Kale Nutrition: 7 Reasons Why It’s So Good for You

There’s a reason kale has held onto its “it” status for so long (it’s even in skincare now). The leafy green’s dark hue is your first clue that it is loaded with good-for-you nutrients that can help improve your skin and your health.Kale is low in calories. It has a mere 33 calories per cup, notes nutritionist Keri Glassman, author of “The New You and Improved Diet: 8 Rules to Lose Weight and Change Your Life Forever.”It’s rich in wrinkle-fighting vitamins. Kale is bursting with vitamin K—it contains 684 percent of the recommended daily dose, according to Glassman. Vitamin K helps maintain healthy elastin, which in turn prevents wrinkles. The vegetable is also rich in vitamin A, packing in 206 percent of the suggested daily amount of the vitamin. Vitamin A helps even out skintone and smooth wrinkles.Kale may lower your cancer risk. Cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, contain cancer-fighting properties—namely, a group of substances known as glucosinolates, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, as well as help protect cells from DNA damage and render carcinogens inactive, according to the National Cancer Institute.It boosts your immune system. “Kale is a strong nutritional investment with 134 percent of your daily vitamin C needs,” says Glassman. That’s twice as much as an orange, giving you more bang for your buck when it comes to getting immune-boosting, anti-aging vitamin C.Kale is the new beef. OK, not really, but kale is a good vegetarian source of iron, which is essential for a healthy immune system.It can help protect your brain and heart health. “Kale is loaded with ALA (alpha-linolenic acid)—an important omega-3 fatty acid that keeps your brain sharp and your heart healthy,” according to Glassman.Kale can help bolster your bones. It has more calcium per serving than milk, notes Glassman. Got kale?MORE: 6 Steps to the Perfect Kale Salad