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Heart Smart Living
Heart Smart Living

Cardiologist, author, and heart health expert Dr. Sarah Samaan offers advice on how to live a heart smart life.

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Why I Love Kale

Learn more about kale—an often overlooked powerfood.

Kale is a beauty queen of the vegetable world, but so often passed over in favor of its plainer and simpler siblings.

Nutritional Properties

An exuberantly leafy, deep green member of the cabbage family, kale is rich in heart-healthy nutrients including anti-oxidants like vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and lutein, and supplies abundant amounts of Vitamin K, which is important in bone health. It’s also a great source of soluble fiber, which can help to lower cholesterol and curb appetite. Moreover, kale appears to have powerful anti-cancer effects.

A Smart Buy

At somewhere between $1 and $3 for a large bunch, kale is a smart buy, but many people are put off by its tough appearance. Kale is not typically eaten raw, although if the stems are removed, it can be perfectly delightful when chopped up in a green salad. Steaming kale for just 5 minutes will soften it up nicely, without sacrificing much of the nutritional value. It’s also perfect in a stir fry, combined with a little olive oil and garlic.

Heart-Smart Recipes

There is a wide variety of recipes for kale readily available on the web. Some of my favorite choices include Ruth’s Red Lentil and Potato Soup (which includes a cup of kale), Kale Salad from Persephone Farms, Kale Chips (made with olive oil and a little bit of vinegar), and this unusual recipe for a Kale Smoothie from Frog Star Farm. Play around with kale, and you’ll find that it’s a delicious way to bring heart-smart health to your table.

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Tags: Diet and Heart Health

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About the Author


Dr. Samaan is an acclaimed cardiologist, writer, and heart health educator.