There is a brutal battle brewing between the newbie in Green Veggie town, threatening the powerful rule of an OG. We all know what gives Popeye the Sailor his muscles and Olive’s affection- it’s spinach! However, now there is another vegetable, ‘kale’, going head straight for the crown.
Kale started to gain popularity in the 1990s, then mostly being used for purely decorative purposes. It was only in the late 90s that research started expanding upon its benefits. Since then, the debate between spinach and kale has only fueled upwards.
Contrary to popular belief, kale and spinach hail from entirely different plant families. They may have been used interchangeably in some famous dishes, salads and soups due to visual similarities but they are set apart by some crucial nutritional distinctions.
Let’s Begin with Texture and Taste
When it comes to texture, kale takes up more cooking time than spinach as the fiber contents in Kale are tenderized slowly. Spinach needs lesser cooking time compared to kale. Kale also needs to be steamed but for spinach, a quick wash is enough.
Taste wise, kale is slightly bitterer than spinach, which is not a bad thing of course because each one of us has different taste buds. It depends more on your personal choices too, because if you are a thorough chewer, then you may prefer kale. Whereas, if you are more towards smooth and creamy dishes (soups!) then you may like spinach better because it wilts easily and has a stronger flavor. For quick pre and post-workout power-ups, kale and spinach both serve as excellent complementary greens to your smoothies. Fresh spinach juice is especially good for a healthy boost of Vitamins.
Round Two: Nutritional Value
They both have their own strengths.
If we talk about calories per serving, then kale is a clear winner because spinach has almost half as many calories as the other vegetables. Regardless, it is very unlikely to gain much weight by eating either one of the two.
People with dietary issues should prefer spinach as it has a higher percentage of fiber. Spinach also wins on having a higher amount of folate (folic acid). Even iron and magnesium are higher per serving in spinach.
However, the strong nutritional game of spinach does not yet indicate a definite victory. In the round of fight between kale vs spinach protein levels, Kale comes with its own set of health advantages, having a slight edge over spinach in calcium and protein.
Where kale achieves remarkable distinction, is in its high vitamin contents. It has four times the amount of Vitamin C as spinach, and Vitamin A content is also higher. Out of 100% of the recommended daily amount, kale has 90.7 percent of Vitamin K.
Value for Money
Spinach is quick to shrivel and shrink, which means we need almost three cups of this gooey green substance to be enough for one serving of a yummy spinach salad. Kale does not shrink as much as spinach, making 1.5 cups sufficient enough. Kale is also heavier compared to spinach, meaning that it can make you feel full even if you eat less.
The Final Verdict
There is no winner!
Both the greens are powerhouses of good nutrients. It depends on a person which suits them most varying upon what they are looking for in their food… the most recommended option would be to add a balanced amount of both into your diet.
Refreshing and light, kale and spinach encourage autoxidation, are natural body cleaners, and simply lift up your mood and leave you chirpy, revitalized, and blooming!