Kale: your Superfood for Weight Loss

Kale is ideal for weight loss. It’s low in calories while keeping us full for a long time. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients that burn fat.

Kale is low in Calories

Above all, kale supports weight loss because it’s pretty low in calories. It has only 43 calories per 100g. A small 1-cup serving of kale has fewer than 10 calories![1]

Caloric deficit is key for losing weight. We should consume fewer calories than we burn. As vegetables and fruits are low in calories, they’re ideal for a diet for weight loss.

Kale has a huge satiating effect

Moreover, kale can keep us full for a long time. It has a great filling effect.

Kale is pretty rich in dietary fiber and protein. These macronutrients provide the greatest satiating effect. The water is satiating as well. Kale is almost 90% water. The regular consumption of kale soups could help you lose weight fast.[2]

Kale is pretty rich in fiber. It has 4.1 grams of fiber per 100g. Just a 1-cup serving provides 3% DV.

Kale has both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, turning into a gel. It slows down digestion and has satiating effects. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water. It absorbs water, making the stool softer, helping defecation.

High vegetable intake significantly increases fiber intake. Fiber helps us maintain a healthy body weight. It may improve insulin sensitivity, lower elevated LDL-cholesterol, and reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, as well as obesity![3,4]

Obese people tend to consume less fiber than the recommended daily intake.

Kale is among the richest vegetables in dietary fiber.

The role of Protein

Protein is known to be more satiating than carbs or fat. This means it keeps you feeling fuller for longer, potentially helping you reduce overall calorie intake and curb cravings throughout the day.

Protein helps preserve muscle, which is important for metabolism, as muscle tissue burns more calories at rest compared to fat. By preserving muscle and promoting satiety, protein can contribute to a healthier body composition with a higher ratio of muscle to fat.

Digesting and processing protein requires slightly more energy compared to carbs or fat. This can lead to a slight increase in your metabolic rate, helping you burn more calories throughout the day.

How much Protein is in Kale?

Kale is among the richest vegetables in protein. It contains 2.92 grams of protein per 100g.

As the most vegetables, kale lacks certain amino acids. It contains negligible amounts of lysine and leucine.[5]

Lysine is naturally found in beans, tofu, and peanuts. Common foods high in leucine are beans, tofu, and pumpkin seeds. Both amino acids are found abundant in all animal-based products.

So, we should add kale to our bean and legume recipes to “create” a high-quality, complete protein.

In contrast, kale is pretty rich in amino acids: glutamic acid, proline and aspartic acid.

Cooking negatively affects the protein content of kale. It destroys about 22% of the protein of fresh kale. Frozen kale contains less protein as well.

Vitamin C in kale promotes fat burn

Also, kale is a good source of vitamin C. It contains 93 mg of vitamin C per 100g. This dose is higher than the recommended daily intake!

Vitamin C supports weight loss. It helps the body burn belly fat and reduces waist circumference!

If you want to lose weight, you should consume many foods high in vitamin C.

Furthermore, vitamin C enhances iron absorption.

Iron supports Weight Loss

Iron is vital for muscle metabolism, healthy connective tissue, energy metabolism, cellular functioning, physical growth, neurological development, and the synthesis of some hormones, amino acids, and collagen.[6,7]

However, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide. It may lead to serious side effects, such as weakened immune function and fatigue.

Obesity is highly associated with iron deficiency. Losing weight can lead to improved iron status, due to increased iron absorption.[8]

Moreover, treatment of iron deficiency may help lose weight, and reduce waist circumference as well as Body Weight Index (BMI)![9]

Kale is among the richest vegetables in iron! It contains 1.6 mg of iron per 100g. A small 1-cup serving provides 0.3 mg of iron or almost 2% DV.

The iron of all plant-based foods has a low bioavailability. We absorb only 5-12% of iron from plants.

Vitamin C enhances iron absorption! Try to add some lemon juice to your kale recipes.

The cooking method doesn’t significantly affect the iron content of kale. Iron and other minerals aren’t destroyed during cooking. Heat doesn’t affect them. The loss is less than 10%.[10]

Steaming is one of the best cooking methods for preserving nutrients.

Also, you could use iron pots or iron pans to cook foods high in iron. Iron cookware can increase the iron content and bioavailability of food.[11,12,13]

You can find a wide variety of iron pots and other cookware on Amazon.

Calcium in kale helps lose weight

Obese people tend to consume less calcium than people who maintain a healthy body weight. Also, high calcium intake decreases the risk of obesity. Calcium is involved in insulin secretion, lipogenesis, and lipolysis! It plays a key role in maintaining normal blood glucose levels and burns fat.[14,15]

Kale is among the richest vegetables in calcium. It has 254 mg of calcium per 100g. Just a small 1-cup serving of kale has 52 mg of calcium or more than 5% DV.

Calcium in kale is highly bioavailable! Kale doesn’t contain certain compounds which bind to calcium, inhibiting its absorption. The bioavailability of kale is similar to that of milk! We absorb about 27% of the calcium of milk.

Cooking negatively affects the calcium content of kale. It can decrease its calcium content by up to 70%! Boiled kale contains only 150 mg of calcium per 100g.[16]

Try to steam or fry kale to limit calcium losses. Moreover, you better prefer eating kale soups to consume the nutrient-rich water. Also, avoid boiling vegetables for a long time. Exposure of kale to high temperatures for a long time leads to a significant reduction of the calcium content.[17]

Potassium supports weight loss

Furthermore, kale is a good dietary source of potassium. It contains 348 mg of potassium per 100g or 10% DV.

Following a diet high in potassium is good for weight loss! High potassium intake has been linked to a lower BMI, smaller waist circumference, and a lower risk of obesity.

Also, potassium is involved in fat metabolism and may improve insulin sensitivity!

Vitamin K burns fat

In addition, kale is pretty high in vitamin K. It contains 390 mcg of vitamin K per 100g. This dose is 3 times higher than the recommended daily intake!

High vitamin K intake supports weight loss. It’s involved in the burning of belly fat.[18]

Carotenoids & antioxidants in kale support weight loss!

Most noteworthy, kale is particularly high in carotenoids, polyphenols, and other compounds with potent antioxidant properties.

For instance, kale has 2,870 mcg of beta-carotene and 6,260 mcg of lutein/zeaxanthin per 100g!

High consumption of carotenoids has been linked to weight reduction, decreased waist circumference and BMI.[19]

Carotenoids contribute to the prevention and treatment of obesity. They help the body burn fat, fight inflammation, and prevent insulin resistance.[20,21]

Chlorophyll supports a healthy body weight

Furthermore, kale is one of the richest common foods in chlorophyll.

According to studies, people who follow a diet high in chlorophyll are rather unlikely to gain weight. Chlorophyll plays a key role in weight management.[22]

Chlorophyll may improve glucose tolerance, and reduce inflammation. Also, it has a beneficial effect on the gut microbiota, which plays a key role in gaining weight. In addition, foods high in chlorophyll have a great satiating effect.[23]

How much kale should I eat a day to lose weight?

We can eat high amounts of kale as well as other non-starchy vegetables. Even if we want to lose weight. Kale is a nutrient-dense food. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, with only a few calories.

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