Kale is here to stay.
As most of you know by now, we have recently released a cookbook. In the process, we gave quite a few interviews, but one in particular leaves a lasting impression. We were off to a good start when suddenly the journalist asked Lina if she had a favorite vegetable. Whereupon Lina answered:
The journalist’s pen stopped moving. The man, who up until then hadn’t looked up from the notebook, turned to Lina with a severe look on his face.
– No, you must be lying. Seriously, it cannot be.
Obviously, the journalist knows little about lutein, a tiny antioxidant found in kale and other dark-green vegetables. It belongs to the family of carotenoids, which are naturally occurring fat-soluble pigments. Studies on animals and healthy humans have shown that carotenoids are associated with lower levels of low-grade inflammation in the body. This led scientists at Linköping University Hospital in Sweden to ask if carotenoids may help to lower low-grade inflammation in sick patients with overly sensitive immune cells as well. Said and done, a group of scientists began studying people with vascular spasm, or who had suffered from a heart attack. Typically, these patients suffer from acute low-grade inflammation, and therefore, they have increased risk of having another heart attack. The studies showed lutein may also help to lower low-grade inflammation in these patients.
The study was performed on sick people, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until you’re sick to start thinking about your lutein intake. According to research, we should all ensure we get enough lutein, as a preventive measure. Lutein is said to help reduce hardening of the arteries, and studies have shown that young people with higher concentrations of lutein in their blood have fewer clogged arteries.
Nevertheless, Lina decided to skip the rigmarole and take the easy road. She scratched her head, took a deep audible breath and said:
– Just write avocado.
Whereupon the journalist nodded, picked up a pen and wrote the word “avocado” in his notebook. And so the story ends.