Many might ask why is kale leaves such a superhit? Kale might be one of the healthiest veggies available in the market. But the fact is that it has taken a while for this oral health superfood to make its way from an unknown food fad to what is now one of the most popular leafy greens in supermarkets today.
Not only is this fibrous, enzyme-rich, curly green leafy veggie jam-packed full of nutrition, but it is also incredibly delicious. But do you want to know the best thing about kale leaves? It is an absolute super-hero when it comes to your oral health.
Here we take a look at why kale leaves are the must-have oral health superfood. There are many, many benefits to kale leaves beyond oral benefits that we have covered here. But our goal is not to write an exhaustive study but rather to inspire you to add kale leaves to your daily diet.
Kale Leaves – Packed Full of Fiber
As you must be aware, fiber is very important for your digestive health. Primarily because fibrous food regulates your bowel movements.
But more importantly, fibers help manage your blood sugar levels. Almost 10% of the population have diabetes, so controlling blood sugar is becoming of increasing importance.
You might be thinking about what diabetes has to do with oral health. You are right. The higher your blood sugar, the less saliva you will produce. Your teeth and gums rely solely on the nutrients in your saliva to remineralizer dentin and tooth enamel. Saliva plays a crucial role in fighting decay and gum infection.
Saliva also helps neutralize your mouth acids. So it is important to have a continuous flow of saliva to keep flushing away those excess sugars and toxins from your mouth. As your blood sugar levels climb, so does the likelihood of inflammation and periodontal disease.
In addition, as your blood sugar rises, so does your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. This is because there is a direct connection. Not only does fiber slow down the intake of sugar absorption, but it also has the added advantage of making you feel fuller for longer.
Feeling full means that you can skip that sneaky sugar spike that leaves you feeling hungry for more sugar and carbs soon after a meal. Read our article about the connection between diabetes symptoms and oral health for more information on this topic.
Kale Leaves – Brimming with Teeth and Gum-loving Nutrients
Kale leaves – this oral health superfood is perhaps one of the most nutritious foods you can eat, and here is why.
1 It is a mineral master
The leaves of the kale plant are loaded with macro-minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. It is also rich in trace minerals like copper, manganese, selenium, and iron. All these minerals promote healthy body function and body repair. In addition, these minerals also act as the key ingredient to preventative dental medicine.
2 It is one of the best sources of vitamin K
This lesser-known nutrient plays a vital role in helping to build a healthy, strong bone structure. Vitamin K does this by working together with vitamin D to help calcium reach your bones. This vitamin is also known as the blood-clotting vitamin, as vitamin K helps your blood clot so that your body can heal wounds on your body.
3 Kale leaves are rich in many more gum-healing vitamins
Kale leaves are rich in vitamin A also known as beta carotene. These leaves are rich in vitamin C, which are both very important vitamins for your gum health.
Vitamin A helps your body to absorb calcium and also helps promote saliva production. Vitamin C, as you might know, is arguably an essential vitamin for healthy gums. This vitamin C is absolutely key to the processes of cell growth, healing, and repair of your tissues.
Do you know that these high vitamin C and vitamin A content kale leaves can work wonders for your skin, hair, and nails? In addition, kale is packed full of B-vitamins such as B6, niacin, and B1. All of these are known for their excellent anti-inflammatory properties.
4 Kale leaf is the king of antioxidants
Kale leaves have many powerful antioxidants like kaempferol and quercetin, which help fight oxidative damage and free radicals in your body. They have powerful heart-protective, anti-inflammatory, blood pressure-lowering, anti-viral, antidepressant, and anti-cancer effects, just a few of them.
5 It is loaded with essential fatty acids
Kale contains an essential Omega-3 fatty acid, Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA), which your body cannot produce on its own. ALA helps your body break down carbohydrates to make energy required for other parts of your body.
Benefits of fatty acids range from improved skin, lowered blood pressure, heart health, increased insulin activity, reduced inflammation, and protection against cancer.
Kale Leaves Contains More Calcium Than Milk and More Vitamin C Than An Orange
As you know, calcium and vitamin C are vital for your tooth and gum health. So ensure that you go down to the grocery store today and grab yourself a great big bunch of these fresh kale leaves and green vegetables.
You might like to make a delicious, super green smoothie, a yummy salad, or give it light steam with some olive oil – the choice is yours.
It is considered one of the most nutritious foods on this planet. It would be very foolish of you not to include this oral health superfood into your daily diet. And you can rest assured that your body will definitely thank you for having it.
Do you know what fruits and veggies have more vitamin C than an orange? You would be surprised to learn that Vitamin C is essential for so many of your bodily processes. The vitamin plays a significant role in cell renewal, cell development, and repair of all body tissues.
It is a vitamin you cannot live without. While you eat Vitamin C-rich food, it is absorbed directly by your gum tissue, giving help right where it is needed.
Kale Leaves A Must-Have for Good Oral Health
Surprisingly no list of superfoods to promote healthy teeth would be complete without a mention of leafy veggies. Kale has fiber, calcium, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin K, copper, potassium, vitamin C, and the list could go on.
The fat-soluble vitamins, such as K and A, help your body utilize the calcium available in your food. Calcium is the basic ingredient that builds strong teeth and bones.
Phosphorus also encourages the remineralization of teeth. This mineral is abundantly available in kale leaves. Vitamin C might help zap bacteria in your mouth that can lead to gingivitis. In addition, Vitamin C can stimulate a healthy supply of collagen in the gum tissue.
Kale Leaves Good for Heart Health
Regular intake of kale leaves can improve cholesterol and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. With millions of adults taking anti-cholesterol medications, it might be interesting to find natural ways to combat high cholesterol.
Hence kale is definitely a player in that game. For example, a drug called Cholestyramine tackles cholesterol by a binding process that rounds up your blood cholesterol. In the end, it removes it from circulation. In scientific studies, kale leaves have been shown to operate in the same way as this drug.
Kale leaves are 30 to 40% as effective as Cholestyramine. So, if you are concerned, try some steamed kale in your diet for improved heart health.
How to Serve Kale Leaves?
Make a smoothie. This recipe is probably the easiest way. Grab a handful or two of kale and toss them in a blender with some berries, almond milk, a touch of stevia, and some other greens. Or whatever else strikes your fancy.
Make a salad? You can chop up some kale and mix it in with other greens to prepare a salad. Some kale varieties can be a bit tough or even a bit bitter. You can best handle it by chopping it into finer pieces to help the kale leaves blend better and become easier to chew. Else you can chop it up into fine pieces and toss it in with the fruit, some pine nuts, and a few raisins for a super yummy salad.
Lightly steaming kale leaves can increase their nutritional value and make them tastier to eat. You can also add olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, a bit of fresh lemon, and perhaps a few red pepper flakes, and the dish is good to go. Or you can try steaming, scramble with a few pieces of bacon, and top with avocado and eggs for a healthy breakfast to your day.
Need healthy snack food? Kale leaves can also work. Toss the kale in avocado or olive oil with some added salt. Next, spread the kale onto a baking tray and bake in the oven till they are dry and crispy. Enjoy homemade kale chips.
Including kale leaves in your diet is very simple. Just find places to include them in your diet. Aim for a cup or two a day. Your body will thank you for it.
Remember, what is good for your gums and teeth is also good for you.