Kale has been termed as a superfood since time immemorial now, it seems, especially because of its cancer-fighting properties and fiber-related components that bind together bile tracts in the digestive system. Kale has seemingly endless quantities of vitamins and minerals per calorie—but compared to the 47 superfoods, kale ranks fifteenth on the list.
According to Sara Haas, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, kale is full of good stuff. It also low in carbohydrates and protein and is virtually fat-free. It doesn’t provide the fuel your body needs to function, so it’s not a perfect food. Other foods, such as beans and lentils, quinoa, chia seeds, and nuts also deserve our attention.
According to the International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation, consumers are taking more steps to improve their diets. Eighty-six percent of Americans are interested in learning more about foods that offer health benefits beyond basic nutrition, known as functional foods. As well as consumers taking more of an interest in healthy eating, the rise in superfoods is spurred on by the desire to try new flavors. We list a few superfoods that will even make you forget about the supposed king of the leafy greens, kale:
Coconut oil can help your body fight viruses and bacteria that can cause illness. It can also boost thyroid function, help with blood sugar control, aid digestion, lower cholesterol, and keep weight balanced. The oil works in baked goods and with vegetables, pairing well with bitter greens like spinach, or you can use it as part of an onion or garlic sauté or add it to oatmeal. The key is to focus on exceptionally small quantities. Too much will negate any benefits.
Mustard greens are also fast becoming a rage. These spicy greens are rich in vitamin K, in which most Americans are deficient, and are good for your blood and bone strength. They are also rich in natural substances called sulforaphanes and help the body get rid of bile acid in our gut. Bile acids are used by the body to produce cholesterol, so less bile acid results in lower cholesterol level.
A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition Research compared the effectiveness of the prescription drug Cholestyramine to steamed collard, with a nutrition score of 62.4. Incredibly, collards improve the body’s cholesterol-blocking process 13-percent more effectively than the drug does. Just be careful not to serve them with a greasy piece of ham.
A study in the Journal of Flavor showed that participants ate significantly less of a dish that smelled strongly of spice than a mildly scented version of the same food. Adding herbs, like parsley, creates the sensory illusion that you are indulging in something rich without adding any fat or calories to your plate.
So these are some of the superfoods that are better than kale. Not to say that kale isn’t good, but these are more nutritious and offer more health benefits.