Spinach vs Kale: the battle of the greens

Food & Recipes door thijs

Spinach has been proven to give you superpowers by Popeye the sailor, and kale is the trendiest leafy green out there. Which is the greatest green? Let the nutrition battle begin!

What's so great about them?

Both veggies are extremely versatile as they are easy to use as a base for a salad, to cook up for a stir-fry, or to throw in a smoothie. Kale is usually crunchier, coming from the same plant family as cabbage, and has a distinct slightly bitter taste. Spinach, however, is lusciously supple and boasts a less aggressive taste than kale. Both have been shown to help fight off many different types of cancers. In terms of nutritional value, the table below shows what 28 grams (or one loosely packed cup) of each leafy green contains. The parentheses indicate the percentage of the recommended daily intake (%RDI) of each nutrient.

Breakdown: how do the leaves help my body?

So what do all these letters and numbers mean? Here's a super-speedy breakdown of what some of these powerful nutrients do for your body.

• Vitamin K helps prevent blood clots and the proper functioning of bone-dependent proteins. Both spinach and kale are packed with this, but as you can see kale takes the cake for the K.

• Vitamin A is essential for general growth, maintenance of visual function, regulation of tissue, and embryonic development. Sounds fancy and important (and it is).

• Calcium and magnesium are both bone-supportive nutrients, and a deficiency in magnesium can lead to headaches, muscle cramps, and chronic fatigue ; grab some spinach for your magnesium fix, and it's a toss-up for the calcium content of the two greens.

• Spinach is a slightly richer than kale in manganese, which aids in the reduction of the risk of health problems related to oxidative stress (means that spinach is a great source of antioxidants)

• Folate is a nutrient necessary for pregnant or nursing moms, and iron is crucial in enabling your body to carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Spinach has more of both than kale.

Which green to go for?

Clearly both are very beneficial to your health. Choose the one that fits your vitamin and mineral needs! Load up on spinach if you are pregnant or have high blood pressure, and kale is great if you feel like you might be getting a cold. If you aren't sure which one your body needs most, choose the one you like best!

My favorite is definitely spinach because you can easily incorporate it into any meal and I find the taste to be fresher and more subtle. I use spinach daily in wraps, omelettes, smoothies, and salads (which means pretty much every meal I eat). You can find many recipes full of spinach and kale goodness on the website! Check out this Popeye spinach smoothie and this white bean and kale salad.

Yumyum, now that the debate between spinach and kale is (kind of) settled, you can start working these wildly nutritious foods into your meals!  

sources:PopSugar & One Green Planet