At just 33 calories, one cup of raw kale has:
- Nearly 3 grams of protein
- 2.5 grams of fiber (which helps manage blood sugar and makes you feel full)
- Vitamins A, C, and K
- Folate, a B vitamin that’s key for brain development
- Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. (While kale has far less omega-3 than fish, it is another way to get some of this healthy fat into your diet.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that give kale its deep, dark green coloring and protect against macular degeneration and cataracts Minerals including phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and zinc
How to Cook Kale
Add kale to pasta sauce, smoothies, or soup. Or try one of these methods:
Saute it: A splash of olive oil and a little onion or garlic are all this veggie needs, and it cooks up in minutes. The leaf is tougher than spinach leaves, so it won’t wilt as quickly in the pan.
Make a kale Caesar salad: You can eat kale raw in a salad. The leaves can stand up to heavy dressings. Kale Caesar salads have popped up on many restaurant menus. You can whip up a homemade mustard-based dressing that has all the thickness of Caesar but fewer calories.
Bake kale chips: Bake kale in the oven with just a little olive oil drizzled over lightly salted leaves. Store-bought kale chips can sometimes be deep-fried or come with a coating of cheese, so check labels to make sure you’re not reaching for a high-calorie snack.