High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce reading
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Certified health expert, Tina Paymaster, said: “Kale’s a great source of calcium, magnesium, iron and antioxidants.” Furthermore, the vegetable is said to have a “good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids”. Eating kale can also be surprisingly filling, as the vegetable contains a healthy amount of fibre. “It can help in weight loss and weight management because fibre helps to keep you fuller longer,” explained Paymaster.
She pointed out that fibre is “essential for cleansing and detoxifying the body”.
In addition, kale’s fibre content also helps to lower cholesterol by picking up excess cholesterol in the gut, and pushing it out of the body.
Although the vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of ways, steaming seems to be the most beneficial.
A research study published in the Nutrition Research journal found that steamed kale binds better to bile in the digestive tract.
Its fibre content is also handy when it comes to controlling blood sugar levels.
Increased fibre intake has been strongly associated with reduced blood glucose levels.
If blood sugar levels are allowed to get too high, a classic sign of diabetes, then internal damage to the body begins to occur.
By keeping blood sugar levels down, less damage will be inflicted on the body.
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Paymaster stated that kale is also rich in sulfur, which is necessary for the production of glutathione – an antioxidant.
“Sulfur is also extremely important for glucose metabolism, helping to decrease the weight gain and the risk of diabetes,” she added.
One research paper in the Journal of Chromatology B found that kale contained more glucoraphanin, the precursor to sulfar, than broccoli.
The superfood also contains potassium, which is key in managing sodium levels in the body.
Too much sodium is the cause for higher blood pressure, so by eating potassium-rich foods, you can effectively lower blood pressure readings.
Today’s Dietician stated that potassium is a vasodilator, meaning it can help arteries expand, enabling better blood flow.
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that people who consumed nearly three times as much potassium as other people had a 49 percent reduced risk of ischemic heart disease.
Not only can kale improve blood pressure readings, aid weight loss and help keep blood sugar levels in check, it has other useful health benefits too.
Paymaster suggested that kale potentially has anti-cancer properties, known as glucosinolate.
The National Cancer Institute reported that compounds in cruciferous vegetables – such as kale – inhibited the development of cancer in rodents.
The presence of antioxidants, such as that found in kale, are important in removing “free radicals” from the body.
Free radicals can lead to accelerated ageing and can encourage the development of cancer.
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