Integrative Nutrition Blog

National Kale Day: Could Kale Be the Next Beef?

October 1, 2014

Today is our favorite day of the year: National Kale Day! First of all, how great that our country, despite all its health problems, has a designated day for the king of all leafy greens, right?

In Integrative Nutrition’s Health coach Training Program, kale holds an equally prominent place, with a special part of the curriculum devoted to it. One of the aspects we focus on is the surprising ways in which kale is actually a superb substitute for animal protein, something that most people don’t know.

So how does a bunch kale stack up against that slab of steak? Let’s take a look:

  • Sustainability: Livestock has an enormous carbon footprint, degrades land, and decreases biodiversity, while growing kale is cheaper and has none of these unintended consequences
  • Iron: Despite the old wives’ tale telling us otherwise, you don’t need to get iron from animal protein. Per calorie, kale actually has more iron than beef (for a 100-calorie serving, 3.2mg vs 0.9mg, respectively).
  • Healthy Fats: Though fish are often touted as the best source of omega fatty acids, a serving of kale contains 121 mg of omega-3’s and 92 mg of omega-6’s!
  • Other Nutrients: When it comes to vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, animal proteins don’t stand a chance against this superfood. Kale brings all the star nutritional players to the table (literally): vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, zinc, potassium, selenium, folate, lutein, and more!

This great infographic gives you a clear breakdown of all that kale can do for you. Pin it to your healthy inspiration Pinterest board to share the kale love with your followers!

What kale recipe will you whip up to celebrate National Kale Day? Tell us in the comments section below!

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