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Kale vs. Spinach: Which Is Healthier?

Eating leafy greens such as kale and spinach are healthy for the body. They contain essential vitamins and nutrients that improve just about everything in the body including fighting off cancer, improving digestive functions, elevating heart health and preventing mental disorders. In fact, kale and spinach are the most common ingredients used in salads. Among the two powerhouses, which is better though – kale or spinach?


This leafy green is rich in vitamins A and C and is a good source of essential nutrients such as fiber, folate and calcium. As per registered dietician Torey Armul, a cup of chopped kale already amounts to 133 percent of the recommended daily intake of both vitamins A and C. A report by Women’s Health Magazine indicated that the vegetable has been used since the 17th century to prevent malnourishment and was used as a healthier option whenever food scarcity was on the rise.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database, one serving of kale provides up to 7 calories, 0.61 grams of protein, 0.31 grams of fat, 0.93 grams of carbohydrates, 0.9 grams of fiber, 0.21 grams of sugar, 53 milligrams of calcium, 1011 IU of vitamin A, 10.2 grams of vitamin C and 13 micrograms of folate.


On the other hand, BBC Good Food reported that during the 12th century, spinach was already recognized in Europe as a leafy green that affords good health. Dishes that used this vegetable were referred to as Florentine during the 16th century. The dishes were named after King Henry II’s wife Catherine de Medici’s Italian heritage.

Famously known as the vegetable that gives off the Popeye effect, it is available all year round but is abundant during spring or from March until June. Spinach is knownn for restoring energy, improving blood quality and increasing vitality.

It contains 25 calories, 2.8 grams of protein, 0.8 grams of fat, 1.6 grams of carbohydrates and 2.8 grams of fiber. Its best health benefit is improving the function of red blood cells that transport oxygen throughout the body, increase energy production and enhance DNA synthesis. It is also rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folate like kale. It has essential nutrients such as iron, vitamin B2, magnesium and manganese.

The Verdict

Both vegetables are essentially good for the body but one would prefer the other depending on which vitamin and nutrients are needed by the body. If you want more folate, vitamin K and iron to improve blood health, spinach is the better choice. If you want to improve your immune system, kale is the better option since it’s richer in vitamins A and C.

Kale and Spinach Kale has more vitamin A and C while spinach is rich in vitamin K, folate and iron. Monika Baechler/Pixabay