Kale and spinach are both excellent choices to utilize as either the platform of your salad, a component of your “greens” smoothie, or in pretty much any other way that you are able to incorporate them in to your diet! Hailing from the cabbage family along with numerous other vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts, kale has a much milder flavor than many other vegetables in this family. To some, the taste of kale can be a little bit disappointing.
However, learning how to add this true superfood in to your diet will provide you with immense benefits, even if only ate twice per week! Kale offers more than twice the recommended daily value of calcium than spinach, along with higher levels of numerous other vitamins and minerals. However, spinach is nearly as healthy and has a much more pleasant taste to many people. Learning how to utilize both of these vegetables will provide you with incredible benefits, that will make a lasting impact on your body!
Vitamins and Minerals in Kale and Spinach
Kale and spinach contains several of the same vitamins and minerals including:
- Beta carotene,
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C,
- Vitamin A
This is just the short list of what these two vegetables contain! there are many other minerals found when you eat any of these vegetables! After a look at the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, reveals that kale is actually a powerhouse of nutrients and vitamins when compared even to spinach! This shows, kale is loaded with nutrients you NEED! However, including both of these vegetables in to your regular diet will benefit you even more!
Unique Benefits of Kale and Spinach
There are many health benefits you get from eating spinach and kale, with many of their nutrients being absorbed hundreds or thousands of times more than through any form of supplementation!
Kale and spinach both contain powerful antioxidants which protect against certain cancers, notably ovarian cancer. Kale and spinach are both excellent “detox-ers” used in preparing green smoothies, due to their cleansing properties and nutrients. Kale specifically can be incredibly powerful for its ability to protect against cataracts, help maintain lung health, cardiovascular health and stimulate the immune system. Kale also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it excellent food for people with rheumatoid arthritis or any other inflammation-based problem!
Great source of Vitamin K
Kale and spinach are excellent sources of vitamin K; which your body uses activate many proteins (including those needed for bone development, as well as cell growth of the lungs and heart). It is also essential for blood clotting; as healthy levels of vitamin K ensure that your body can form necessary blood clots to prevent excessive bleeding. With a single serving of 2 cups of raw spinach or kale, you will get all of your recommended daily intake of vitamin K, and it will all be absorbed in to your body!
Enhances Strong bones
Kale and spinach provide beneficial copper, an important mineral in your metabolism. Copper activates an enzyme called Cytochrome C Oxidase, which allows cells to convert nutrients into usable energy. Also, it plays an important role in the health of the tissues which support the maturation of collagen, an important property for strong bones and overall health. A portion of raw kale contains 10% of the RDI of kale, while equivalent portion of spinach contains 2%.
Enhances a Healthy Skin and Eye with Vitamin A
Adding a portion of 2 cups of raw spinach or kale to your diet nearly maximizes the amount of Vitamin A you need for the entire day! Some benefits of Vitamin A include:
- Your body uses vitamin A to maintain cellular function of healthy skin (which not only benefits appearance, but also ensures that your skin is able to form a strong barrier against all forms of infection)
- It also assists with making red blood cells, cells which carry oxygen to the tissues, and help proper eye function (especially at night). Kale provides about 206% of your daily Vitamin A needs, which is more than the amount you get from spinach.
Between the two of these, Kale certainly wins out for overall amount of nutrients. However, it is a little more difficult to work in to your diet. Honestly, I don’t like the taste too much myself. Yet, there are ways. Kale is a great filler in certain salads, and can be easily added to smoothies in a way in which the taste is masked. Personally, I am a huge fan of creamed kale and spinach combined! Regardless of how you do it, adding a small amount of kale and spinach to your diet will make a substantial impact!