Kale (Brassica oleracea) is a member of the cruciferous vegetables. In this regard it falls into the same nutritional category as other Brassica family vegetables including broccoli, cabbage, watercress, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts. Brassica vegetables have been evidenced to provide significant health benefits to humans who consume them regularly on account of the phytochemicals they contain. In particular brassica vegetables contain glucosinolates that are thought to significantly improve the elimination of toxins from the body, and in this way may be particularly protective against cancer. The younger leaves of kale tend to be used for human cuisine due to their more pleasant taste and texture, while older leaves are often used as animal fodder. Kale is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C and also contains B vitamins and vitamin E. The mineral content of kale varies with growing conditions, but is a reasonable source of a variety of minerals. Carotenoids and polyphenols are also present in kale and likely provide significant health benefits to the consumer, particularly with regard to antioxidant status.
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