Dr. Fuhrman Dr. Fuhrman

Kale: wonderfood

Forget noni juice, acai berries, goji berries and spirulina. There is a food that is super healthy, inexpensive, and you can buy it in the grocery store. It tastes great, too!

What is Kale?

Kale is a form of cabbage (the Dutch name is boerenkool: farmer’s cabbage).

Health Benefits

Cancer Fighting

  • Cabbage are known for their cancer fighting abilities. The specific anti-cancer compounds of cabbage are isothiocyanates [1].
  • Kale is a green vegetable. Green vegetables contain chlorophyll which, among other good things, blocks the carcinogenic effect of aflatoxins.

Good for your Bones

  • Vitamin K is very important for bone health. Kale is one of the best sources [2].
  • Kale contains more calcium per calorie than milk. Calcium from kale is also better absorbed by the body.

Good for your Eyes

Kale is a rich source of caratenoids. It does not only contain beta-carotene but also lutein and zeaxanthin. Even 100 grams of kale provides 300% of the RDA for vitamin A.

Other Power Nutrients

  • Kale has more iron per calorie than beef.
  • Kale has more and better quality protein than milk and beef. (People who think that vegans must struggle to get complete protein do not eat enough green vegetables)
  • Kale has more vitamin C than oranges.

Kale has none of the drawbacks that some other green vegetables have. It is low in oxalic acid and nitrate.

Nutritional Information

100 gram Kale provides:

Calories 50
Protein 3.3 g
Vitamin A 15380 IU 308%
Vitamin C 120 mg 200%
Vitamin K 817 mcg 1021%
Iron 1.7 mg 9%
Calcium 135 mg 13%


The Dutch national dish is stamppot boerenkool (just leave out sausage, milk and butter, of course). I never liked it as a child, and thus I thought I did not like kale. Many people love it though, so do check it out. I find it combines very well with something smoked (I use smoked extra firm tofu) and something sour (a little mustard).

If you are looking for something completely different, try this delicious pineapple peanut stew.

Kale also works very well in stir fries. I find it tastes much better if I boil it for five minutes first.



March 16, 2006