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Kale has enjoyed a renaissance as a superfood these past few years, and frankly, you’d be hard-pressed to find a trendier leafy green today. But is kale just a fad perpetuated by skinny yoga chicks, or is there more to it? As it turns out, kale truly is one of the most nutritious, effective bits of fuel you can put in your body. Despite being very low in calories, it’s packed with a vast array of vitamins and minerals, from potassium to vitamins A and C.
It’s also very inexpensive—you’d be surprised how much you can get for a buck at the grocery store. This means that kale has great value as a vegetable, sporting just 33 calories and almost no fat or sodium in a 67-gram serving. When shopping for kale, get it fresh, with firm leaves and deeply colored, according to Vandana Sheth, R.D.N., C.D.E., and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Know that you have a wide variety of options when it comes to utilizing kale when you’re cooking.
There are plenty of ways to tweak it and make it taste the way you want: “Once you cut off the stems and chop it finely, you can easily add it to dishes such as soups, stews, cas- seroles, salads, or whatever you want,” Sheth says. “Be creative. There are many ways to enjoy kale in your diet.”