For the past few years, kale has been touted as THE superfood to eat. It’s not the easiest green to consume. It can be tough, and even when cooked, I prefer to remove the center rib and cut it into smaller pieces to help tenderize it. Many people actually massage it when serving it in a salad to soften it up, and let the salad dressing soak in to allow it to wilt a bit. When used in smoothies, it takes a powerful blender to chew through raw kale to avoid those pesky leaves getting caught in your teeth.
That said, I do enjoy kale and have been eating it sautéed for much longer than fashionable. When something comes out of the woodwork and becomes such a health food fad, I always question it’s validity. ( Hello gluten free for all mankind!)
I set out to do a little research on just how king kale stacks up against the other less lauded greens.
The facts: Kale has 33 calories per cup, and contains 1 gram of fiber and 2 grams of protien. It has 9% of the recommended daily requirement for calcium, and 6% of required iron. Here is where the rubber meets the road: kale has 134% of the recommended daily dosage of vitamin C and 206% of vitamin A. Pretty impressive stats, right?
Well, some of the others hold their own against the king, with spinach, collard greens and swiss chard being worthy opponents in the nutritional competition.
* via SELF nutritional data
The verdict? While kale does in fact remain the leader of the pack, adding dark leafy greens into your diet is a clear win, regardless of the type.
Editor’s note: In researching this post, it’s important to note that the serving size for each green is not generally consistent. Recommended servings of spinach are almost double that of kale, making the differentials closer. Several sites stated different facts, but did not have the nutritional data for all four vegetables. This data, from Self Nutritional Data, stated serving sizes equally, while others did not, therefore making it the best comparison for this purpose.
photo: Glasshouse Images
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