When it comes to greens or leafy veggies, kale will always be at the top of the list.
Kale is a green, leafy vegetable that comes from the Brassica family. Its sisters include cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and collards, among others. It is also in the super foods list because it contains essential nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K.
Kale contains vital B vitamins, like vitamin B6, folate, riboflavin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, and niacin. Kale also contains manganese, copper, potassium, iron, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. More importantly, kale has a broad range of antioxidants that are good for the brain, thus offering nootropic benefits.
Benefits of Kale
- Rich in antioxidants
- Natural detoxifier
- Aids in brain development
- Improves eyesight
- Potential brain booster
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Kale: One of the Best Anti-Inflammatory Agents for Your Brain and Body
Inflammation is the immune system’s response to defend the body against microbial infections. It is the first line of defense against invasion and is immediately activated after an infection. Once your brain is inflamed, you experience difficulty in sleeping, mood changes, higher pain sensitivity, and difficulty forming new memories, to name a few. Energy levels are also reduced since the energy initially stored will be used to fight inflammation instead of keeping you up and about throughout the day.
This is what kale is all about. Kale is the perfect anti-inflammatory because it provides a balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which leads to a non-inflamed brain. It is also rich in omega-3 alpha-linoleic acid, or ALA, which lowers the risk of depression. This fatty acid is also crucial because it helps improve your performance, behavioral function, and brain memory, thereby promoting brain health.
Aside from this, kale has quercetin, a type of phytonutrient that combats inflammation and prevents formation of plaque in the arteries.
Supply Your Brain with Antioxidants from Kale
In addition to being an anti-inflammatory, kale is also loaded with antioxidants that counteract the damage caused by free radicals. It contains known antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene, which prevent free radicals from damaging brain cells. This minimizes oxidative stress, one of the main contributing factors for the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Kale also contains phytonutrients called kaempferol, which turn on the genes and promote longer life, similar to what resveratrol can do.
Detoxify Your Brain and Body Naturally with the Help of Kale
Kale is loaded with both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It only follows that kale is a natural detoxifier that keeps your brain and body healthy.
This cruciferous vegetable contains isothiocyanates or ICTs, a component made from glucosinolates that detoxes your body at the cellular level and ensures that toxins are eliminated completely from your system. This will reduce your risk of developing certain conditions and keep your brain healthy and functioning.
Apart from ICT, kale also has phytonutrients called sulfurophane. When taken, this phytonutrient could go straight to your liver and boost your body’s natural detoxing power, which leads to better gut health. It's a great anti-cancer agent as well.
The best part is kale is low in calories, which means you don’t have to worry about gaining weight.
Kale Aids in Brain Development, Especially in Infants
Whether you are trying to get pregnant or already expecting, adding kale to your diet could be beneficial for you and your child. It turns out that kale is a great source of folate, which aids in brain development, particularly for infants. It can also prevent birth defects, promote healthy neural tube formation, support proper development of the heart and face, and encourage adequate birth weight.
Take note that lack of folate or folic acid leads to irritability, mental sluggishness, and forgetfulness. Kale can reverse those conditions and keep your brain functioning well.
Improve Your Eyesight with Kale
Another reason why kale is a must in your diet is because it promotes healthy vision. Kale is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that act as antioxidants in your eyes that prevent cataract and macular degeneration. These two also act as sunglasses and filter harmful wavelengths of light, thereby protecting and maintaining healthy cells in the eyes.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that eating lutein-rich foods like kale lowers the risk of cataract by 22 percent. More importantly, the dietary antioxidants found in kale reduce - if not prevent - risk of macular degeneration or age-related cataracts.
Boost Brain Power with the Help of Kale in Your Daily Diet
There is a reason why kale is part of the super foods list. Cruciferous vegetables are nutrient-dense, which means they contain essential vitamins and minerals to keep your brain functioning.
One of these is vitamin K, a powerful antioxidant needed by the body to make sphingolipids. These are specialized types of fat that create structure for the brain cells and, at the same time, promote resiliency in brain cells by influencing expression of genes.
Aside from vitamin K, kale is also a good source of manganese, which is also helpful in your overall brain function. Manganese helps you focus on your daily tasks and can be your constant pick-me-upper to keep you more energetic.
Keep in mind that if your brain is healthy, you will also feel active and happy – and kale can provide that benefit.
Kale Professional Recommendation
You can take ¾ cup of cooked kale everyday or approximately five cups every week to enjoy its health benefits. If you prefer juicing, stick to a quarter cup of kale leaves and mix it with other ingredients. For the supplements, whether in powder or tablet form, make sure to read and follow the instructions carefully to avoid adverse effects.
On the other hand, eating raw kale or juicing kale should not be done more than once or twice a week to avoid abdominal issues.
Side Effects of Kale
Generally, kale is safe. In fact, it is among the healthiest foods you can feed both your brain and body because of its many nutritional benefits.
Still, take it easy on your intake, especially if you’re going for the raw version. According to a report published by Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute, kale contains progoitrin, a type of compound that could interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis.
Kale also contains thiocyanate ions, which could affect the level of iodine your thyroid needs to function properly. This means taking high amounts of raw kale could lead to hormonal irregularities, creating a fluctuation in your weight, blood sugar, and overall metabolic health. Too much raw kale could result in goiter or swelling of the thyroid as well.
Also, take it easy when drinking kale juice. Kale is rich in vitamin K, also known as the clotting vitamin. One cup gives you approximately 547 micrograms, or six times more than USDA’s recommended daily intake. Do not mix kale juice or supplements if you are taking blood thinning medications or aspirin regimens for your existing heart condition since it could promote clotting. Plus, it could lead to intestinal discomfort like gas, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
Recap of Kale
Kale is powerful vegetable that offers a wide-range of health and nootropic benefits. It is packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to prevent free radicals from staying longer in your brain, thereby minimizing the risk of oxidative stress that contributes to neuro-degenerative diseases. It is also a natural detoxifier, so toxins and wastes are eliminated in your body.
Kale also aids in brain development, especially for infants, while the folic acid or folate content stops you from being irritable, sleepy, and mentally sluggish.
More importantly, kale is a brain booster, thanks to manganese and sphingolipids that offer nootropic benefits.
Where can I buy kale supplements?
Kale supplements, whether in powder or tablet form, are available online through Amazon or directly from the manufacturer’s website. You can also find them in one of the aisles in your health food stores. If you prefer the raw form, kale can be found in your local market.
Still, why take kale supplements only when there is Momental MIND to keep your brain up and running throughout the day? MIND contains natural ingredients such as cat’s claw, green tea extract, alpha GPC, and kale, among many others, to support the demands your brain needs to function well. You can drink this anytime you need to nourish and replenish your brain.
If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, two to three capsules of Momental MEND is all you need. MEND decreases stress and anxiety in a natural way. It also helps promote restorative sleep to power you up the following day. MIND and MEND work symbiotically to make sure you are in your best state throughout the day.