There’s a lot of hype around kale these days, and for great reason! Kale is low in calorie, contains zero fat, rich in calcium and iron, and packed with fiber and sulfur to promote detoxification. It’s a powerful source of antioxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids; both of which are believed to help protect against some cancers. Kale is also a great anti-inflammatory food, filled with 10% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight asthma, arthritis and autoimmune disorders. It is great for cardiovascular support, as it can help lower cholesterol levels. “Super Food” is an understatement for this leafy green powerhouse.
With all attention on kale, we’ve left nutrient-dense spinach in the dark. Spinach is low in calorie, has zero fat, and contains more than a dozen individual flavonoid compounds, which work together as cancer-fighting antioxidants. This dark leafy green will protect your brain function from premature aging by preventing oxidation on your brain. In addition, spinach is an excellent promoter of cardiovascular health from the antioxidant properties that work together to prevent the harmful oxidation of cholesterol. Sound similar? Let’s take a closer look on the chart to the right.
You can see that both offer the same amount of fiber and protein, but spinach contains fewer calories. Spinach offers more folate, which is necessary for pregnant or nursing moms; and more iron, which is necessary for your body to carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Spinach also offers more magnesium, which deficiency in can lead to headaches, muscle cramps and fatigue. There is also a higher amount of manganese in spinach, which is needed to keep your thyroid functions and blood sugar levels normal.
Kale, on the other hand, contains more bone-strengthening properties. It offers slightly more calcium, along with an astounding amount of vitamin K, which is needed for blood clotting and bone health. In addition, it contains more Vitamin A, which is necessary for boosting your autoimmune system. Lastly, it offers half of your RDI of vitamin C to keep your immune system healthy.
Who is the winner? Both! These two leafy greens pack a nutrient-rich punch for different reasons. If you’re pregnant or have high blood pressure, we recommend including more spinach into your diet. If you’re trying to overcome a cold, or feel one on the way, run to the store and grab yourself some kale!