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Secret Effects of Eating Kale, Says Science

The superfood is even more super than you thought.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

In the last decade or so, it seems as if the entire health-conscious world has erupted on a chorus of, "oh kale yeah."

Nutritionists and dietitians are sometimes split on foods—at very least, there's room for debate about whether any given in-vogue munchy is actually as healthy as the trends want to believe it is. But when it comes to kale, experts are untied. This superfood is brimming with health benefits, and the drawbacks are almost negligible — a couple of years ago there was some concern about people with overactive thyroids over-consuming the leafy green, but no major health warnings ever came from it.

With a lot of hype and virtually no downsides, you don't have to be an expert to know that kale is not even just good for you—it's great. The veggie is famous for its positive effects both on overall health and weight management. As avid kale fanatics, though, we got curious: what else is this slightly bitter leafy green doing for our bodies, beyond the obvious? Read on for five lesser-known ways kale is helping you out, and for even more tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

1

Kale can help you have a better hair day.

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Oranges get all the credit for vitamin C, but it turns out, kale actually packs a powerful punch too. In fact, a single cup of raw kale contains more vitamin C than an entire orange, as well as over 100% of the daily dosage recommended by some experts.

With the help of vitamin A, which kale also contains in droves, the leafy green may very well have the power to transform your hair. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron, which in turn encourages hair growth, while also contributing to collagen, which helps with hair structure, according to the journal Dermatology and Therapy. So, if you're looking to improve your 'do, kale could be a great go-to.

Along with kale, here are the 26 Best Foods for Hair Growth, According to Experts.

2

Kale can help you fight off the common cold.

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In the last couple of years, we've all become aware of the crucial benefits vitamin C can provide: namely, it is the number one vitamin credited with immune system support.

Unsurprisingly, because kale is so dense with vitamin C, the superfood salad base ranks pretty high among foods that help with warding off disease. Some research has found that vitamin C can even help prevent and treat cancer.

3

Kale can help your eyesight.

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When it comes to keeping your peepers in good shape, kale could be the unsung hero.

The vegetable contains a high amount of lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect your eyes by shielding them from damage by blue light, reducing the risk of cataracts, and, some studies show, even improve visual acuity, according to Nutrients. Plus, not to mention the benefits your eye health get from consuming vitamin A.

4

Kale can reduce blood clotting.

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The last decade's worth of kale propaganda is not unfounded: the leafy green is absolutely packed with nutrients. Beyond vitamin C, lutein, and zeaxanthin, kale also contains a high amount of the very fittingly named vitamin K.

Vitamin K is a crucial part of the process that allows proteins in your body to bind calcium and therefore prevent blood clots. This same benefit could lead to a reduced risk of heart disease, as well. Basically, for a healthy heart and a clean bloodstream, indulge in kale.

5

Kale improves bone health.

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The power of vitamin K does not end in your bloodstream, though. The nutrient has also been linked to healthy strong bones—studies have found that those who are deficient in vitamin K are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis and experiencing bone breakage, according to the Journal of Food Quality. With 499 micrograms of vitamin K in a single cup, a little bit of kale could go a long way in building healthier bones.

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Kaley Roberts
Kaley Roberts is a food writer. Read more
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