Kale Benefits: The 6 Top Health Benefits of Kale

lacinato kale

I cannot stop eating kale lately. I can’t help myself. I’ve been using this hearty, healthy green in almost every meal! But that’s not a bad thing at all. Kale is a nutritional powerhouse and is beneficial to your health in many ways. One cup of kale has zero fat and only 36 calories and is high in vitamins and antioxidants. You can eat this green raw or cooked. Enjoy in salads, soups, stews, stir-fries, and smoothies.

Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas - coverIf you’re really crazy for kale and other healthy dark leafy greens, you’ll enjoy exploring these super-nutritious veggies in Nava’s recent book, Wild About Greens.

Detoxification and Weight loss
The fiber (5 grams in one cup) and sulfur in kale aid with digestion and liver health. The Vitamin C it contains hydrates your body and increases your metabolism, leading to weight loss and healthy blood sugar levels. The fiber in kale also lowers cholesterol.

Strengthen Your Immune System
Kale’s impressive concentration of nutrients strengthens the immune system and fights viruses and bacteria. Kale has more iron than beef, making it a great source of this valuable mineral for vegans and vegetarians. It helps more oxygen get to your blood and greatly helps those who are anemic.

Healthier Hair, Skin & Nails
The healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids keep your body strong, healthy and beautiful from the inside out. Kale’s concentration of major nutrients gives your skin’s health and appearance a boost.

Curly green kaleSee Clearly and Stand Strong
Kale’s Vitamin A content helps keep the eyes from optical disorders that come with age. It also helps store vitamins in the retina. The calcium and vitamin K keep your bones strong.

The omega-3 fatty acids in kale help fight and alleviate arthritis, autoimmune disorders and asthma. The vitamin C content helps relieve stiff joints.

Fighting Disease
Kale, like other dark green veggies, may be helpful in preventing various cancers such as colon, prostate and ovarian. Its abundant vitamin K content is important for bone health, forestalling the effects of osteoporosis. And the folic acid and B6 provide cardiovascular support and prevent heart disease.

Curly kale in colander

Even More Kale Benefits

  • Explore the kale recipes here on VegKitchen
  • For more tips on plant-based nutrition, make sure to browse VegKitchen’s Nutrition page.
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50 comments on “Kale Benefits: The 6 Top Health Benefits of Kale

  1. J

    “Kale aids in releasing toxins in the body that can cause and lead to life-threatening diseases.”

    lol. I didn’t know kale released toxins in the body!

  2. corporate jungles

    I have eaten kale for years, raw right off the plants. I also use it to feed my animals. We all love the taste and the ornamental quality of the foliage. I highly recommend you try it!

  3. Nava

    You (and your animals!) must be very healthy. You’re right that it’s so easy to grow and when you can pluck it right off the plant when it’s so fresh, it’s more tender and sweet than what you buy in the store (which is awesome as well, but there’s nothing like garden-fresh). Thanks for your input!

  4. Katja

    Thank you for this important artical!! I’ve had severe bronchitis that has pulled down my immune system. I plan to incorporate kale into my diet as part of a live-right plan to good health. I also plan to make homemade kimchi that is full of probiotics!! Thanks!!! 🙂 Katja

  5. Nava

    Thanks for your comment, Katja — and you’re right, kimchi is awesome. I just had some the other day as part of a vegan Korean meal in NYC and thought I’d love to have it more often.

  6. Claudia

    Kale. All my life after having it as a child [remember it cooked just plain] I have hated kale. Now I am 66, my daughter encouraged me to cook some [due to it’s very healthy properties] with a simple recipe that had garlic and red wine vinegar. It sounded good for that reason and yesterday I did cook some for my husband [who also didn’t like kale] and I. Oh my gosh!!! It was good! I enjoyed the taste! Even my husband said—it was better than I thought and he liked it. I will be adding kale to our diet from now on. Next time I might try some bacon with it and look for other good sounding recipe ingredients. This just blows my mind—I like kale!

