I’ve always loved kale. So green, hearty, and earthy, and my body always feels great afterwards. Turns out that there are so many properties in kale that has made it a sort of rock star amongst health food enthusiasts.
Like, what, you may ask?
- It has so many incredible antioxidant properties (namely that of carotenoids and flavonoids), that it’s been studied for its effects on cancer more than any other health condition.
- It is a top food source for at least four glucosinates, and have helped it become a food supplying cancer preventative properties, as well as helping during cancer treatment, itself.
- Kale is also high in Omega 3’s, Vitamin K, chlorophyll, calcium iron, and Vitamin A.
- It provides cardiovascular support by helping to lower cholesterol levels.
- It supports the body’s detoxification process, involving mainly kale’s glucosinates and sulfur content.
According to Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition by Paul Pitchford (excellent book on nutrition, by the way!), kale eases lung congestion, benefits the stomach, and its juice can be used to treat stomach and duodenal ulcers.
I have steamed it most often in the past, but, nowadays, find that I love to cook it (for only a few minutes) with coconut oil, particularly Tropical Traditions Gold Label Coconut Oil. I have memories of visiting family in the Philippines, with them cooking, using coconut oil. It has a particularly comforting smell, and gives the food a wonderful taste that is not heavy. It’s a “healthy” oil (even Dr. Oz recommended it on a recent show as one of the “healthy” oils to use!), that doesn’t include trans fats, is excellent for high temperature cooking, and is often used when trying to increase metabolism. It just doesn’t sit in your stomach, like others oils might.
It’s also used outside of cooking, as a skin and hair conditioner, among many other uses. In fact, my father would tell me how women in his village in the Philippines would condition their thick hair with coconut oil, and would recall how much he loved the smell wafting in their air!
So, tonight, I cooked some kale with Maitake Frondosa mushrooms. What the heck kind of mushroom is that? It’s not an often talked about mushroom. “Maitake” means “Dancing Mushroom” in Japanese. Don’t they look like they’re dancing? I just saw them in the grocery, thought they were a gorgeous variety I’ve never eaten before, and that’s how they mainly ended up on my table. Nope, no purposeful epiphany on its nutritional value based on its great meaning in life.
But, then I found out, that Maitake Frondosa mushrooms:
- Have often been used in Chinese Medicine to enhance the immune system.
- Researchers have found that it helps regulate blood pressure, glucose, insulin, both serum and liver lipids (such as cholesterol, triglycerides, and phospholipids), and may also be useful for weight loss.
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center even conducted a study that showed this particular mushroom could stimulate the immune system of breast cancer patients.
Well, then! I could always use some immune building and detoxification. That all said, I cooked the kale and mushrooms together for a brief time, with some coconut oil and garlic, until the kale got that lovely deep green. I used my cast iron skillet to get more iron into my diet.
I am not one to often create any culinary creations with a complex ingredient list, though I thoroughly enjoy dishes like that! Bobby Flay, I am not. But dishes don’t need to have a long ingredient list in order to make an impact on your health, or be delicious.
How can you include kale or mushrooms in your diet this week? Even if you don’t have Maitake Frondosa mushrooms readily available, regular white button, or shiitake, have similar immune building properties.
And don’t feel sheepish if you don’t have a complex cooking style. I certainly don’t!
Enjoy getting your detox on!
As An Aside…
Remember my previous post, “Springing Forward, Bamboo Style”, in which I invoked the bamboo imagery my father gave me, during one of his Yoda-like moments? Well, I told him about my post, and he decided to clarify his words. He emailed me soonafter (this is cut and pasted from his original email to me, and in case you’re wondering, “Mita” is my family’s nickname for me):
All information on this website is my own opinion, and not to be taken as medical advice. Reliance on any information provided on this website is solely at your own risk. Please refer to your medical practitioner before making any medical decisions.