- Kale is full of fiber, vitamins A, C and K and has been called a superfood
- Some experts aren’t sold on the kale hype — and say green cabbages are better
- READ MORE: Eating one serving of vegetables a day can cool your brain by four years
It’s the vegetable that has become the ultimate symbol of healthy living—and a staple in green juices across America.
Now, some nutritionists are suggesting that kale—the leafy green vegetable that’s technically a type of cabbage—is beating out another vegetable that’s popular in the health world: spinach.
While both have health benefits that “deserve a place in your fridge,” kale is packed with vitamins A, K, and C and, most importantly, full of colon-boosting fiber, according to Stephanie McKercher, a registered dietitian and recipe developer in Denver. . Colorado, at GratefulGrazer.com.
“Kale is higher in fiber and contains more vitamin C than spinach,” McKercher told Fox News.
Kale has been hailed as a “superfood” because of its high fiber content, as well as high amounts of other nutrients, including calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K.
“Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. It helps the immune system and helps with iron absorption.’
Fiber is especially crucial, given its role in reducing the risk of colon cancer and heart disease. According to the American Dietetic Association, less than seven percent of Americans meet the recommended intake of 30 grams per day.
But other experts told DailyMail.com that, while kale boasts significant benefits – it’s not the healthiest of leafy greens. So what is it?
Collard greens – which have slightly tougher outer leaves than spinach, and are generally cheaper – are the preferred leafy green of Australian functional medicine expert Jabe Brown, who told DailyMail.com: Collard greens are very dense in fibre, with a higher fiber content per calorie than most other leafy greens (8 per cup of cooked greens).
He adds that they are also an excellent source of potassium, which is key to regulating heart rate, aiding muscle contraction and balancing sodium levels in the body.
Dr. Carolyn Williams, a registered dietitian, encourages people to eat the leafy greens they enjoy eating, as each vegetable boasts certain benefits.
“This makes them an ideal choice,” he says, especially for anyone looking to increase their dietary fiber intake.
And then there’s calcium—a bone-strengthening nutrient often considered unique to dairy products.
While one cup of raw spinach contains 30 milligrams of calcium and kale has 53 milligrams, one cup of collard greens has an impressive 286 mg of calcium.
Collards are also rich in vitamins A and C – vital for a healthy immune system – as well as iron to prevent anemia, where the blood cannot deliver enough oxygen to the body’s tissues.
However, experts say adding any leafy greens to your diet is a surefire way to get much-needed fiber, extend feelings of satiety to reduce snacking, and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Dr Carolyn Williams, registered dietitian, told DailyMail.com:One leafy green will be slightly higher in some vitamins and minerals than another, but the alternative will be higher in a variety of nutrients. So there’s no clear winner or anything like that.
And I think it’s really important for people to eat more leafy greens.
Cooking leafy greens in healthy fats like extra virgin olives with a little salt and pepper is a great way to include them in your dinners and lunches.
Dr. Williams said he prefers spinach because of its versatility, noting that many people when preparing kale prefer to massage it with oil first to soften it.
She said: I tell people to just eat something green and leafy. Eat what you want, what you will eat. Because the most important part is just getting the leafy greens in.
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