One of the most important things you can do for your body is to eat healthy. This includes eating a diet rich in leafy vegetables, like kale. But what does it mean when someone says that kale is good for your brain? Is it just because it has lots of vitamins and nutrients? Find out more about how kale benefits your brain by reading this article!
What is kale?
Kale is an ancient plant, but it has only recently become popular in the Western world. Kale can be eaten raw or cooked and provides a healthy dose of vitamins A, C, E, and K as well as omega-three fatty acids. It’s also been shown to have many benefits for your brain!
There are about 90 different varieties of kale that range from dark green to bright red depending on how much light they get during the growing time. The two most common types you’ll see at the grocery store include curly leafed kales such as Red Russian and Curly Green Malabar which tend to tastes sweeter when compared their flat leaved counterparts like Lacinato or Dinosaur (Lacinato). But no matter the type, all kale is high in fiber and rich with antioxidants.
How does Kale Improve Your Brain Function?
What does kale do for your brain? We all know that some leafy greens are good for the body, but what about the brain and how it functions? Kale has a lot to offer in terms of cognitive benefits including helping with memory retention, boosting moods as well as improving our overall mental health!
All this is done by providing necessary nutrients such as vitamin C which helps improve levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine- both having a positive effect on mood. It also provides important antioxidants such as carotenoids which include lutein and zeaxanthin (which protect against age-related chronic inflammation).
This may be due to the fact that kale contains high levels of lutein which is known for its antioxidant properties and has been shown in some studies to have a positive correlation with better cognitive health and performance.
Kale’s health benefits for the brain
Kale is rich in brain-nurturing compounds
A cup of raw kale contains the following:
– Vitamin C (provides more neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine)
– Lutein (protects against chronic inflammation)
– Chlorophyll: the green pigment in plants that is believed to help improve blood flow and oxygenation which can then lead to better brain health.
– Carotenoids including lutein and zeaxanthin (work together to protect the brain from neurodegenerative diseases. One study found that people with higher levels of lutein in their retina experienced less cognitive decline over a six year period.)
Kale also provides you with ample amounts of omega-three fatty acids which are vital for optimal brain function because they provide your cells, tissues, organs, hormones and nervous system with energy. Kale is an excellent source of vitamin E due to its antioxidant properties so it can help fight off free radicals known to cause cognitive decline.
Kale also contains a huge amount of nutrients such as magnesium, folate, and vitamin B which are all vital for the brain’s health in many ways.
Vitamin B helps improve memory by preventing age-related conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia because it improves nerve cell growth and connections between cells within the brain. It may even be beneficial in improving levels of our neurotransmitter serotonin which can help ward off anxiety and mood disorders!
Kale can help prevent chronic brain inflammation
Chronic inflammation in the body has been linked to cognitive decline. What’s more, when looking at studies on animals fed different diets for three months or less, scientists found that those who were given increased amounts of leafy greens had slower rates of cognitive aging than those not consuming leafy green vegetables.
Kale provides a variety of anti-inflammatory antioxidants, and it has the highest levels of lutein. Lutein is a carotenoid that helps protect against oxidative stress by being able to trap free radicals before they cause damage to your cells.
Antioxidants work to reduce the inflammation in the brain, which may make leafy greens a good choice for those with cognitive decline. In addition, it has been found that a diet with leafy green vegetables may help to preserve brain function and cognitive development.
While some studies have shown links between antioxidants in kale and inhibiting the inflammatory process, others show that it doesn’t do much for mitigating inflammation. What this means is unclear, but you should definitely eat your greens because of their other benefits on neurological health!
Protects Against Brain Cell Damage
Research has found that a diet containing foods with carotenoids (such as those found in dark green leafy vegetables) can protect against damage to neurons or brain cells due to their ability to quench oxidative stress within these cells. This is why it’s important for people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease – where there are many cases of cell death-to reduce consumption of processed food since they often have lower concentrations of antioxidants like vitamin C and E.
Improves Cognitive Function
Lutein not only protects against damage to brain cells but also has a positive effect on cognitive function. One study found that people with higher levels of lutein in their blood had increased neural efficiency and improved processing speed for visual information. This is because carotenoids like lutein help by providing antioxidants that protect nerve cells from oxidative stress due to free radicals – eventually leading to an improvement in memory recall or concentration span.
Reduces Cognitive Decline And Disorders
Another study performed by the University of Illinois found that consumption of leafy vegetables like kale may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia while lowering rates of cognitive decline across aging adults. This is because these types of veggies are rich in nutrients such as vitamin E which help improve circulation to the brain and have been shown to reduce inflammation.
Improves Well-Being and Balance
The mineral magnesium found in leafy veggies like kale also helps with balancing out moods by regulating stress hormones, which can help improve sleep as well. It’s worth noting that while magnesium is most abundant in dark green vegetables such as spinach, the nutrient is actually present in all types of produce including lettuces and carrots. Kale has been found in research studies to boost moods, relieve anxiety, and even improve nervous system function.
Improve Memory Recall And Concentration Span
Brain cells need certain nutrients for optimal function – like choline (found naturally occurring in eggs) or omega-three fatty acids (such as those found on raw fish). Studies have pointed to a link between dietary intakes for these two nutrients and cognitive health outcomes because they are thought to promote memory recall, concentration span, and overall cognitive performance.
What is the healthiest way to eat kale?
The best way to get the most nutrients out of kale is by eating it raw. Raw, unprocessed foods are best for your health because they have all natural ingredients and lack any additives or preservatives. In addition, raw kale is much easier to digest than cooked or processed foods. If you are someone who does not like to eat raw vegetables, you can find more ways of preparing kale such as cooking it with olive oil and salt or using a dehydrator.
When cooking, it’s important not to overcook the food because this can make it harder for your body to break down all of the nutrients stored in the food and absorb them into your system. In addition, with every second that you cook a vegetable – like kale – you’re losing up to 20% of its vitamin C content as well as other essential vitamins such as A and E. So what does this mean? If you eat vegetables more often without overheating them, then your health will be better off as these micronutrients are necessary for optimal brain function!
If you’re looking for healthy, nutrient-rich food that can help your brain function better and protect it from degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia, then look no further than kale. Kale is rich in antioxidants and nutrients that are essential to the health of our brains. Eating more fresh vegetables like kale may be one way to safeguard yourself against these debilitating conditions. We hope this blog post has helped you make an informed decision about whether or not eating more fruits and veggies will benefit your life!