No, I am not writing about a follow up to TV series Orange is the New Black.  I am writing about all the fabulous green vegetables that are in season right now; cabbage and kale.  Do not worry, I know the TV series is set in a jail, but eating these greens is definitely not a prison sentence. Its a life line.

Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods available. Packed with vitamins and minerals including; vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, calcium, magnesium and vitamin K1.  It if full of dietary fibre and antioxidants.  What more could you ask from one of the cheapest vegetables in the market?

We are right in the middle of flu season and we have all heard that vitamin C helps the body to fight coughs and colds.  But did you know that a cup of kale has more vitamin C than an orange?

60g of kale has more than your daily requirement of vitamin K1 a really important nutrient for blood clotting regulation.

Kale contains substances that work with our bile acids and helps you to lower your cholesterol levels.  A study found that consuming kale juice daily for 12 weeks increased HDL (your ‘good’ cholesterol and lowered your LDL (‘bad cholesterol’).

Worried about your bone health?  100g of kale has 150mg of calcium compared to 120mg of calcium in 100ml of semi-skimmed milk.  It is also high in magnesium another important nutrient in making healthy bones.

There a plenty of ways you can get more kale into your diet, it can go into a smoothie.  I like to keep it simple and my personal favourite is to chop it up and steam it for 5 minutes, squirt fresh lemon juice on top and enjoy.  Looking to spruce it up a bit more? then roast some pine nuts, chopped garlic and red chilli and mix them into your steamed spinach.

Fiona Stephen is a nutritional therapist based in Barnet, North London. Find out about the nutritional therapy packages available or contact Fiona Stephen Nutrition to discuss your requirements.