By Scott Mathias – Integrated Health & RawFood Coach – Creator of the iLifeFood.com range of Enriched SuperCell Foods
There are estimated to be 55-billion farmed or manufactured animals for eating on the planet as I write this. The cost involved in farming these animals for eating is astronomical not just in $$ terms but also to the planet. Yet little known in the plant world is Curly Leaf Kale which provides more goodness across the board than a gram of beef.
Environmentalists cite meat production as one of the biggest contributors to global warming, and the United States new food pyramid, called My Plate , suggests the healthiest choice is making vegetables and fruit the biggest part of every meal by reducing consumption of animal proteins.
Kale is far by far the most nutritious of all leafy greens. It is also #2 behind garlic in the antioxidant stakes, but the seven reasons below as to why it is such an important ‘nowfood’ may just shed some new light onto the nutritional benefits of this most beautiful green vegetable.
1. Anti-inflammatory: Inflammation is the number one cause of arthritis, heart disease and a number of autoimmune diseases, and is triggered by the consumption of animal products. Kale is an incredibly effective anti-inflammatory food, potentially preventing and even reversing these illnesses.
2. Iron: Despite the myth that vegetarians are anaemic, the number of non-vegetarians with iron-deficiencies is on the rise. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef.
3. Calcium: Dairy and beef both contain calcium, but Australia and the U.S. still has some of the highest rates of bone loss and osteoporosis in the world. Kale contains more calcium per calorie than milk (90 grams per serving) and is also better absorbed by the body than dairy.
4. Fibre: Like protein, fibre is a macronutrient, which means we need it every day. But many Australians don't eat nearly enough and the deficiency is linked to heart disease, digestive disorders and cancer. Protein-rich foods, like meat, contain little to no beneficial fibre. One serving of kale not only contains 5 percent of the recommended daily intake of fibre, but it also provides 2 grams of protein. Fibre is required to remove ‘bad’ bacteria from the body.
5. Omega fatty acids: Healthy fats play an important role in our health, unlike the saturated fats in meat. A serving of kale contains 121 mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 92.4 mg of omega-6 fatty acids.
6. Immunity: Superbugs and bacteria are a serious risk to our health. Many of these come as a result of factory farm meat, eggs and dairy products. Kale is an incredibly rich source of immune-boosting carotenoid and flavonoid antioxidants, as well as vitamins A and C.
7. Sustainable: Kale grows to maturity in 55 to 60 days versus a cow raised for beef for an average of 18-24 months. Kale can grow in most climates and is relatively easy to grow at home or on a farm. To raise one kilo of beef requires 16 kilos of grain, 11 times as much fossil fuel and more than 3000 litres of water. Next week I’ll feature some kale recipes which are so tasty and easy to do.
Scott Mathias is a Certified Integrative Nutritionist and Professional Health Coach. Based in Noosa, Queensland he consults to clients around Australia including conducting seminars, public speaking engagements. His special areas of interest are Life Balance and the Digestive Function – He conducts Raw Food Classes. He is also the creator of an all Australian range of 100% PURE Nutrient Cell-Foods from www.ilifefoods.com. He can also be seen at the Noosa Farmers Market each and every Sunday throughout the year.
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