Kale is also known as borecole grows rapidly in direct sunlight. This highly nutritious leafy green vegetable is widely used around the globe.
On the other hand, keto is a low carb and high fat diet. So, is kale keto friendly? Can you consume kale on keto diet?
Only 0.06 grams of net carbs against one cup serving makes kale keto friendly. This near about 0 grams of net carbs from this cruciferous vegetable will keep you in ketosis without any hazard.
Why Is Kale Keto Friendly?
Kale is almost zero in net carbs which makes it keto-approved. One cup of kale contains 0.92 grams of total carbs and 0.86 grams of dietary fiber.
After subtracting the dietary fiber, the net carbs of kale becomes 0.06 grams. So, kale is low in both carbs and net carbs which fulfills the keto diet condition. Because of this kale is inserted into a keto-friendly vegetable list.
What Are The Benefits of Kale?
Kale is a rich source of nutrients. These nutrients provide a wide range of benefits. The main benefits of ketogenic kale are:
High in fiber
Kale is a good source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber has many health benefits, especially for gut function.
The short-chain fatty acids produced by dietary fiber in the colon aids in colonocytes. Moreover, fiber improves absorption and reduces intestinal transit time (1). On the other hand, dietary fiber intake can aid in (2)
- Prevention of type 2 diabetes
- Reduction of fasting blood sugar and HBA1C (type 2 diabetics)
Furthermore, the high fiber component of kale may have benefits over gallbladder problems. A fiber-rich diet is able to prevent gallstones (3).
Rich source of calcium
Kale is a rich source of calcium. The calcium component of kale has benefits over a healthy lifestyle. Adequate calcium intake has multiple health benefits like (4)
- Reduction of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy
- Lower blood pressure especially among young people
- Prevention of osteoporosis
- Reduction of the risk of colorectal adenomas
- Lowers cholesterol values
- Lowers blood pressure in the progeny of mothers
High concentration of vitamin C
- Free radical damage protection
- Fortifying immunity defense
- Prevent oxidative stress on skin
- Prevent and treat respiratory and systemic infections
- Wrinkle reduction
- Dark spot reduction
- Skin healing
- Skin hydration
- Protection against UV damage
Additional benefits of kale micronutrients
Keto friendly kale contains micronutrients like zinc, copper, vitamin C, E, A, iron, beta carotene, magnesium, etc. All of these vitamins and minerals are effective against some common health disorders.
The main benefits of these micronutrients are given below.
- According to studies vitamin C, E, zinc, and beta carotene can prevent age-related macular degeneration especially in the later stage (9).
- Zinc is able to reduce the risk of fertility-related problems (10).
- A high intake of dietary magnesium is reversely associated with insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and hypertension (11).
- Vitamin A and copper are well-known anti-wrinkle agents. Moreover, vitamin A is able to control obesity, skin allergy, and psoriasis (12, 13, 14, 15).
- Iron is beneficial for anemia prevention and new skin growth.
Is Kale Bad for You on Keto?
A controlled intake of kale is good for both the keto diet and your health. However, excess consumption of kale can be harmful to your health.
Like some other green cruciferous vegetable kale contains goitrin. Goitrin is a sulfur oxazolidine that is able to reduce the production of thyroid hormones.
Because of this surplus intake of goitrin rich kale can affect your thyroid function.
Moreover, kale contains a high amount of fiber, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. Excess consumption of these nutrients can cause health problems like
A high fiber diet causes bloating (16). That’s why surplus consumption of fiber rich kale can promote a bloated belly on keto
The potassium, calcium, and vitamin C micronutrients of kale may affect kidney function during an uncontrolled intake. It’s because
- Surplus dietary potassium may worsen the condition of patients with mildly impaired kidney function (17).
- High calcium foods can increase the calcium level above normal in the blood. This is known as Hypercalcemia. Hypercalcemia is a kidney stone promoting factor (18).
- Excess consumption of vitamin C can increase the risk of kidney stones (19).
Kale Nutrition Facts
Kale contains almost every useful nutrient. It contains protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Let’s check the major nutrition facts for 100 gram serving of raw kale (20)
- Calorie: 35
- Protein: 2.92 g
- Fat: 1.49 g
- Carbohydrate: 4.42 g
- Fiber: 4.1 g
How to Store Kale
Kale leaves have a life span of 3-4 days. The lifespan of kale can be increased by using a refrigerator. Excess moisture can reduce the life span of kales. That’s why you should remove the excess water from kale before storage. There are only 3 steps follows for kale storage
- Remove the excess moisture from kale using a dry towel
- Wrap the kale leaves with paper or put them into a vegetable bag
- Store the packed or wrapped kales in a freezer
How to Eat Kale
Kale can be eaten raw or cooked. Although the majority of recipes use cooked or steamed kale as an ingredient. All of these recipes are low in carbs and will help you to stay at the ketosis level. Let’s check what are the delicious kale dishes.
- Kale cucumber carrot low carb salad(topped with black pepper salt)
- Kale broccoli keto soup with garlic sauce
- Onion, kale, and almond mixup