  7. Nava

    Thanks for the commment, Claudia, and I’m glad you’ve discovered the wonders of kale. You can do without the bacon, though; unless of course, you mean fakin’ bacon …

  8. seth

    I just had kale in my juice. I started my 30 day fast on nothing but veggies and fruit, all juiced from a Breville Juice Fountain. I watched the documentary titled Fat, Sick And Nearly Dead. I love it!!!! I live kale, I alwayse use 4 or 5 kale leaves when I juice!!! Thanks for sharing!!

  9. Nava

    So glad you’ve discovered kale! It’s so versatile and so awesome. I love a good kale juice with apple, lemon, and cucumber. But I’m too lazy to make it myself so I get it at a juice place.

  10. Elizabeth Klapp

    My platelets have been dropping to a dangerous low. After researching, kale came up one of the best veggies to help. Today I ate kale for the first time, I loved it. I now plan having kale everyday in my diet. I also bought baby kale for salads, that too was really good. Any recipes would be most appreciated.

  11. peter

    sorry if this sounds dumb, but is it known under other names too? or does anyone know the dutch name for instance? id really like to try this but have no idea what exactly to look for.

  12. Nava

    Peter this is how Babylon translated kale: zn. (boeren)kool, met lange gekrulde bladeren als groente gegeten; ruwe kool, met krullende bladeren; geld (Schotse Slang) I have no idea if any of this is helpful to you!

  13. Nadine

    I absolutely love kale. I have it most mornings in a smoothie. I combine almond milk, kale, a side or 2 of a mango and flax seeds. Delicious!!

  14. Garry Hanks

    Great post! Many are not aware about such amazing health benefits of Kale (even me). This could be an ideal choice for people who are looking for nutritious food and are getting tired of using so called weight loss supplements. Using wheat grass shots could also be beneficial as it contains lot of health benefits. It is also easy to grow at home. Please check http://www.wheat-grass.com/growing-wheatgrass.html

  15. Nwad

    I love kale, i make smoothie: mango,kale,cucumber and chia seeds, it is soo good and it helps with my glucose numbers. I am amazed to c my numbers running so low since I am eating and drinking kale.

  16. Rita

    I have used kale in my smoothie for a week and have noticed an improvement in my vision.

  17. dikeledi

    I grew up in Kenya and Kale is a staple food. The swahili name for it is ‘sukumawiki’ which literally translatted means ‘push the week’ and that is I guess because it is eaten at every meal from Monday to Saturday and most families would afford to add meat to it only on a Sunday. No wonder I didn’t see a lot of the modern day sicknesses that have become the norm. I now live in South Africa and have reintroduced Kales into my llife! My friends and family love it!

  18. jakobus

    Hi – I am from South Africa. where can i buy kale capsules? There is no Kale capsules in my country.

  19. Nava

    Jakobus, I’m not sure there’s any such thing as kale capsules. In any case, it’s best to eat kale or any other greens fresh, to get all the benefits.

  20. Valerie Flanagan

    We just started to grow Kale in our Tower Garden and OMG, it is so beautiful. Easy to grow. Harvested last week and enjoying Kale every day in our salad. I will keep growing Kale from now on, so that we have a constant supply. Don’t want to miss a day without our Kale.

  21. Ramon Cabiling

    I use a chopped combo of collard, kale, broccoli, parsley, & celery into a green smoothie 3xs daily, along with apple, grapefruit, banana & lemon to taste. Also throw in ginger, tumeric powder, tulsi powder, cayenne pepper, raw garlic & onion for extra antioxidants. This routine provides steady energy throughout an entire day, without coffee or sweets.

  22. Maria

    I just want to say for the past 6 months my arthritis has gotten worse. I couldn’t sleep at night or work. I work in a kitchen using my right arm to cut meats and veg. I started eating baby kale salads for lunch 3-4tkmes a day for the past 2 weeks and I honestly think this has gotten rid of my arthritis pain!

