Growing up in a Portuguese household, a staple and traditional soup known as “Soupas Caldine” AKA kale soup was a frequent meal served in our home. I’ll admit I was not always an enthusiastic fan, but thought it was just ok. I had no idea of how healthy this curly green vegetable was or of its powerhouse of attributes until I developed breast cancer. Now, my mom makes this for me often and I love it. To make it healthy, she does have to leave out the traditional “chourico” and substitute free range chicken, but otherwise the recipe is authentic.
When I began to research cancer fighting foods, kale was always at the very top of every list. Why? Here’s a list why.
1. Kale boasts two of the most powerful antioxidants, carotenoids and flavonoids. These aid in eliminating free radicals and help fight against cancer. Kale is also high in fiber.
2. Kale is packed with vitamins A, K and C – all immune boosting superstars,
3. Kale is rich in lutein, which is great for preventing coronary artery disease and keeping your heart healthy.
4. Kale and other members of the cabbage family prevent cancer cell growth. The organic sulfur that’s found in vegetables in the Brassica genus (like Broccoli) contain compounds called isothiocyanates. These enzymes help destroy cancer cells and help block any further growth.
5. Kale fights inflammation.
Not only is it a powerful cancer-fighter, if you suffer from chronic illnesses like arthritis, kale is something that you need to incorporate in your diet. Kale aids in reducing inflammation caused by the over-consumption of processed meats and, considering that it has more iron than beef, it is nutritionally a better option.
So for cancer prevention, there is no better choice than kale. Recently, I have found many local grocery stores are stocking organic “baby kale”. If you don’t like the taste of the more common, large leaf kale, this may be a good alternative to try. I add it to spinach salad and it blends in quite nicely. I also stir-fry it with olive oil and garlic as a vegetable side dish.