Otherwise known as Tuscan kale, cavolo nero has its own rich, intense flavour. This relative of kale packs a punch in terms of nutrients containing vitamins A, C and K, the minerals calcium, manganese, and iron and a variety of antioxidants.
As with other cruciferous vegetables cavolo nero is rich in sulphur containing phytonutrients. These help the liver to process toxins so that they can be excreted. It is thought that this activity contributes to the vegetable’s anti-tumour properties and may help to prevent a number of cancers.
Early findings suggest that cavolo nero may have neuro-protective effects on people suffering from multiple sclerosis, but further research is needed to identify the mechanisms.
The antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, present in cavolo nero, are especially beneficial for eye health. Research indicates that these nutrients may help to protect against age-related macular degeneration.
This versatile vegetable can be sautéed or steamed, tossed into stir-fries, salads or smoothies. It will especially impress sautéed with onion, rosemary, chilli and garlic to create a delicious, antioxidant boosting dish.
My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics
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