Juicing grew in popularity quickly in large part due to the documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. The movie portrayed juicing as a means of regaining an active lifestyle, and showed the average person that amazing change is possible with a little willpower. Home juicer sales have reached nearly $300 million annually, according to one prominent juicer manufacturer. As the popularity of juicing grew, so did the demand for fresh, nutritionally-dense fruit and vegetables.
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Kale is one vegetable found in many standard green juice recipes, and there are plenty of reasons for its widespread use. It adds a great pick-me-up effect when combined with apples, pears, or certain citrus fruits, but more importantly, it delivers a huge amount of vital nutrition your body needs to function properly. Here are three of the top benefits you’ll get from juicing the superfood kale.
1. Kale has many anti-cancer properties.
Like its cousins in the cabbage family, kale contains indol-3-carbinol and other glucosinolates. Indol-3-carbinol and its ability to prevent abnormal development and growth of cells in the cervix and breasts have led to studies to test its effectiveness in treatment of other cancers.
Another important component of kale is its high levels of beta-carotene which is an antioxidant that reduces the risk of cancer cell development. Kale contains glucosinolates that are turned into sulforaphane when the plant is cut or chopped. The sulforphane supports your body’s detoxification process by stimulating the liver’s construction of cleansing enzymes. Detoxifying helps the body better rid itself of carcinogens.
2. Kale greatly benefits the immune system and helps the body detoxify.
Kale contains more iron than beef, making it particularly important for immune health as an iron deficiency can drastically hinder the immune response. It also contains folate, selenium, chromium, manganese, copper, and zinc. All these minerals play a crucial role in immunity and the body’s ability to fight off infections. Isothiocyanates, another glucosinolate, are readily found in kale and are crucial in regulating detoxification activities on a cellular level.
Vitamin A enhances white blood cell performance and increases resistance to illness and carcinogens. It also supports skin and mucus membrane shields which are the body’s first line of protection against infection. Vitamin C is required by white blood cells to fight infection. Resisting illness can quickly deplete levels of vitamin C. Fortunately, kale has over 100% of the recommended daily value for both vitamin C and vitamin A.
3. Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K.
Vitamin K is normally only found in higher concentrations in herbs. However, one cup of kale contains more than 1000% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K. Vitamin K is most important for blood clotting and it’s essential for building strong bones and heart disease prevention in addition to preventing osteoporosis and cancer. Vitamin K deficiency has been strongly linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Kale is also one of a select few vegetables that offers a source of protein that is more bio-available than proteins from meat, combined with its high iron concentration, makes it a valuable food source in muscle building.
Juicing vegetables provides quick access to phytonutrients and enzymes in a raw state that are normally lost in the cooking process. By simply adding kale juice into your diet by juicing it, all of the aforementioned benefits are readily and quickly available to your body for increased health, energy, and cognitive function. If you’ve found it difficult to eat as many fruits and vegetables as you should be, consider this form of nutritional delivery. Juicing allows a person to consume large quantities of plant-based foods in a quick, easy to digest form that tastes great.