Health Benefits of Sea Kale
Some of the health benefits of sea kale include its ability to regulate hormonal activity in the body, boost the immune system, prevent scurvy, boost the metabolism, help with weight gain, maintain the health and functionality of the kidneys, and improve digestive processes.
Sea Kale is a plant that is often overlooked because its land-based sibling, kale, often gets a lot more attention. Kale is one of the more popular up and coming figures in the vegetable world, but sea kale is also an important and beneficial element of human health that has been cultivated for thousands of years. The scientific name is Crambe maritima and it grows wild around the coasts of Europe, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea.
Historically, sea kale was used by the Greeks and was widely cultivated since the 16th century. It is a small shrub that grows well in very salty soil, and the young fleshy white roots are harvested. The leaves are also used as salad greens in many cultures. Sea kale should be consumed quickly after harvesting, but the heart of the plant should not be damaged, as it can live for a number of years and continually produce vegetative fruit.
The sprouts are widely used in the same way as asparagus in terms of culinary preparation, and they can also be eaten raw with a light vinaigrette. They can also be baked and eaten as a side dish. The wide availability of sea kale has made it popular throughout history, but the health benefits associated with its mineral and organic compound content makes it a boon for people who want to add an unusual sea vegetable to their diet.
Nutritional Value of Sea Kale
Sea kale has not been widely studied, but some of its nutrients are well-known. Due to the unusual locations where it grows, sea kale can provide a unique mineral profile to a human diet, including iodine, sulphur, vitamin C, and trace mineral compounds.
Health Benefits of Sea Kale
Digestive Health: Like other members of the Brassicaceae family, sea kale contains a high content of dietary fiber, making it very beneficial for digestion. Fiber helps to bulk up stool and move it through the digestive tract, thereby eliminating common issues such as constipation, bloating, cramping, excess gas, and even diarrhea. By promoting a healthy digestive system, sea kale can help to prevent various gastrointestinal diseases, including colon cancer.
Diuretic Properties: The mineral content of sea kale, as well as its metabolism-stimulating properties, provide this interesting vegetable with certain diuretic properties, which means that it stimulates urination. This promotes the flushing of toxins from the body, because the kidneys are able to work at a more functional level. This also helps to rid the body of excess salts, water, and fat, since urine is composed of approximately 4% fat.
Immune System Health: Sea kale is found to have a very high level of vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is one of the most essential vitamins in the human body and can stimulate the immune system to increase its production of white blood cells. Therefore, sea kale can optimize your immune system and help you defend against everything from the common cold to the preventing of cancer, thanks to the antioxidant activities of vitamin C.
Hormone Regulation: Iodine is one of the most undervalued, yet essential, minerals for human health. Without iodine, the thyroid gland would be unable to produce a number of its hormones, including thyroid. By actively regulating the endocrine system with a healthy level of iodine, sea kale can keep your body running smoothly and ensuring that all of your hormonal processes stay balanced. This also helps to boost your metabolism, thereby avoiding excess weight gain, fatigue, and organ system malfunctions.
Weight Gain: Although most health-conscious adults worry about losing weight, there are plenty of people who need to gain weight fast. The very high levels of carbohydrates (comparable to potatoes) means that sea kale can help you put on weight fast, particularly after excessive exercise, illness, or recovery from an injury/surgery.
A Final Word of Caution: There are no known dangers to this plant, although be careful to only store blanched leaves for extended periods of time, as the stalks do not stay fresh for very long. They should be harvested and consumed relatively quickly. Other than that, enjoy this new addition to your dietary vegetable profile!