The Benefits of Kale: why it’s great for women
Why kale is among the 10 best foods for women’s reproductive & sexual health
It might be one of the trendiest vegetables on the block but kale is popular for some very good reasons. In fact, the vegetable kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. But why is kale one of the best food choices specifically for women? The benefits of kale are remarkable, particularly when it comes to women’s health.
View the list of all 10 best foods for women’s sexual health
As you explore the best kale benefits, you’ll realize that kale is not just good for you. This green is downright sexy!
Kale benefits for women’s reproductive health
Any woman considering having children should incorporate regular servings of kale into her diet, if only for this one very good reason. One of our favorite kale health benefits for women of childbearing age is that it’s a good source of vitamin A.
To be clear, kale does not contain vitamin A. So how is kale a source of vitamin A? This green, leafy vegetable contains beta-carotene. The body converts the beta-carotene in kale into vitamin A. And this is how you get your recommended daily intake of this essential nutrient from eating kale. In fact, one cup of raw kale offers over 200% of the recommended daily value.
And vitamin A is not only essential to skin health but it is beneficial to the female reproductive system. Or rather a deficiency in this vitamin can result in problems with female fertility. And speaking of benefits to the female reproductive system, kale is a source of folate, another nutrient essential to fertility. Please seek medical advice before using kale as a fertility aid.
RELATED: 5 Foods to Eat for Fertility
How kale vitamin C gives women a boost in many ways
Another remarkable kale nutritional value, a serving of this leafy green is a good source of vitamin C. In fact, that same one-cup serving that gives double your vitamin A requirement offers more than 100% of the vitamin C your body needs to thrive. In fact, kale has more vitamin C than you get from an orange.
Kale and sex drive
Did you know that vitamin C is beneficial in combating adrenal fatigue as well as boosting immunity? But it also shows great promise in giving your sex drive a boost.
In one 2002 clinical trial, participants reported increased sexual intercourse when taking high doses of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). This study also indicated that vitamin C can have a positive effect on mood, which is beneficial to helping women get in the right mood for sexual arousal.
Kale benefits for skin
The antioxidant power of vitamin C is widely recognized for its anti-aging effects. In other words, kale is good for skin health. Although most dermatology experts promote the use of vitamin C topically for skin benefits, according to the Oregon State University Micronutrient Information Center, it is possible to reap the skin benefits of vitamin C from dietary sources, like kale.
Vitamin C is linked with collagen production and may even protect against photodamage. As one of the best food sources of vitamin C available, kale is considered a top beauty food. Some kale lovers say a serving of these leafy greens positively makes their skin glow.
Calcium and protein in kale for women’s health
An additional kale benefit for women as they age is by providing the body with a natural source of calcium. The calcium in kale is even greater than what you can get from milk.
And although you’d never guess it, the protein in kale comes out to about 3 grams per serving. That’s a lot of protein for a vegetable! Studies show that women with higher testosterone levels have greater sexual desire. But without adequate protein, testosterone levels can diminish. Now you know you can get some of that daily value while eating your greens.
Does protein make kale a weight-loss food?
Kale makes many nutritionists’ lists of the best weight loss foods. Low-calorie foods containing protein are considered good choices for those looking to shed unwanted pounds. (You may have heard them called low-energy-density foods.) And since kale is also a good source of dietary fiber, which is proven to make you feel full longer, it packs a one-two punch when it comes to helping your body stick to a weight loss plan.
Health benefits of kale for men and women
Of course, kale won’t just benefit the sexual health of women. Kale can benefit men’s sexual health and overall health. In fact, it’s one of the healthiest foods in the world. Period. Kale leaves offer a multitude of vitamins and minerals linked with sexual performance and/or reproductive health.
Kale just keeps getting sexier.
Kale nutrition for better sex
In addition to the previously mentioned vitamin C and folate, a one-cup serving of nutritious kale offers 9% of your daily requirement for potassium and 6% of magnesium. These are both nutrients necessary to keep your blood pumping and your sex hormones primed.
An even more remarkable benefit of kale is the fact that it offers 26% of your need for manganese. Although we tend not to emphasize the importance of manganese, this is a nutrient that helps maintain sexual hormone production.
Studies demonstrate that a manganese deficiency will diminish the reproductive system. Clearly, we need manganese for sexual health but please speak with a qualified medical professional before making any drastic changes to your magnesium intake.
Kale is also a source of vitamin B6, iron and zinc, three more important nutrients in kale linked with sexual health. And a serving of fresh or cooked kale offers over 600% of the daily value for vitamin K as well as trace amounts of selenium. Both of these nutrients are linked with men’s sexual health and sperm health.
Lastly, kale – along with related vegetables including spinach and brussels sprouts – contains something called bile acid sequestrants, which may directly impact heart health. (Remember that without a healthy heart and good blood flow, sexual arousal and climax simply aren’t achievable.) Bile acid sequestrants can lower cholesterol. It is believed that this can lead to a reduced risk of heart disease.
One study published in 2008 showed that drinking kale juice for just 12 weeks could remarkably improve good cholesterol levels. This isn’t just good news for your heart but a great way to help promote the ability to achieve sexual arousal.
A benefit of eating kale stems
Although this kale benefit doesn’t directly impact your sex life, eating kale stems has proven benefits. Those who suffer from digestive problems should try eating sautéed kale stems. (Just try lightly cooking them in olive oil or avocado oil with a pinch of salt.) The stems of this cruciferous vegetable are rich in prebiotics and adding kale stems to your meals can potentially support healthy digestion.
RELATED: The Benefits of Avocado Oil and Cooking With It
Kale is not poisonous!
As for the bizarre scare in 2015, kale is not poisonous. A claim that “eating large amounts of kale could kill you” went viral without any real medical backing.
True, anything consumed in too large a quantity can have negative effects–that even goes for water. But there’s no need to fear this super green. Poisoning is not a side effect of kale, even if you eat kale daily.
Some of our favorite recipes featuring kale
There are so many recipes featuring kale that make eating this green a pleasure. Of course, you can just munch on some kale chips. But if you’re looking for a more exciting way to serve kale, here are some of our favorite kale recipes:
Fresh Kale Guacamole
Dinosaur Kale Salad with Cranberries and Persimmons
Quinoa with Dates, Melted Chevre and Baby Kale
Turkey Breast Stuffed with Wild Mushrooms and Kale
Brown Rice Salad with Curly Kale, Golden Beets and Maple Orange Dressing
10 Best Foods For Women
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This article was written in 2015 and most recently updated in October 2021. Research by our Director of Nutrition, Delahna Flagg, PhD.
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