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Kale should become staple of healthy aging

March 26, 2013

Certain foods have been touted as staples of a healthy lifestyle for seniors, and kale is one of the latest to be added to the list. The leafy green vegetable has become a popular choice among a large portion of the senior population, and with good reason. Experts say kale offers a wide variety of benefits that can help out with healthy aging, AARP reports.

Among kale's most significant benefits is that it can help boost seniors' immune systems. The vegetable is a good source of vitamin A, one of the most powerful antioxidants around. Not only will this help protect older adults from certain illnesses, it could also lower the risk of cancer and chronic diseases. Additionally, a study from Harvard Medical School found that long-term consumption of vitamin A might be tied to cognitive benefits.

Along with offering immune-boosting qualities, kale can also improve the heart health of seniors, AARP notes. The cardiovascular benefits stem from the vegetable's high levels of magnesium and potassium, which are both known as natural ways to help manage blood pressure and keep cholesterol levels down. 

Given the significant health benefits of kale, it's no wonder that there has been a sharp increase in the number of people picking up the vegetable. According to The Telegraph, recent research has shown about a 40 percent increase in sales over the last year.

"It has been readily available on shelves and that - along with good, consistent quality - has been a key factor in driving growth," one grower told the newspaper.

While kale has only recently become a trendy pick, leafy green vegetables of all kinds have long been tied to healthy aging. Spinach, broccoli and cabbage - just to name a few - offer considerable benefits as well, notes WebMD.