Food Face Off: Kale vs Spinach

Which of These Leafy Green Superfoods Do You Prefer?


n the green corner, we have time-tested, Popeye-approved, leafy superfood, spinach! In the other green corner, we have the new favorite, hipster-craved, also leafy superfood, kale! It’s no secret that these two both pack a punch with nutrients and health benefits. But which one will come out on top when it comes to being the best leafy superfood? We’re coming at you with all the info you need to decide between the two. We’re pitting spinach against kale in a knockdown, drag-out, battle of the veggies. So without further ado, LET’S GET READY TO… learn?


Okay, so we’ve all seen Popeye — that lovable sailor with a heart of gold. Any time the going would get tough, and he was up against the odds, Popeye would pop open a can of spinach, and we’d instantly see the results. His biceps would bulge. There would be a spring in his step. He’d have that extra boost of energy that we all wish we had at the end of our workouts. But what were the animators up to here? Were they making spinach, a seemingly unappealing glob of green in a can, work against its reputation with kids? Was it just pure fun, or were they really onto something there? The answer is, of course, they were spot on in shedding light on the health-boosting nature of spinach.

Now we’re not trying to get your hopes up. When you’re at the end of your CrossFit sesh, when you’re down and out, thinking about why you ever joined CrossFit, to begin with, you can’t just slug down some spinach and get that instant Popeye boost (sorry sailors, dig deep and lift that kettlebell). But if you implement spinach into your weekly diet, some serious health benefits come along with it. Benefits of spinach include high levels of niacin, zinc, protein, fiber, and Vitamins A, C, E, and K.

I rarely eat Spinach raw. Sometimes it pops up in salads or on my burger or sandwich. But to me, spinach is dull, texturally. Meaning it is excellent for stewing up and cooking. Its texture and flavor work well when it is in more of a soft, cooked mush. The wonders of spinach in a stew or an Italian sauce are boundless!


Doesn’t it seem like kale just came out of nowhere in the last couple years? Like it spontaneously sprouted up, and all the craft beer-drinking, record collecting (before it was cool) hipsters were on the kale train. It was their secret superfood that was too cool for your basic salad. But then kale became a thing. A thing thing. Like a meta thing. It’s on shirts and memes and everything you can think of. So what’s all the fuss about?

Kale is classified as a superfood for a reason. Its health benefits include: being low in calorie, high in fiber with many vitamins, nutrients as well as folate and magnesium. Magnesium, in particular, is what you should look at when you want an increase in energy. It can also help calm nerves and anxiety. Folate is essential for many cell functions within the body and is hugely important in cell repair maintenance. It’s clear that Kale packs a punch with its health benefits.

Texturally, kale isn’t for everyone. The good news is that most people seem to be taking to kale quite well. It has a rough, crunchier texture. It has a hearty presence in your mouth as you take a bite. Unlike spinach, kale is best in a raw state — in salads or sandwiches. Cooked kale isn’t as pleasing. This vegetable is a lot more about the texture, and you lose that excellent roughness the more you cook it. 

So here’s the verdict. These two superfoods could go all 12 rounds when you compare their health benefits and culinary appeal. So the real question is, which do you like better? If you’re trying to decide between the two, I’d make the deciding factor be the texture. Do you want a dull, mild, leafy feel? Or a rough, crunchy, rugged feel? We’ll leave the decision up to you as we score this bout of leafy superfoods as a draw!

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