Now, keep in mind that to make the chips, we’re cooking the kale, which will certainly mute the nutritional power that it has to offer. This article from healthline.com provides a wealth of information about the health benefits of ‘raw’ kale and I’ve drawn upon it to summarize some of the benefits below.
Kale is packed full of powerful antioxidants that have been shown to have heart-protective, blood pressure-lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antidepressant and anti-cancer effects (1 , 2 , 3 ). Kale is also an excellent source of vitamin C providing 134% of the daily recommendation in one cup. It’s also an incredible source of vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting, and offers 684% of the daily recommendation in one cup. One cup also provides beta carotene which the body can turn into 206% of the daily recommendation of vitamin A.
Kale also contains substances called bile acid sequestrants, which can positively affect cholesterol levels and this might lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over time (4 ). Kale also contains numerous cancer fighting substances however many studies (5 , 6 ) have been done in test tubes and animals and the evidence in humans is mixed.
Extra virgin olive oil
There is a great debate at this time over the health benefits of different types of fats. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) however is one fat that most seem to agree is incredibly healthy. Another article from healthlline.com shares some of the many health benefits of EVOO. 73% of the fat in EVOO is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid that reduces inflammation and may have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer. EVOO is also loaded with antioxidants. There’s also evidence to suggest that EVOO may help prevent heart disease and strokes (7 , 8 , 9 ).
Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast used as a food product by many vegans. It’s this that gives these kale chips their ‘cheesy’ flavour! It’s sold in the form of yellow flakes, granules or a powder and can be found in most natural food and bulk food stores.
Nutritional yeast is a ‘complete protein’ which means it gives you all 9 essential amino acids that your body can’t produce (10 ). It’s also full of B vitamins, particularly B12, which is especially important for vegetarians and vegans (10 ). It also contains important trace minerals such as zinc, selenium, manganese and molybdenum (11 ).
Cayenne has been used as a spice and a herbal medicine for thousands of years. It’s also popular and used in many ‘cleansing’ drinks. The active ingredient in cayenne pepper is a compound called capsaicin which may help with: protecting the nervous system, reducing inflammation, treating colds and congestion, relieving pain, managing weight and easing itching (12 ).