Superfood kale: That's why it's so healthy!

In fact, kale has not only recently experienced a real hype. Even our grandmothers and ancestors recognized the potential of the superfood and integrated it into their dishes. They made a significant contribution to the establishment of typical North German winter dishes such as “housewife style kale” or a hearty winter stew made from sausage, kale, kale and potatoes.

When is kale season?

Kale is in season between late October and early March. It is only harvested when the soil is cold enough, otherwise the typical taste cannot develop. The cold inhibits the enzyme phosphofructokinase, which limits the breakdown of sugar in the plant. However, since the photosynthesis of the plant is not affected by cold, sugar is produced that is not broken down due to the lack of phosphofructokinase. This gives kale its typical bitter-sweet taste.

Kale is frost-resistant, so it can be harvested throughout the winter. If it is harvested before the season or when the temperatures are mild, it tastes tart.

Why is kale so healthy?

Especially in the USA, kale is propagated as the ultimate superfood. Kale has a health-promoting macronutrient distribution and contains a number of vitamins.

For the most part, kale consists of water (85%) and fiber , which contribute to optimal digestion.

In addition, the green is one of the vegetables with an optimal amino acid profile and a high biological value. In particular, tryptophan is found in high amounts, which is needed for serotonin production in the brain and thus indirectly improves mood.

Vegetables are known to contain little to no fat, which also applies to kale. Nevertheless, this type of cabbage contains small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids , which reduce inflammation, protect the cardiovascular system, lower LDL cholesterol levels and support the central nervous system and all processes in the brain.

Food fact Löwenanteil

vitamin content

However, kale does not become a superfood because of its amino acid and fat profile, but because of its high vitamin, mineral and trace element content: Kale contains almost all B vitamins and more vitamin C than other types of cabbage; Calcium is also not found in any vegetables (except wild vegetables such as stinging nettles) in such high amounts.

In addition, kale scores with an extremely high vitamin K content : 100 grams of the vegetable cover three times the daily requirement! Vitamin K is primarily responsible for blood clotting, but also protects bones and prevents vascular deposits that can lead to arteriosclerosis.

More than 40 flavonoids (secondary plant substances) in kale reduce the risk of cancer (mainly of the digestive organs and blood cancer) and strengthen the immune system.

Last but not least, chlorophyll should be mentioned as a health-promoting factor. Among other things, chlorophyll can inhibit inflammation, prevent dementia and diabetes and improve muscle building and the removal of heavy metals.

The nutrient profile at a glance

100g kale
daily requirement
nutritional value
49 calories (205 kJ)




Vitamin A
0.8 mg
0.8-1.0 mg
Vitamins B1, B2, B6
250 µg each
folic acid
187 µg
vitamin C
120 mg
95-110 mg
vitamin k
817 mcg
60-70 mcg
1.9 mg
491 mg
4000 mg
150 mg
1000 mg

Preparation of kale

Traditionally, kale is prepared in a pan or briefly blanched in salt water and served with sausage and meat ; on fasting days, the meat is replaced with potatoes.

Due to the thick leaf, kale is also suitable for roulades - whether with meat or vegan/vegetarian - and as a low-carb alternative to wraps or lasagne sheets.

Regardless of how you prepare it—boiled or left raw—kale should be washed thoroughly before eating, as the leaves tend to accumulate a lot of sand and dirt. In addition, kale leaves should be separated from stalks and hard veins before further processing. These remain relatively hard even after prolonged steaming/boiling and are rather less enjoyable.

In modern cuisine, kale is often eaten raw . Mostly in/as a salad , for which the torn leaves are kneaded by hands with an acidic dressing for at least 5 minutes. The kneading and acidity help loosen the tight leaf structure, making kale easier to digest and absorb nutrients. It is also added to smoothies (similar to spinach) for its nutrients.

recipe suggestions

In principle, kale can be used in a similar way to spinach , e.g. as a side dish in the Chipotle Chili Bowl or Poke Bowl, for breakfast with tofu scrambled eggs , in quesadillas or wraps .

Vegan Quesadilla with Chili Vegano - Löwenanteil

Vegan Quesadilla with Chili Vegano

Vegan breakfast bowl with tofu scrambled eggs - Löwenanteil

Vegan breakfast bowl with tofu scrambled eggs

Wintery Chili Vegano Risotto - Löwenanteil

Wintery Chili Vegano Risotto

Since kale tastes a lot more intense than spinach and is not for everyone, you can slowly get to grips with the vegetables with this chili vegan risotto or our African bowl . Both recipes use very little kale, so it's also perfect for reaping the health benefits without actually tasting the greens.

If you're a kale lover like your grandparents, you should try kale chips . To do this, separate the leaves from the stalk, wash them and dry them well. Toss them in a bowl with a little oil, salt, and your choice of spices, if desired. Spread the leaves out on a baking sheet and bake them at 130°C for about 20 minutes (keep an eye on them regularly so they don't get too brown). In order for them to really get crispy, you should open the oven door in between so that moisture can escape.

This article was written by our author Lisa. Her greatest passions are nutrition/health, cooking and sports.

Our author Lisa