  23. Eliza Lee

    Honestly, I don\’t really like Kale as much I like lettuce. However, as much as possible I include kale in my recipe, in whatever cuisine because of its potent health benefits. What pushed me to eat or to include this, it\’s because of my chronic inflammation specifically joint pain. It has been awhile that I am suffering about it. Kale is quite effective though. As of fiber, I preferably choose cranberry because in every 55g of raw cranberry contains 2.5g of dietary fiber.

  24. Noreen Ryan

    I just discovered kale about 2 weeks ago and I can’t stop eating it. I love it!! Especially the organic baby kale. I actually bought it for my African Grey parrots (I have two) because one has low blood calcium. But he was afraid of it and wouldn’t go near his food bowl.) So, I decided to try what was left and I’m hooked!

  25. don

    I have high and low blood pressure and are stressed sometime for no reason which causes migraine headache; I JUST STARTED kale a few days ago I hope it helps.

  26. Dawn

    My 14-year old daughter needs to lower her triglycerides, and doctor told her to take Omega-3 rich foods (we are vegetarian, so looking for plant-based foods). We’ve been told that eating kale will help. I’ve heard that more omega 3s are released from kale when it is cooked than when is it raw. My daughter prefers it in a raw salad–is she not getting as many Omega 3s health benefits than if it was cooked?

  27. Nava

    Hi Dawn — I’m really not sure about the omega content of raw vs. cooked kale; a good source of omega 3s (and a lot of other nutrients, including protein) is hemp seed — you can blend them into smoothies, sprinkle them on cereals and salads, use them in unbaked sweets … some people find that they taste a bit “grassy” but I find their flavor completely neutral.

  28. aaryan singh

    kale is the healthiest vegetable on planet earth and second is spinach. Kale is not only good for its health benefits but is good in taste as well. Thanks for sharing benefits, they’re really useful.

  29. vince

    Hi, all the good things said about kale. Just wondering here in Uganda what is referred to as kale is a fruit like green oval shaped thing having like thorns on its skin/surface and has seeds inside, taste not great at all. Whats the real name for it.
    Hope to hear your response.

    Kind Regards,


  30. Nava

    Hello Vince — what you’re describing almost sounds like a cousin to prickly pear! Which of course is nothing like kale. I would have no idea what it’s called in your language. Here’s a post from another site that shows photos of a few varieties of kale: http://localglobalkitchen.com/kale-salad/ I hope that helps you to find it in a produce market.

  31. Tara & Dewaine Harris

    Both my husband and myself have arthritis, joint problems and our recent blood works shows high cholesterol and triglycerides as well as low iron and thyroid issues for me. After many meds and trying to get to a more natural way of coping with our current ailments. I’ve decided to loose weight and get healthy… Ive been reading recent chatter, articles and juicing i formation I’ve started using fresh kale, fresh pineapple, fresh ginger, green apples and any fruit I can get my hands on. I’ve been combining this with pure egg whites and almond or coconut milk to make smoothies daily ! Is live more recipes for Kale in our diets. Such as dinner recipes and ways to cook kale for our health !
    Regards from Cut Off, Louisiana

  32. Yakub

    I make a raw salad every day that includes deep green vegetables like Kale.
    I now make my own kimchi using kale, soaked chea seeds, the root of beet, garlic, dulse sea weed, grated up tumeric, cut up rosemary and thyme. I’m always adding different strong vegetables to Kimchi. I don’t start eating the kimchi until they have been jared for more than two weeks. Sometimes I add cabbage cut up very fine.

    Then in the morning I add my kimchi to avocado. I’ve noticed my eczema conditions improve.
    I constantly create conditions for my body to heal itself!
    I have faith in my body!

  33. Carol

    Hi, I have been drinking smoothies and incorporating kale into it and I’m telling you, not be gross but this is a detoxifying drink! Wow, I didn’t know adding kale to my smoothies would do this! It is wonderful! I will be eating kale and also growing it in my garden from now on!

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