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Eat More KaleI’ve written before about how Kale is being called “the new beef”, “the queen of greens” and “a nutritional powerhouse”. Kale sales have risen by 40 per cent in the last year and this is thought to be because of celebrity chefs and cookbook authors promoting the vegetable’s benefits. It could also be because of shortages of other vegetables caused by last year’s bad weather.

A new report has shown the low calorie, high fibre vegetable has seen a huge increase in popularity as a result of good publicity by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, who has highlighted the health benefits of the leafy green vegetable in recipes.

Kale, a member of the cabbage family, has enjoyed a 40 per cent increase in sales driven by good availability, quality and attractive prices, according to the latest research.

Celebrity chefs including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver have boosted the popularity of the vegetable by featuring it in a wide variety of recipes.

As a result, sales of kale have leapt to 3,048 tonnes and increased in value by 38.4 per cent to £12.6 million in the year to February, data from analysts Kantar Worldpanel shows.

One grower told the trade magazine The Grocer that last year’s bad weather caused shortages and quality issues for many vegetables, but that kale is winter-hardy and has experienced fewer problems.

‘It has been readily available on shelves and that, along with good, consistent quality, has been a key factor in driving growth,‘ he said.

The grower also told the magazine that attractive ’round-pound’ retail prices on kale – such as £1 for a 200g bag in Sainsbury’s – had also encouraged more shoppers to try out the vegetable.

The report shows that kale has also been gaining in profile thanks to increased use in restaurants and by celebrity chefs.

Andy Weir, head of marketing at catering supplier Reynolds, told The Grocer: ‘We have noticed more restaurants putting both green and red kale on menus.

‘Certainly our food development team showcase kale and other bitter greens regularly to customers and the menu trend seems to continue growing,’ he said.

If this year’s weather is more favourable, however, it is thought that kale will lose some of its advantage over other vegetables but growers and suppliers are confident of a ‘big opportunity ‘ regardless.

I am a big fan of Kale, including it cooked dishes, raw in salads and also in juices! For those who missed my previous post here are ten great benefits of adding more kale to your diet:

  1. Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium as well as those listed below.
  2. Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.
  3. Kale is high in Vitamin K. Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and the prevention of blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
  4. Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
  5. Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
  6. Kale is great for cardiovascular support. Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.
  7. Kale is high in Vitamin A.Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
  8. Kale is high in Vitamin C. This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.
  9. Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility.
  10. Kale is a great detox food. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.

2013 Miles in 2013

I am doing my 2013 miles in 2013 challenge in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as I have been surprised since I started fundraising for the CF Trust just how many people are unaware of this disease and so I hope my efforts will not just raise money, but also awareness of the UK’s most most common life-threatening inherited disease.

The first person to commit to sponsoring my 2013 mile challenge has committed to 1p per mile (£20.13 in total) and this got me thinking. I am hoping that as many as possible of those reading this will commit to do the same and the best thing is, if each person does this on a “pay as you go” type approach all you will need to part with is approx £2 just after each pay day. In January I completed 205.9 miles and in February I completed a further 200.9 miles. If you can please spare £4.07 to help the Cystic Fibrosis Trust it will be greatly appreciated.

The easiest way to give your sponsorship is to visit my Just Giving page: http://www.justgiving.com/2012-AYearWithoutBeer-CF.

2013 Miles in 2013 – The rules

The rules for my 2013 miles in 2013 challenge are quite simple:

  1. All miles must be completely self powered (no motors, sails, etc)
  2. I must be able to evidence all miles, either via GPS or with a picture of any static gym equipment

To complete my 2013 miles I will be running, cycling, rowing and who knows, I might even try a few other self powered methods along the way.