By TERRY SMALL
Kale is good medicine for your brain. It is nutrient-dense and can help keep your brain (and body) running well.
A cup of raw kale has only 33 calories and zero grammes of fat. Moreover, consider these facts about the humble vegetable:
- amps up your detox power (bioactive compound called sulfurophane helps this)
- promotes longer life (natural compound kaempferol aids this)
- improves your overall sense of optimism (natural pigment carotenoids help this)
- is packed with antioxidants
- is a great source of omega-3 to support the fat in your brain
- is low in carbs, so there is no spike in blood sugar
- reduces inflammation (inflammation is a brain killer)
- is packed with Vitamins A, C and K
- has a fair bit of protein
- is a good source of minerals such as copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus
- lowers bad cholesterol
All this adds up to kale being a superstar food for your brain.
“A person too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.” – Spanish proverb
So, try to eat more kale. A cup of “brain summer smoothie” might be a good place to start.
Brain summer smoothie recipe
1 Get a good blender and put in a little water.
2 Add organic apple or pear (or a bit of both) – leave skin on but remove seeds.
3 Half a banana and add one pitted date.
4 Add a handful of kale (other leafy greens work too) – a good ratio is 40% greens and 60% fruit
5 Add more water, if necessary.
6 To up it even more, add a bit of avocado and kelp powder.
7 Blend until smooth.
Expect a surge of energy and brain focus. These foods contain the amino acids tyrosine and tryptophan.
The combination of leafy greens and fruits boost dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine boosts your attention and memory whilst serotonin improves your mood and learning, and curbs appetite.
You can also use kale to:
- act as a ‘bed’ for chicken or fish
- add to your pasta
- add to your salad
- make kale chips