Kale vs. Spinach

“Oh Kale Yeah” vs “Strong to the Finish with Spinach”

Are you wondering how Popeye’s favorite food compares to the trendy superfood kale? Does one have an advantage over the other? Each vegetable contains a significant amount of nutrients making it a close battle.

In terms of nutrition, spinach has slightly less calories and has more fiber, iron, manganese, and folate. The superfood kale earned its title as a superfood from being loaded with Vitamins A, K, and C. In 1 cup of spinach you can meet 56% of your recommended daily needs for Vitamin A but kale comes in at 206% of the recommended Vitamin A. Vitamin K plays an important role in blood clotting and bone health. Spinach provides 181% of your daily needs of Vitamin K while kale provides an incredible 684% of the recommended intake.  One cup of kale also contains 137% of your recommended needs of Vitamin C versus 1 cup of spinach containing 14% of your daily intake. Both of these green leafy vegetables can also be a great source of calcium. A cup of kale has 9% of your recommended daily intake of calcium and spinach has 3%. Something else to consider is that spinach is high in oxalate, which can reduce mineral absorption. Unlike spinach, kale is low in oxalate which makes the iron and calcium more absorbable.

Verdict: Kale beats out spinach in terms of Vitamins A, C, and K but let’s not forget that spinach is also rich in these vitamins as well. What is important is to get a variety of green leafy vegetables and to increase the total number of vegetables eaten. So enjoy more spinach AND kale and you’ll be doing great things for your health!

Natalie Hartjes- UW Green Bay Dietetic Intern