KALE is a member of the brassica family (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, Brussels sprouts and radishes) and comes in many different varieties.  Colors can range from purple to green and the shape can be curly or smooth.  Kale is considered a super food meaning after eaten, you will receive the highest amounts of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that it can possibly offer.

Kale has the highest levels of vitamins of all the cruciferous vegetables.  It is high in antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, cardio-protective and anti-genotoxic.  It has significant levels of vitamin C, vitamin K and is a super source of beta-carotene, lutein, quercetin, kaempferol, I3C, DIM (diindolylmethane) and sulforaphane.  Wow, this vegetable is packed with supportive nutrients to protect our breasts!

Breast cancer related effects of eating Kale: 

Components of kale have been found to down-regulate hormone receptor expression, promote apoptosis, suppress cell cycle progression and inhibit angiogenesis of human breast cancer cells.  Consumption of brassica vegetables has been shown to reduce the estrogen metabolite 16- alpha-hydroxyestrone, which is a breast cancer promoter.

Kale has also been reported to be associated with reduced breast cancer risk in population studies.  A Korean study found an association between kale consumption and lower incidence of breast cancer.  A large US 2016 prospective study reported that women with high kale intake in early adulthood had a reduced risk of breast cancer in middle age and later years.

Some of my favorite ways to add kale to my family’s meals are:

  • Add kale leaves to smoothies (fresh or frozen)
  • Use kale to make a beautiful summer salad
  • Bake leaves until crisp for a salty chip alternative
  • Add kale leaves to soups, stews and pastas
  • Sautee in olive oil, ghee or butter with onions and garlic until soft.  Season.

Now most of us believe that we have to eat vegetables from the cruciferous family and I strongly suggest that you eat them as often as possible – I know I do.  Luckily, when I did my Detox Complete Genomic test, I discovered that I didn’t have any problems in Phase I of the liver detox – meaning that I didn’t have any SNP’s (hiccups) in the genes using and needing the nutrients from Kale and the brassica family.  That was good to know, as these nutrients are truly beneficial and needed when preventing and fighting breast cancer.  However, if you do have a SNP (hiccup) in these genes, you just couldn’t possibly eat enough of these powerful vegetables to truly protect your breasts.  So, you might need to take a specific supplement to help protect you.  This is powerful information to have so that you can take the necessary steps to prevent getting the most common type of breast cancer  – Estrogen Receptor Positive (ER+).

Storage Tips:

Store your kale loosely wrapped in the refrigerator.  Kale will keep well for about 5-7 days.  The longer it is stored, the more bitter the flavor.  When ready to use, be sure to rinse the leaves well.  Unlike more tender greens, kale does not store better if washed first. 

Kale and Grapefruit Salad:  Serves 2

1-2 grapefruits

¼ cup grapefruit juice

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

¼ tsp. coarse sea salt

¼ tsp. freshly cracked pepper

1 bunch lacinato kale, discard center ribs and stems.  Slice thinly

1 avocado

1 lemon

2 T red onion, finely chopped

1 T parsley, finely chopped

  • Cut and peel the white pith from the grapefruits.  Cut the segments out of the membrane and set aside. Squeeze the membranes into a small bowl and collect any juice drippings.  Whisk in the olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Place the kale in a large bowl and drizzle some of the dressing over the top.  Massage the dressing into the kale to help soften the kale.  Set aside.
  • Cut the avocado, take out the pit and remove the peel.  Slice the avocado and squeeze the lemon over the avocado to keep it from browning.
  • Place the grapefruit segments and avocado slices over the kale.  Sprinkle with red onion and parsley.

Grilled summer Kale Tacos:  Serves 4

1 bunch of kale

2 tsp. olive oil

Small pinch each of chili powder, Cajun seasoning, cayenne and salt  (hot spices to taste)

2 avocadoes

Juice of 1 lime

Salt

8 organic corn tortillas

Red onion

Cojita cheese

Cilantro

  • Rinse kale and discard center ribs and stems.  Slice thinly.
  • Toss the kale with olive oil and spices to taste.
  • Heat your frying pan to medium and cook the Kale.  Remove from heat and place on a platter.
  • In a small bowl, mash avocados with the lime juice and a pinch of salt.
  • Optional:  you can place tortillas on a grill for just a minute to heat through.
  • To serve tacos, spread some smashed avocado on each tortilla and then top with the Kale mixture.
  • Optional:  top each taco with crumbled cheese, fresh cilantro and thinly sliced red onion.

Now go and enjoy eating delicious Kale adding it to many of your recipes!  And by doing so, you’ll be protecting your breasts and keeping them healthy.  To find out what your genes are saying about preventing you from getting ER+ breast cancer, go to:

www.stopbreastcancernow.com to find out more!

Your partner in breast cancer prevention,

Donna