Which Is Healthier Kale Or Spinach?

Last updated on August 16th, 2022 at 10:29 pm

Health advocates can’t praise spinach and kale enough. Both vegetables are known as ‘superfoods’ and they are filled with an array of healthy nutrients. 

Although they’re from different plant families, they are very often used interchangeably in recipes. These include salads, soups, and smoothies!

However, despite their many similarities, there are a few differences between the two greens, and this article is going to discuss them. 

Keep reading to find out which leafy green is healthier! 

Nutritional Properties

As mentioned above, both kale and spinach are very nutritious vegetables that are low in calories and contain a variety of different minerals and vitamins that are important for the body.

They both boast high levels of vitamin K, which promotes bone health and healthy blood clotting. 

They are also high in vitamin C which is crucial for immune support and disease prevention, and they contain a good amount of vitamin A. This vitamin also supports immunity but also helps with vision, reproduction, and cell division. 

When comparing both vegetables, although they have a similar amount of nutrients, there are a few differences between them. 

For example, there is over double the amount of vitamin C in kale, whereas spinach contains more vitamin K and A. 

Despite these differences, however, both are packing in the nutrient department. 

Health Benefits Of Spinach And Kale 

With their impressive nutrient list, it’s not surprising that both veggies are linked with some wonderful health benefits. 

Both beautiful greens have been known to contain several cancer-fighting compounds. Several animal and test-tube studies have shown that consuming these vegetables can reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells around the body!

As they are both rich in antioxidants, they protect your cells from damage and also protect the body from disease. Studies have also shown they both promote good heart health, as they can help levels of high cholesterol and high blood pressure. 

Spinach And Oxalate

Oxalate or oxalic acid is a naturally occurring chemical found in certain leafy greens that we consume regularly in our diet. Some examples of foods that contain it are nuts, seeds, Swiss chard, and sweet potatoes. 

When you eat foods containing oxalate, it attaches itself to minerals in order to make more minerals, such as calcium oxalate and iron oxalate. This takes place in the colon and kidneys. 

The oxalates are then washed out from the body through urine and stools, but those with kidney issues or sensitive kidneys are more likely to develop kidney stones if they consume a diet that’s high in oxalates. 

Spinach is a vegetable that is high in oxalate, but boiling it can reduce this by 87%! 

Kale And Goitrin

Kale is a cruciferous vegetable, and these vegetables are generally high in goitrin. This is a compound that can sometimes interfere with thyroid function. 

Your thyroid needs to produce certain hormones in order for your boy to have a normal metabolic function. Consuming foods that contain goitrin can interfere with this hormone production, leading to a number of health issues. 

These include weight changes, fatigue, and even increased sensitivity to the cold. However, studies have shown that as long as eaten in moderation, foods that contain goitrin are unlikely to cause serious thyroid problems. 

Spinach also contains some goitrin, but kale contains more. However, it has been found that cooking these vegetables will deactivate the enzyme that releases goitrin. 

Therefore, if you do have thyroid issues, ensuring that you cook your kale or spinach before adding it to your meals will reduce the negative impact of consuming goitrin. 

You should also make sure you are getting enough iodine in your diet, as this is the hormone needed for a healthy thyroid. This can be found in dairy and seafood. 

Which One Is Healthier? 

It is hard to decipher which vegetable is healthier, as they are both filled with an array of healthy nutrients. 

While there are a few slight differences, such as kale being higher in vitamin C, both are wonderful greens that can be enjoyed as a very healthy and well-balanced diet. 

Aside from adding more nutrients to your dinner plates, they’ll also add whole new flavors and textures to your meals! 

How To Incorporate Them Into Your Diet

If you haven’t tried incorporating spinach and kale into your diet before, you may feel stuck on how to start.  

Including them in your meals will add variety and even more healthy vitamins and minerals to your diet, so this is something you should definitely start doing. 

You can begin by using spinach and kale, or one or the other, as a base for your salad, especially in the warmer months. Try massaging the kale with your favorite type of oil, as this will soften it and make it even tastier!

Top it off with your favorite vegetables and some protein, such as chicken or steak, and you’re done! 

Adding it to your sandwiches is also a great way to start introducing it into your meals. Both these veggies will provide you with a wonderful crunch that we can all agree is needed when it comes to sandwiches. 

You can also sauté these veggies with some butter and include them as a side dish to your favorite meals, or you can add mix them together with some eggs and your favorite veggies as a breakfast scramble. 

Another great breakfast option is adding them to a smoothie. You can combine them with your favorite fruits and some milk to really start your morning the right way! 

Final Thoughts 

As mentioned earlier, it is hard to decide on which vegetable is healthier. Both boast a variety of great nutrients for the body. 

The main nutritional difference between them is that kale has over double the amount of vitamin C as spinach. 

Despite this, both are wonderful additions to a balanced diet, and adding them to your meals will add variety, flavor, and a whole lot of goodness to your meals and to your body!