SUPERFOODS HEALTH CORNER: KALE BASED SALAD
Blood Tests Don’t Lie
I recently had my yearly blood test done and discovered my current diet is sending me backwards. My Hemoglobin a1c level showed I had moved into the pre-diabetic danger zone, my LDL cholesterol level was 31 points over the minimum acceptable level, and my Bilirubin Total was high.
Since writing the last blog concerning my dietetic maneuvers entitled “THE OUT OF BOUNDS COUNTRY DIET: PART II”, I have failed to keep track of my progress on the bathroom scale and my diet has been pretty much thrown out the window. Shame on me for offering advice that I tossed aside in favor of eating what ever foods I wanted. So much for the discipline needed to monitor, as well as take care of, my health and well being.
What Has Been The Result Of My Folly?
Recently I have found myself being tired more often than not. When I do chores around the house, I have to take frequent breaks to regain my regimen so that said rest can revitalize my energy level.
Working outside in the heat is equally troubling. I tend to sweat very easily and require a towel close by to wipe off my brow before my eyes get filled with goo. Since I hate doing exercise, yard work helps fill that role when I cut large areas of weed-filled grass with my weed eater and trim tree branches with my limb lopper.
A Diet Shakeup Call
While I have maintained my Monday through Friday breakfast regimen of blueberries, strawberries, and Greek yogurt with cashews, the rest of my disciplines have taken a hit. Lots of carbohydrate-dense foods like rice, pasta, breads and potato chips have replaced the soups and salads I ate beforehand.
Even homemade pies, cornbread, puddings, and blueberry muffins have found their way into my dietary stronghold. The only thing I have successfully kept out of the house is ice cream. I can’t seem to willfully disregard the fact that such a delicious intruder should reside in my freezer without regular confrontations.
So, I have now decided that my health is taking a beating and I must react accordingly. Salads and soups will replace the lunchtime foofaraw that I have engaged in up to now. However, if that will become my plan going forward, I must discover viable candidates to fulfill that role.
Super Compounds To The Rescue
Before writing this article, I did some research on vegetables that had the most nutrient dense compositions. What I found in performing that process was information about 2 substances generted within the human body. One is called Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C). The other one is called Diindolylmethane. The central claim about these 2 compounds is that they may help prevent certain cancers. So, what does the research say about the health benefits of I3C?
Indole-3-Carbinol (IC3) is a substance that the body produces when it breaks down Glucobrassicin. Where do you find Glucobrassicin? It’s a compound found naturally in cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli.
Diindolylmethane is formed in the body from indole-3-carbinol and is used for breast cancer, prostate cancer, cancer of the uterus, cancer of the cervix, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. There is evidence that under certain circumstances it might also block negative estrogen effects in men and help promote hormone balance. It also appears to help destroy cancer cells and reduce swelling.
What Foods Contain Glucobrassicin?
Vegetables other than broccoli and cauliflower that contain glucobrassicin include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Mustard greens
Health Benefits of Kale
Since I hate eating most of the vegetables on this list, I have focused on one that I can use in my super salad creations. That one is Kale.
Kale is a popular vegetable and a member of the cabbage family. It is a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and Brussels sprouts.
There are many different types of kale. The leaves can be green or purple, and have either a smooth or curly shape. The most common type of Kale is called Curly Kale or Scots Kale, which has green and curly leaves and a hard, fibrous stem.
A single cup of raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) contains:
- Vitamin A: 206% of the DV (from beta-carotene)
- Vitamin K: 684% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 134% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
- Manganese: 26% of the DV
- Calcium: 9% of the DV
- Copper: 10% of the DV
- Potassium: 9% of the DV
- Magnesium: 6% of the DV
- It also contains 3% or more of the DV for vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), iron and phosphorus
This is coming with a total of 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber) and 3 grams of protein. Kale contains very little fat, but a large portion of the fat in it is an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha linolenic-acid. Given its incredibly low calorie content, kale is among the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. Eating more kale is a great way to dramatically increase the total nutrient content of your diet. With all that said, let’s conjure up a recipe that can incorporate the aforementioned benefits into a tasty meal. (excerpts from article by Kris Gunnars, BSc on June 29, 2018 in healthline.com)
Super Salad Recipe No. 1
- Kale Lettuce from fresh bundle (chopped to suit)
- 6oz. Chopped Spinach
- Sliced Onions (Not chopped)
- 8oz. can of Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas)
- Fresh Tomato cut up into pieces
- Sliced Hard Boiled Egg (Optional)
- Italian Salad Dressing
- Ground Peppercorns to taste
Simply blend all basic salad ingredients except hard boiled egg. Add the sliced egg pieces on top of the tossed salad in each salad bowl. Sprinkle with ground peppercorns. Add Italian Salad Dressing to taste.
I am not cognizant of the massive nutritional value of this recipe, but will find out what it is and include same in a future update. Suffice it to say, regular infestations of this meal on a regular basis may improve my blood test results in the near future. Maybe it can do the same for you.