Kale: All you need to know about this superfood


Nutritional data per one cup of cooked kale (118g)

KALE calorias
kale vitamin a
kale vitamin c
kale fiber
kale vitamina k
kale calcium

Source: United States Department of Agriculture

Nutritional data per one cup of cooked kale (118g)


Source: United States Department of Agriculture

Kale is an incredibly nutrient-dense leafy green vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. . Kale might not look like much on the outside but it has some impressive benefits to offer. It's high in vitamins A, C, and K as well as iron, calcium, beta-carotene, and fiber. In this guide we'll explore what kale is all about: from its benefits to different uses and recipes for it!

  • What is kale?
  • Properties and Benefits of Kale
  • Kale recipes

What is kale?


La kale, también conocida como “borocole” o col rizada, es una verdura de hoja verde. Su aspecto es muy similar al de las espinacas y comparte muchas de sus propiedades, aunque la kale tiene un mayor aporte de vitaminas. De hecho, es una de las verduras más nutritivas que puedes encontrar en el supermercado y hay muchas maneras de añadirlo a tu dieta.

Nutritional data per 100g of cooked kale

CaloriesCarbohydratesSugarsFats FibreProtein
Source: United States Department of Agriculture

Beneftis of kale

It's very low in calories

At only 43kcal per 118g (one cup) of cooked kale, kale is a great addition to any meal if you're trying to lose weight [1]. It’s quite a bulky vegetable and because of its high fibre and water content, will help you feel fuller for longer.

One serving of kale also contains approximately 10% of our recommended daily intake of magnesium. Magnesium helps our bodies regulate our stress hormone – cortisol. High levels of cortisol can negatively affect our metabolism and cause excess fat around our middle [2].

It's packed full of vitamins

Known for its high levels of vitamin C, A & K, and manganese, this leafy green packs a seriously healthy punch. It’s also a very good source of vitamin B6, fibre, potassium, and copper.

In a cup serving of kale there is:

Vitamina C | 28% IDR (M) <> 23% IDR (H)

Vitamin C is renowned for its immune-boosting properties, helping us fight off colds and other illnesses. It also's been associated with a greater production of collagen and younger-looking skin [3Recommended daily intake of Vitamin C for women is 75mg, while for adult men it’s 90mg [4].

One cup of kale (cooked) contains 21mg of vitamin C [5].

Vitamina A | 25% IDR (M) <> 19% IDR (H)

Vitamin A is important for eye health, the immune system, and reproduction. It also helps organs like your heart, lungs and kidneys function properly [6]. Recommended daily intake of Vitamin A for women is 700mcg, while for adult men it’s 900mcg [7]. One cup of kale (cooked) contains 172mcg of vitamin A [8].

Vitamin K | 400%+ DRI (Women and Men)

Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and bone health. The recommended daily amount for women over 19 years of age is about 90mcg and for men about 120mcg [9Kale contains a very elevated level of this vitamin - around 493mcg per cup [10].

According to WEBMD, an excess of vitamin K can pose a health risk for certain people, such as those taking anticoagulants, as many medications can interfere with the effects of vitamin K [11].

Calcium | 12% DRI (Women and Men)

One portion of kale contains approximately 117mg of calcium [12]. Calcium, as we know, is very important for the strength of bones and teeth, and also contributes to many other important functions of the organism [13]. The DRI of calcium is variable according to age and sex. For adults between 19 and 50 it's approximately 1000mg and for women over 50 it's 1200mg daily [14].


Kale also has a high amount of antioxidants, like the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which studies show can help protect us against lung and mouth cancers.15].

It's great for your skin

kale piel sana

Kale has been shown to be great for skin care since it contains an abundance of antioxidants which help reduce lines and wrinkles while rejuvenating dull or aging skin [16].

Its high vitamin A content supports the production of healthy sebum, which moisturizes the skin and prevents dryness and flaking. Its high levels of vitamin C help collagen synthesis and counteract free radical damage, which contributes to premature aging [17].

It's good for your digestion

Thanks to its high water and fibre content, la kale o “col rizada” nos ayuda a optimizar nuestra salud digestiva, aliviando el estreñimiento y manteniéndonos regulares. La ingesta diaria recomendada de fibra es de 25 gramos al día para las mujeres y 38 gramos al día para los hombres [18. One serving of kale contains approximately 4.72g of fibre, providing about 18% of the daily intake for women and 12.5% for men [19].

Kale recipes

Kale is such a versatile vegetable that can be used in so many different ways! It's chock full of vitamins and nutrients to keep you healthy and it tastes delicious raw or cooked. You can add it to any stir fry, just as you would spinach, to soups and in salads for a healthy kick.

Here's a few easy kale recipes that¡ll take you less than 15 minutes to prepare.

1. Spicy kale pesto

Making kale pesto is ridiculously simple - and delicious!

What you'll need
  • Kale (just the leaves)
  • Pine nuts
  • Parmesan
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Chillis (Birds eye chillis are great or habaneros if you want to add a bit of a smokey flavour)
How to prepare it

Put the pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, olive oil, kale, lemon juice and chilli (if you're using it) in a food processor and whizz to a paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Stir it through some hot tagliatelle or linguini, top it with some extra cheese and enjoy!

2. Kale chips

Kale chips are a delicious, healthy snack and ridiculously simple to make!

What you'll need
  • Kale
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Spices (including salt and pepper)
How to prepare it

First preheat oven to 180 degrees (C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy cleanup. Spread kale out on the pan then drizzle kale lightly with olive oil and sea salt. Bake the kale for about 15 minutes or until it's is crispy and slightly browned around the edges.

Optional: add a clove of garlic to kale while it's cooking! After kale chips are done, mix with your favorite seasoning and voilá!

3. Kale stir-fry

You can pretty much add kale to any stir-fry for some additional nutrients, and use it in the same way as you would spinach.

What you'll need
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli or cauliflower
  • Spring onion
  • Olive oil or sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
How to prepare it

First preheat a large wok or skillet to medium high heat and add kale when it's hot. Stir fry kale for about 30 seconds before adding carrots then stir-fry the kale and carrots together until kale is wilted - usually about five minutes.

After that add in your broccoli or cauliflower then stir-fry everything together for an additional five minutes.

Add soy sauce to kale mixture, mix it all up well, cover with a lid until kale is cooked through - usually about one minute. Serve kale stir-fry over rice, quinoa or noodles.


Caty is a blogger and ISSA-certified personal trainer. She loves writing about health and nutrition.

More articles you might like

8 benefits of drinking almond milk



13 benefits of quinoa - a nutritional wonder


healthy pizza

How to make a healthy pizza: Ingredients & recipes


Disclaimer:  Consult your doctor or other medical professional before beginning any new exercise regime to see if it is appropriate for your needs. This site offers health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with your doctor or other health-care professional. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have read on this site. See the full disclaimer.

Leave a Comment