crisp, not limp and have no yellowish edges. It stays fresh in the refrigerator for four to five days. To store it, blanch the leaves briefly and then freeze them.
Kale - recipes
For healthy cuisine, it is better to eat the cabbage raw. Some ideas are juices, salads, side dishes and chips. You can mix the leaves with fruit to make a smoothie. Whale and hazelnut also go well with such a smoothie. You can also serve the raw leaves with spring onions, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
The traditional kale stews are less low in calories. In the north of Lower Saxony, in Bremen and Friesland, "kale with piss" is a typical dish, ie cabbage with a special, smoked sausage. In Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein you can find Kasseler, Kohlwurst or Bratwurst in the coal stew, with fried potatoes being served.
From Hanover to Magdeburg, the kale includes the Bregenwurst. In Mecklenburg it is eaten with lung sausage, pork cheek and smoked pork as well as boiled potatoes. In Brandenburg it is served with sausages or rabbits. In Westphalia, the cabbage is cooked for a long time, together with finely chopped onions, smoked bacon, ribs and smoked pork.
The standard spices for kale are salt, pepper and some nutmeg. As a rule, the cabbage is fried with plenty of onions and served with mustard. An insider tip are mustard seeds and / or mustard leaves.
Prepared Asian in a wok or pan, it goes well with ginger, chilli, spring onions and garlic, cumin, curry paste and a little sugar. The basis here is not potatoes, but pasta and rice.
Kale can also be fried with pears and apples. These simply come in pieces in the boiling oil. Roasting with vinegar, raisins, some cloves and a bay leaf is more exotic, but delicious. The cabbage becomes creamy when oat milk or coconut milk is added. A tip: fennel, anise and caraway harmonize in taste with the winter vegetables and also promote digestion. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
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