A -Z of foods: K is for kale

Is kale really the "superfood" it's often hailed as? All dark green leafy vegetables are good for you; they typically bring iron, potassium, calcium and fibre, in varying amounts.

Kale is no exception, but because it's generally darker than some other green leafy vegetables, you get more iron from it in comparison. Note that when you eat vegetarian sources of iron, you can enhance its absorption by accompanying your meal with a food that provides vitamin C - so drink a glass of fruit juice or have a salad with your kale if it's part of a vegetarian meal. Kale is also a rich in vitamins A, C and K, so it really is a great food to include regularly on your menu.

Check out these three ways to enjoy kale:

1. Crisp it. Wash and dry the kale, removing any hardy stalks and place them on a sheet of baking parchment. Drizzle with some olive oil and bake for about 15-20 minutes until crisp. Sprinkle with dried oregano and a squeeze of lime.

2. Stir-fry it. Heat a dash of olive oil and throw in some sunflower seeds. Add a handful of fresh kale and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or Worcester sauce. Stir-fry till lightly cooked.

3. Liven up soup. If you're having canned tomato soup, throw in a handful of chopped kale and some fresh mint or basil. It will add texture and fibre and feel more substantial.

Azmina Govindji is Patient's award-winning resident dietitian. She comes with a background in diabetes, having worked as Chief Dietitian to Diabetes UK from 1987 to 1995. She was a member of the British Dietetic Association (BDA) Executive Council and Chair of the BDA Public Relations Committee from 2001-2004, and is still a renowned BDA spokesperson. But you may be more familiar with her work on TV and radio - she's appeared regularly on This Morning, The Wright Stuff and The One Show. Azmina is also a best-selling author and co-founder of the award-winning RDUK twitter chats.

Azmina is a mum of two and understands the pressures of family life. She runs her own nutrition consultancy at Azmina Nutrition, and offers advice to the food industry, the media, patients, nurseries, and health organisations. In her spare time she loves to entertain friends and travel. Tweet with her on @AzminaNutrition.


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