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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  • Reply
    January 31, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    “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!

  • Reply
    corporate jungles
    February 5, 2013 at 7:24 am

    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!

    • Reply
      February 5, 2013 at 8:46 am

      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!

  • Reply
    February 7, 2013 at 4:10 am

    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

    • Reply
      February 7, 2013 at 9:11 am

      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.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2013 at 10:11 am

    thanks Rachael Braun..its very informative article

    vegetable smoothies benefits

  • Reply
    March 10, 2013 at 8:49 am

    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!

    • Reply
      March 12, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      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 …

  • Reply
    March 13, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    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!!

    • Reply
      March 14, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      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.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Klapp
    March 14, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    April 10, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Elizabeth, sorry it has taken so long to respond to your inquiry — it went under my radar. You’ll find VegKitchen’s listing of kale recipes here:

  • Reply
    May 17, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      May 17, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    June 25, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    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!!

    • Reply
      June 25, 2013 at 9:01 pm

      That does sound delicious; thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Lanai Moliterno
    March 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    I just started eating kale for dinner! Such a yummy recipe!

  • Reply
    Garry Hanks
    April 28, 2014 at 2:07 am

    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

  • Reply
    July 11, 2014 at 6:30 am

    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.

  • Reply
    July 21, 2014 at 9:41 am

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

  • Reply
    September 18, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      September 18, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      How interesting! Thanks so much for your comment …

  • Reply
    October 1, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Any recipes out there using kale to lose weight?

  • Reply
    October 9, 2014 at 1:35 am

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

    • Reply
      October 9, 2014 at 8:37 am

      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.

  • Reply
    Valerie Flanagan
    October 23, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    Ramon Cabiling
    November 30, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    It doesn’t have vitamin D though as stated as a benefit.

    • Reply
      December 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      Brandon, you’re absolutely right. Not sure how that went unnoticed. It has been removed, thank you for spotting that.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2015 at 2:45 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Eliza Lee
    May 20, 2015 at 1:13 am

    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.

  • Reply
    Noreen Ryan
    June 18, 2015 at 6:58 am

    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!

    • Reply
      June 19, 2015 at 11:43 am

      What an amusing way to be introduced to kale — but, whatever works, right?

  • Reply
    June 30, 2015 at 9:27 am

    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.

  • Reply
    July 8, 2015 at 11:19 am

    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?

    • Reply
      July 10, 2015 at 10:12 am

      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.

  • Reply
    aaryan singh
    July 15, 2015 at 6:45 am

    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.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2015 at 3:13 am

    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,


    • Reply
      November 12, 2015 at 7:59 am

      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: I hope that helps you to find it in a produce market.

  • Reply
    December 26, 2015 at 2:36 am

    kale actually provide many health benefits, from now on I have to put it in a healthy menu daily. thanks for share

  • Reply
    Tara & Dewaine Harris
    January 24, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    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

  • Reply
    May 20, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    October 4, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Thanks for this. I hope atleast my children will eat this instead of brocolli

  • Reply
    Thanh Khiet
    October 20, 2016 at 9:32 am

    I\’ve eaten kale for many years, raw right off the plants. I love the taste and the ornamental quality of the foliage.

  • Reply
    March 1, 2017 at 11:59 am

    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!

  • Reply
    June 9, 2017 at 9:12 am

    love that green. but does it contain the antioxidant too ?

  • Reply
    October 23, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Thank you for the article!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2018 at 1:10 am

    this has been my new routines

  • Reply
    Denise Jones
    January 16, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    I love making kale with fried eggs and eating with roasted eggplant with Indian spices. Yum!

  • Reply
    Cosmetic Dentist
    March 21, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Good article about preparing one of my favorite treats! Thanks!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    Kale is one of my favorite buys at the farmers market! It makes my body feel so clean after eating it. Sauteed in olive oil and throw in a little garlic, perfecto!

  • Reply
    Penambah Nafsu Makan
    July 24, 2018 at 3:40 am

    A vegan lover is here. nice article

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