Healthy eaters everywhere, rejoice. For the second time in history, kale is celebrating its very own holiday. Wednesday, October 1 is the second annual National Kale Day (#kaleday2014), and fans all over the world will be honoring the "queen of the cruciferous veggies" by—you guessed it—eating lots of delicious and nutritious kale.
Haven't had your kale fix lately (or—gasp—ever?) Here are five reasons why you should be eating this superfood right now, according to National Kale Day founders Jennifer Iserloh, aka the "Skinny Chef," and Columbia University psychiatrist Drew Ramsey, M.D., authors of Fifty Shades of Kale: 50 Fresh and Satisfying Recipes That Are Bound to Please.
1. Kale helps you "super-detox." Kale is a detox powerhouse, thanks to its unique combination of healing compounds called glucosinolates, carotenoids, and flavonoids that have a triple-detox effect. Some studies have even linked kale to cancer prevention.
2. Kale is packed with "magic molecules." These special phytonutrient molecules make kale a power plant that can fight obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
3. Kale tops the scale of nutrient density, meaning you get more bang for your buck. One cup of kale has 33 calories, more than 600 percent of your daily Vitamin K, over 100 percent of your daily Vitamin C and over 2oo percent of your daily Vitamin A. It's also a good dose of iron, magnesium and folate, and contains 2 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber.
4. Organic kale is affordable, compared with some of the other organic produce out there.
5. Kale is easy to incorporate into almost any diet. It can be mixed and matched in fast skillet meals with fall superfood greens like spinach and collards. Or try Iserloh's Pomegranate Kale Super Shake!
What type of kale are you? Take the quiz!
—Jennifer D'Angelo Friedman