Kale is the rage and is beginning to appear in farmer's markets, but its main
season and sweeter leaves are in mid-winter to early spring, a U.S. expert says.
"Kale is a cruciferous, green leafy vegetable with several varieties: curly
kale, ornamental kale and dinosaur kale, and all differ in taste, texture and
appearance, but its popularity keeps it plentiful in produce sections, in the
center aisles as kale chips and prepared foods section as a salad," Phil
Lempert, a food industry analyst, trend watcher and creator of
supermarketguru.com, said in a statement.
"Kale is high in fiber; antioxidants; carotenoids such as lutein, good for eye
health; 45 flavonoids; phytonutrients such as quercetin, which combats
inflammation; and sulforaphane, which fights cancer."
It also acts as an anti-inflammatory and has twice the vitamin K as other
cruciferous vegetables. Kale also contains tryptophan, calcium, magnesium,
potassium, iron and protein, Lempert said.
"In fact fresh kale has more vitamin C than an orange," Lempert said.
In addition, kale contains alpha-linoleic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that
combats inflammation and a 1 cup serving of kale contains more than 200 percent
of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene.
"Look for firm, evenly colored, unwilted leaves -- yellow edges indicate age --
and moist hardy stems," Lempert said. "Avoid leaves with brown spots or small