Cruciferous Vegetables-Kale and Diabetes

 

Diabetes can be reversed or at least be controlled when we consume foods which are high in fiber, low in calorie, Curly Kalenon-starchy and mostly plant-based. These foods help to repair our bodies and can rid us of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol and other illnesses.

No Need for References

I don’t need to provide references at this point. I can testify that I have not taken blood pressure medication for weeks now, I am losing weight, my blood glucose is under control with way less medication, but I am not sure about my cholesterol as yet. The truth be told, I am not worried about that either. Oh, how could I forget the burst of energy I now have. Once again I am running down the stairs at work. I give God the glory.

Time for Kale

Let’s talk about kale and diabetes now. Kale is a dark green, cruciferous vegetable which belongs to the cabbage family. It is a non-starchy vegetable with fiber and only 30 calories per cup. It is no doubt that this cruciferous vegetable is a must have for all diabetics.

A Note about Cruciferous Vegetables

According to Rhoades, “Cruciferous vegetables belong to the Cruciferae family, which mostly contains the Brassica genus, but does include a few other genuses. In general, cruciferous vegetables are cool weather vegetables and have flowers that have four petals so that they resemble a cross.” They are commonly known for their cancer-fighting role. For more information about cruciferous vegetables please see this article by Rhoades.

The link between the cruciferous vegetable kale and diabetes is an obvious one and necessary as part of the strategy to rid our lives of diabetes and similar lifestyle illnesses/diseases. Please see below for some varieties of kale. I also have the pictures on this page. Try to figure out which is which (smile).

Some variety of kale are:

  1. Curly
  2. Ornamental
  3. Dinosaur

Nutrition Content of Kale

  • Low in calories
  • Rich in fiber
  • Beta carotene
  • Zeaxanthin
  • LuteinOrnamental Kale
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • Copper

Health Benefits of Kale

  • It can be eaten with other plant-based foods as part of a combined strategy to lower blood glucose. This is possible because kale is low in calorie and high in fiber. This means that it will result in a slow, gradual increase in our blood sugar and hence it’s effectiveness to control and possibly eliminate diabetes if we consume it on a regular basis.
  • Kale may reduce blood pressure. This is a plus for diabetics as a number of us also have elevated blood pressure. I am one of those patients. I changed my lifestyle. I now eat whole foods (lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, grains and a little animal protein. I now eat and drink a lot of Kale. Guess what has happened? I am no longer taking medication for high blood pressure. Note, this is not the reason I changed my lifestyle. I was afraid of what diabetes was doing to my body. Surprisingly, my blood pressure got fixed way faster than my blood glucose. The good news is that even though my blood glucose remains a work in progress, the results are encouraging. The truth be told, whenever I get a reading that I don’t like, I usually know where I went wrong.
  • Reduces the risk of cancer. According to research, there is a link between diabetes and cancer. Even if we choose to disagree here, then one thing is evident, with or without diabetes, a lot of people are suffering from cancer. It is, therefore, good news for diabetics that we can eat kale and lower our blood glucose and possibly reduce risk of having cancer.
  • Helps us to maintain healthy eyes. The beta-carotene and lutein are to be thanked for this benefit. This news is welcomed by diabetics who have a tendency to suffer from eye issues, a complication of diabetes.
  • Kale helps our blood to clot. If you are having medical issues and you were placed on blood thinners, then it is important to speak with your doctor before consuming kale.Dinosaur Kale

Ways to Prepare Kale

  • Steamed
  • Raw (in salad and smoothies)
  • Boiled
  • Sautéed
  • Baked

Kale in Recipes

My favorite ways of eating Kale is in my green salad and my morning smoothies. This way the nutrients are intact and I have tons of energy to go through my day. I mostly have my green salad for lunch, complimented by some fruits or soup. Please see below for my favorite salad with Kale. Note, you determine the quantities, based on your preference and the size of your family. Now for the recipe:

Cruciferous Colorama Salad (Kale-Cabbage Salad )

What you will need:

  • Kale (washed and minced using a knife).
  • Green cabbage (cut fine and wash).
  • Purple cabbage (cut fine and washed).
  • Red onion to suit your taste (peeled and minced using a knife).
  • Mozzarella cheese (cubed into fine pieces).
  • A few red, seedless grapes (washed and halved).
  • Pumpkin seeds.
  • Flaxseeds.
  • Favorite or homemade salad dressing.

Method:

  1. Add kale, green cabbage, purple cabbage and red onion in a bowl and toss to combine the ingredients.
  2. Place the tossed salad into a glass bowl/Pyrex dish.
  3. Add cheese, grapes, pumpkin and flaxseeds.
  4. Serve with your favorite dressing.

Please, use the box below to give us some feedback when you try this delicious and healthy salad. Note, when avocado is in season, I add this to my salad as well. It never disappoints my taste buds. I can safely say that this is my favorite salad now.

Kale in Smoothies

I did say that I also love Kale in my smoothies, especially in the mornings. Well, I will not disappoint. Please see below for the recipe for the smoothie I had for breakfast this morning:

Kale-Fruit Medley Smoothie

What you will need:

  • Kale (2 leaves and a piece of the stem).
  • 1 Ripe banana.
  • 3 Strawberries.
  • 6 Blueberries.
  • 6 Raspberries.
  • 1 Slice of medium mango.
  • 8 oz. almond milk.
  • 2 teaspoons flaxseed.

Method:

  • Place the kale in your NutriBullet or another blender.
  • Add the ripe banana, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and the slice of mango.
  • Add the flaxseed and almond milk.
  • Blend, pour into a glass and enjoy.

Steaming Kale

I sometimes steam kale with green and purple cabbage, seasoned with red onions, white onions, scallion, scotch bonnet pepper, salt and pepper, garlic, drizzled with some melted butter and lime juice. Hmm, delicious and mouth watering.

Remember that the moist cooking methods are recommended as the healthiest ways to cook our foods. Here is an article I did about steaming. You may also find the article about moist cooking methods to be a good and informative read.

Conclusion

Kale is obviously an excellent choice for diabetics. It is loaded with fibers, low in calorie and contains potassium and other nutrients and minerals. Eating Kale can help as part of an overall strategy to beat diabetes and other illnesses, especially those associated with diabetes, which includes high blood pressure and obesity. Steaming and raw kale are the best ways to consume this powerhouse of a vegetable belonging to the cabbage family.

 

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6 Comments


  1. // Reply

    I love kale and love what it can do for your health. I am so excited to try out these recipes. I am especially looking forward to making the kale-fruit medley smoothie for my children. Thank you for sharing this valuable information!


  2. // Reply

    Hey there

    I am really impressed with your content creating ability.

    You have laid out the information and an easy to read manner and have a very conversational approach too.

    Very helpful topic.

    Thanks =)


    1. // Reply

      Lawrence, thank you. I do my homework and it is easier to write when you really want to use your own experiences to help others. Do you know anyone with diabetes? Do you eat Kale?


  3. // Reply

    Hi, Josephine
    I am so happy to hear that you have not taken blood pressure medication for weeks now. And that you are losen weight, your blood glucose is under control with less medication and you don’t worry about your cholesterol. That’s awesome. Congrats on having a success in your health. I cheering for you my friend.

    That smoothie looks so good. I am going through a detox cure right now and kale is one of the ingredients. So I know that the kale is inflammatory and really good for me and many others.
    Thanks for sharing another great article.

    Tove


    1. // Reply

      Tove, it’s always nice to have your friends cheering you along and it means the world to me. Thank you. All the best with your detox and let me know when you try the smoothie. Cheers to good health.

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