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“Wow, LJ, that is remarkable!” Annie watched as he walked unaided up the stairs. “It is amazing after only one week out from hip replacement surgery, you are moving so well.
LJ smiled and nodded, “Yeah, I did not think I would be ambulating this fast. I am sure it has something to do with all of the healthy food you made me eat leading up to the surgery.”
Annie gave him the side-eye as she thought about his resistance to some of their meals. “Well, you were a good sport about it, even though I could tell at times that you did not love some of the food.”
“Actually, I like just about everything you cook, but I am not a big fan of Kale.”
“LJ, I’m not sure why we decided to grow it, but I am glad we did because let’s check with @doctabro, our family culinary medicine specialist, for confirmation, but Kale is nutrient-dense and has a well-deserved reputation as a super-food. It contains manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, and magnesium. It is loaded with vitamin K, which supports blood clotting abilities, preventing excessive bleeding. That would surely be helpful during a surgical procedure. It also contains large amounts of vitamin A, good for healthy skin and bones, and vitamin C, beneficial for tissue repair and collagen formation.
“That’s exactly what I mean,’ said LJ as he walked down the stairs and out to the vegetable garden. “I give credit to your food is medicine philosophy, and when it is viewed that way, what we eat and how much, shifts. I never thought that eating the right food leading up to my procedure would be helpful before, during, and after. But I have a question, why did we plant so much Kale?”
Annie laughed, “If I remember correctly, I think we decided to plant a few varieties because each has a unique benefit. For example, Curly Kale, the most common type, has a pungent, peppery taste, so it goes well in a salad, smoothie, or soup. Lacinato, also known as Tuscan or Dinosaur Kale, is a late-season veggie that responds well to winter frost, making it sweeter. It enhances soups and stews. Chinese Kale is a good substitute for broccoli in stir-fry dishes. Siberian gets ginormous and is the sweetest and most tender of the varieties. It tastes good when sautéed with garlic and onions, followed by steaming it in cider vinegar. Redbor, the purple Kale, is a powerful quercetin source, the antioxidant reducer of blood pressure, inflammation, and allergy symptoms. It has a mild flavor making it a tasty addition in a mixed greens salad.”
“Our puzzling decision to grow all this Kale is still a mystery, but I do see benefits. The plants have taken off, which tells me that it is easy to grow, especially in cold weather. This Ornamental Kale opens like a flower and displays colorful leaves. Even though it’s edible, too I prefer it as part of a floral display. The Red Russian looks like oak leaves with its purple-red color is another stunning ornamental. I’m starting to understand. The combination of ornamental and edible is appealing.”
“Yes, sweetheart, Kale is also high in fiber, which helps with weight management, and contains Kaempferol, an antioxidant booster that targets the free radicals known to promote the proliferation of cancer cells, along with Chlorophyll, which binds to carcinogens, preventing the body from absorbing them. So, when you insist on BBQ, Kale helps prevent the absorption of the chemicals that are generated when the meat is grilled at a high temperature.”
“Okay, the next time we grill, I will take a big side order, but before we serve it to our friends, we need to make sure none of them has thyroid function issues. Progoitrin, an antithyroid agent, found in Kale interferes with thyroids ability to access the iodine it needs to function.”
“Good to know. Let’s keep that in mind and be discerning when we decide to include it in a communal meal. In the meantime, we can eat Kale knowing we are enjoying a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-aging, and anti-depressant veggie.”
LJ walked over to Annie and kissed her, “We’re straight up kale-in it.”
The Food-as-Medicine philosophy is based on the belief that whole food is a traditional remedy with the therapeutic power to improve and maintain one’s health. The philosophy has been around for hundreds of years.Read More