Both are highly nutritious, but which among spinach and kale is the ultimate superfood? For sure, you’re already aware that eating greens are healthy. I won’t school you that, however, if you’re going to dedicate a part of your day to add leafy greens into your diet, aren’t you curious to know which one is better?
This battle will have 3 categories:
1. The nutritional value
2. Ease of preparation
When it comes to nutritional value, both kale and spinach are considered superfoods.
Popeye was right when he chose spinach to be his veggie of choice. Spinach beats out kale in terms of iron and magnesium nutrients. As per USDA, we need 90 micrograms (mcg) of Vitamin K per day and spinach provides 144.9 mcg per 1 cup serving, almost double the recommended allowance. Spinach is also loaded with folate and vitamin C.
Now, how about kale? Kale has an insane amount of vitamin A, the nutrient necessary for skin and eye health – 1011 IU per serving compared to spinach’s 141 IU. It also has an impressive 907 percent of your RDA of vitamin K required for bone protection and blood clotting.
Ease of preparation
I wanted to be as impartial as possible and let you decide your best super green, however, in terms of preparation, there is one runaway winner in this battle – the mighty spinach! If the recipe requires spinach, the only thing you need to do is separate the leaves from the stem and then wash them. Nothing more complicated than that.
Kale will require more advanced preparation though. In most types of kale, there is a large fibrous stem that runs down the middle – this can be very tough to eat. Unless you buy baby kales, which basically comes from young, immature kale plant, then you need to massage your kale with lemon juice and salt until they soften, usually about 3 minutes. Some massages their kale with olive oil to soften the leaves and increase palatability making it salad ready.
Kale’s toughness, though, makes it a better choice for cooking. Unlike spinach which can turn slimy when heated, kale can withstand hot liquid or oil without crumbling into a shrinking slippery green blob.
No matter how much nutrients are pumped into the veggie, if you don’t enjoy the taste, there’s less chance you’ll incorporate it more into your diet. Research shows that we do have genes in our body that affects how well we can tolerate bitter food. If you are one of the lucky few who don’t loathe kale for its bitter flavor and dare, I say, even enjoy it, please continue and enjoy your wild side!
On the other hand, raw spinach, although not as crunchy as other leafy greens, isn’t bitter at all which makes it the best green for salads. However, once cooked, spinach can tend to take on a bitter flavor.
At the end of the day, there is really no real winner between kale and spinach. As we all have different nutritional needs, your choice will depend on which nutrients you’re looking to fill up on. So add them in your salads or smoothies, and enjoy!