One of the most powerful superfoods is kale.Yes, that green vegetable that you really hated as a child. It has vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K.  Kale also is full of carotenoids, flavonoids, glucosinolates, fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, protein, calcium, copper, and iron. Finally, it also contains manganese, magnesium, phosphorous and tryptophan. Wow, kale packs a real vitamin cocktail into its green leaves.

      Vitamin A helps to combat inflammation, strengthen the immune system by helping the body fend off viruses and bacterial attacks as well as improve photosensitivity. Vitamin B1 helps to convert sugar to usable energy as well as maintain muscle health. Vitamin B2 helps eye health. Vitamin B3 helps with energy production at a cellular level.Vitamin B6 helps to prevent and heal skin conditions. Vitamin B9 helps to prevent birth defects as well as helps to ward off dementia. Vitamin C helps our skin and also gives the immune system a boost. Vitamin E also strengthens the immune system. Vitamin K is known for its ability to help blood to clot normally and its ability to strengthen bones. Carotenoids help to protect and strengthen human cells. Flavonoids have powerful antioxidant benefits that also boost the immune system. Glucosinolates have a strong detoxifying effect that removes toxins from the body.  Fiber binds to bad things and removes them from the body.  Omega 3 fatty acids gives us healthy skin, nails and also gives the immune system a boost. Protein a vital part of living tissue. Calcium helps to maintain healthy muscle tissue. Copper helps our enzymes to function properly. Iron is found in every cell in the body, responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body.  Manganese is an enzyme activator. Magnesium is responsible for glucose and fat breakdown. Phosphorous main function is the formation of bones and teeth.  Tryptophan helps body to synthesize protein.  All of these vitamins do a lot more than the above but you can see the benefits of adding kale to your nutrition plan.  We are in kale season from winter through spring which you will find a milder and sweeter green.

Enjoy a green smoothie, put kale in your soup or salad.  Experiment with different ways to add this powerhouse vegetable to your diet.  You just might notice a bit more energy, eyes might be brighter and a healthy glow to your skin.  For more information about health and fitness, please contact Kay Colgan at Middleburg Pilates and personal training, 14 S. Madison Street, Middleburg,VA or call 540-687-6995.

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