The Leafy Green Vegetable That Builds Your Bones
One of the most amazing things about fruits and vegetables is that they perform so many tasks in the body, including building bone. That’s why the Save Our Bones Program lists so many of them as Foundation Foods.
Not too long ago, you read about multitasking cruciferous vegetables. Today we’re going to look closely at a powerful bone-building member of the cruciferous family: kale.
And I’ve also included a delectable, pH-balanced recipe featuring this bone-healthy vegetable that I am sure you’ll enjoy.
Leafy-green kale is readily available in most grocery stores, and even organic kale is generally inexpensive. In fact, it’s not too hard to grow it yourself. If you live where winter temperatures do not dip below the teens, you can set out plants now, in the fall. Leaves are said to be sweeter if they mature during cold weather.
Kale comes in flat, curly, and even purple varieties, and all variations are good for your bones. It’s one of the few vegetables that reaches its flavor peak in the cold winter months.
Kale is alkalizing and surprisingly versatile – you can juice, steam, sauté, stir-fry, and bake kale. It adds bright green color and valuable nutrients when added to soups, and it can stand in for spinach or stand out as a main dish.
Foundation Supplements Abound in Kale
One cup of cooked kale has an astounding 1,062 micrograms of Vitamin K, more than 1,300% of the recommended daily value. Ample research supports Vitamin K’s role in bone health. In conjunction with Vitamin D, it regulates osteoclast production, making Vitamin K an important part of healthy bone remodeling.
Kale has plenty of other nutrients your bones crave:
- Vitamin C*
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6*
Kale’s Antioxidant Power
Lutein, beta-carotene, kaempferol, and quercetin are antioxidants found in kale. Lutein and beta-carotene are carotenoids, while kaempferol and quercetin are flavonoids. To most of us, these phytonutrients are not as familiar as vitamins and minerals; but they are no less important. They act as antioxidants, which help prevent oxidative damage to your bones.
Now that you’re inspired to eat more kale, you might be wondering what to do with it. You also might have tasted badly-prepared kale in the past and think you don’t like it. I encourage you to try this recipe – it is a colorful dish with many delicious flavors.
- 1 bunch kale, preferably organic
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp garlic, chopped
- 1/3 cup cranberries
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chop kale and set aside.
- In a pan, heat olive oil; add garlic and onion and sauté until browned. Add kale and stir until kale is slightly wilted. Do not overcook.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle with cranberries and walnuts. Serve immediately.
I always enjoy sharing bone-healthy attributes of foods, because what you eat has such a great impact on your bone health and overall health. Foods like kale nourish and support your whole system, and many of them contain nutrients that we are just beginning to understand.
So remember, the right food is truly nature’s best medicine!
Till next time,