Kale, a member of the leafy green family, has been growing popular.

A few years ago a good friend of mine was enjoying a kale salad and gave me a sample. To be honest, I wasn’t a fan. It wasn’t until I discovered that you could prepare it in different ways that kale sparked my interest. 

Recent studies have shown that this plant is rich in antioxidants, fiber and protein -- and it is quite tasty. 

The amount of phytochemicals aids our bodies in detoxing, which helps protect us from disease. I began to add it to my favorite recipes and soon enough I became a kale super fan. I love to cook and eat healthy, so since kale has so many great qualities, it became a vital part of my diet and a key ingredient in my cooking. 

There are several types of kale stemming from Green kale, Dinosaur kale, to Red kale that are all equally  nutritious. Here are five reasons why you should incorporate kale in your daily diet:

1. Antioxidant: Kale has two of the most powerful superstar antioxidants, carotenoinds and flavonoids. These aid in expelling radicals and helps fight against cancer. Its fiber density will also keep you from overeating as it keeps your belly feeling full.

2. Vitamins: It's rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin C -- who doesn’t want better skin and healthier bones? These immunity-boosting vitamins provide all the tissue-building properties to keep your skin and bones strong.

3. Heart-healthy: Kale has lutein, which research shows helps prevent atherosclerosis. It helps smooth the flow of blood to the body, keeping your heart strong and healthy.

4. Fights Cancer: Research has found that kale aids in blocking cancer cell growth. The organic sulfur that is found in vegetables in the Brassica genus (like Broccoli) contains compounds are broken down into potent anticancer compounds called isothiocyanates. These enzymes help destroy cancer cells and help block any further growth.

5. Anti-Inflammatory: 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.

Kale is definitely a powerhouse nutrient. It is fat-free, low-calorie and full of fiber -- a great choice for people who are trying to be health-conscious. The next time you’re at the grocery store, consider grabbing a batch and adding it to your meals. With all the benefits, you may find you have a favorite new vegetable. To get the most benefit out of this leafy green, but it locally grown or organic.

Rosie Acosta is a sunny California native of Mexican heritage, she writes about her passion for Yoga and Mexican Food. She transforms her grandmother's hearty recipes into organic healthy alternatives for a healthier lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter: @RosieAcosta FB: facebook.com/organicmexicangirl and visit her website organicmexicangirl.com

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