Warming thermal nature; sweet and slightly bitter­ pungent flavor; eases lung congestion; benefits the stomach. An ancient member of the cabbage family, it also has abundant sulfur and its juice can be used to treat stomach and duodenal ulcers. Kale is a hardy cold-weather green whose flavor becomes sweeter with a touch of frost. It is an exceptional source of chlorophyll, calcium, iron, and vitamin A during its growing season in the fall, winter, and early spring.

PRIMARY MICRO NUTRIENTS Copper, Iron, Calcium, Manganese, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, Folate
  • High Nutrient Content
  • Extremely high in chlorophyll and carotenes, especially beta-carotene, Lutein and zeaxanthin
  • Preventing osteoporosis – high ratio of calcium to phosphorus promotes calcium utilization and absorption
  • Anti-cancer properties similar to those of other cabbage family members
  • Carotenoid benefits: antioxidant, immune-supportive, anti-inflammatory, cancer-preventative
  • Chlorophyll
    • stimulates hemoglobin, production of red blood cells, prevents excessive menstrual blood flow
    • very similar to Heme portion of red blood cells
    • anti-cancer and anti-oxidant effects
    • astringent – stimulates wound healing, especially of skin and GI tract
  • Carotenoid Lutein –  anti-oxidant, promotes healthy eyesight and prevents macular degeneration and cataracts
  • Sulforaphane
    • may beneficially affect cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and digestion
PLANT FAMILY Brasilica, Cruciferous. Related to: Arugula, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collards, Mustard, Radishes, Rutabaga, Turnips, Watercress
DANGERS Goitrogens (Thyroid hormones); Oxalates (Calcium binding and Kidney stones); High Pesticide levels

Cooking advice:

  • I recommend steaming kale for 5 minutes. To ensure quick and even cooking cut the leaves into 1/2″ slices and the stems into 1/4″ lengths. Let the stems and slices sit for about 5 minutes prior to cooking. This activates many enzymes and helps release both the phyto-nutrient properties as well as their respective health benefits – see this post at WH Foods for more advice about this
  • Sulforaphane, for example, is a sulfur-rich compound found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, and cabbage. It has been shown to provide powerful health benefits (see this article about Sulforaphane on Healthline)
  • Sulforaphane is activated when glucoraphanin comes into contact with myrosinase, a family of enzymes. Myrosinase enzymes are only released and activated when a plant is damaged. Therefore, cruciferous vegetables must be cut, chopped, or chewed to release myrosinase and activate sulforaphane (study)
  • Mustard is rich also rich in myrosinase. So to maximize your sulforaphane intake, eat kale with a simple salad dressing including a sprinkle of mustard seeds or mustard powder
RDA Kale, raw % RDA Kale, cooked % RDA
Nutrient Unit per 100g per 100g
Water g 84.04 91.2
Energy kcal 49 28
Protein g 4.28 1.9
Total lipid (fat) g 0.93 0.4
Carbohydrate, by difference g 8.75 5.63
Fiber, total dietary g 3.6 2
Sugars, total g 2.26 1.25
Calcium, Ca mg 1000 150 15.0% 72 7.2%
Iron, Fe mg 8 1.47 18.4% 0.9 11.3%
Magnesium, Mg mg 420 47 11.2% 18 4.3%
Phosphorus, P mg 700 92 13.1% 28 4.0%
Potassium, K mg 470 491 104.5% 228 48.5%
Sodium, Na mg 38 23
Zinc, Zn mg 11 0.56 5.1% 0.24 2.2%
Copper, Cu mg 0.9 1.499 166.6% 0.156 17.3%
Manganese, Mn mg 2.3 0.659 28.7% 0.416 18.1%
Selenium, Se µg 55 0.9 1.6% 0.9 1.6%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid mg 90 120 133.3% 41 45.6%
Thiamin mg 1.2 0.11 9.2% 0.053 4.4%
Riboflavin mg 1.3 0.13 10.0% 0.07 5.4%
Niacin mg 16 1 6.3% 0.5 3.1%
Pantothenic acid mg 5 0.091 1.8% 0.049 1.0%
Vitamin B-6 mg 1.7 0.271 15.9% 0.138 8.1%
Folate, total µg 400 141 35.3% 13 3.3%
Choline, total mg 0.8 0.4
Betaine mg 0.3
Vitamin B-12 µg 2.4 0 0.0% 0 0.0%
Vitamin A, RAE mcg 900 499.5 55.6% 681.05 75.7%
Vitamin E, total mg 15 1.54 10.3% 0.85 5.7%
Vitamin D IU 600 0 0.0% 0 0.0%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) µg 120 704.8 587.3% 817 680.8%


The Recommended Dietary Amount (RDA) is based upon recommendations for a 40 year old very active man that I have adapted from USDA’s Dietary Intake Recommendations. Using this link you can make your own calculations

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

Paul Pitchford (2002). Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition, North Atlantic Books

USDA food database: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/

Other information sources:

Details about Kale from World’s Healthiest Foods

Details about how to prepare and cook Cruciferous Vegetables like Kale from WH Foods

Details about Sulforaphane from Healthline

Online nutrient breakdown of foods: http://nutritiondata.self.com/

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