Kick off your new year with kale

Tips for picking nutritious kale and making it a regular part of your diet.

2017 is here! Many of you may be making eating healthy one of your new year’s resolutions. A lot of people know that fruits and vegetables provide ample health benefits but somehow it can still be difficult to regularly incorporate them into our diet. Leafy greens like kale have become a trendy ingredient that has shown up in various recipes.

In addition to its hearty flavor, kale is packed with nutrients like vitamin A, C, and K and full of minerals such as calcium and potassium. The fiber in kale can help keep your bowel movements regular. Kale also contains antioxidants that help prevent cell damage, which may also have a protective effect against cancer. Kale has very high nutrient density, which means you get a lot of nutrients relative to a number of calories you consume. Kale is also filling but you don’t need to eat a lot to benefit from its nutrition. Consuming one cup of kale, you will get more than 20 percent of the daily-recommended amount of vitamin A and C.

To select kale, look for dark colored, small to medium-sized leaves. You can store kale in a plastic bag in the coldest part of the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Michigan State University Extension recommends two delicious recipes below for you to try, Baked kale chips and Kale salad with apples and cheddar.

When cooking, be mindful of the amount of salt and sugar that you add to your meal. MSU Extension offers various educational programs for adults, families, and children that focus on lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating and food safety.

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