Kale is green leafy vegetable in the Brassica family, which includes Brussels sprouts, collards and cabbage. Kale was brought to the United States by English settlers in the seventeenth century. Kale should be purchased when it has deeply colored leaves and hardy stems. The peak season for kale is the middle of winter to the beginning of spring, although it is available throughout the year.
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Nutritional values are based on a one-cup serving of raw kale.
One cup of kale contains 34 calories, 6.7 grams of total carbohydrates and 1.3 grams of dietary fiber. Based on a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet, these measurements represent 2 percent of the recommended daily value, or DV, used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for carbohydrates and 5 percent for dietary fiber. Kale also provides 2.2 grams of protein.
Calories in one cup of raw kale total 34, or 2 percent DV. Carbohydrates account for 24.2 calories. Protein makes up 5.4 calories and the remaining calories come from fat.
The total fat content is 0.5 grams. One cup provides 0.1 grams of saturated fat and 0.2 grams of polyunsaturated fats. Heart-healthy fatty acids total 121 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids and 92.4 milligrams of omega-6s.
Kale is an excellent source of vitamins. Just one cup contains 547mcg of Vitamin K, or 684 percent DV, 10,302 International Units of vitamin A, or 206 percent DV. It also contains 0.2 milligrams of vitamin B6, or 9 percent DV, 19.4 micrograms of folate, or 5 percent DV, 0.1 milligrams of thiamin, or 5 percent DV and 0.1 milligrams of riboflavin, or 5 percent DV. Other vitamins in kale include niacin and pantothenic acid.
Kale is a rich source of manganese, with 0.5 milligrams, or 26 percent DV; copper, with 0.2 milligrams, or 10 percent DV; potassium, with 299.5 milligrams, or 9 percent DV; calcium, with 90.5 milligrams, or 9 percent DV. Other minerals between 4 and 6 percent DV each include iron, magnesium and phosphorus.