When it comes to bodybuilding, foods containing the right amount of vitamins and minerals are just as important as ones full of protein and carbs. Two such foods are kale and spinach, both of which provide some very important nutrients to help you lose fat, build muscle, and improve your overall health and well-being.
Benefits of Spinach
Spinach is loaded with nutrition, containing high amounts of Vitamins C and K, in addition to loads of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. A single serving of spinach contains approximately 15% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of iron, as compared to 9% for kale. This vegetable also contains carotenoids that are known to fight cancer, reduce inflammation, and strengthen the immune system. It does contain some protein, carbohydrates, and Omega-3 fatty acids, and can therefore assist with healthy weight loss and muscle building.
Benefits of Kale
Rich in Vitamins A, C, and B6, kale also contains high amounts of iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, and manganese. Like spinach, it also has anti-inflammatory properties, and is capable of boosting the immune system through its carotenoids letein and zeaxanthin. More than 45 different flavonoids are found in kale, many of which have cancer-fighting properties. Kale is somewhat higher in calories than spinach, and also contains slightly less fiber per ounce. Even so, it is denser than spinach, meaning you will need to consume less of it in order to feel full.
How to Enjoy
When comparing kale vs. spinach, both provide a variety of ways to enjoy them. These vegetables may be eaten raw, or added to salads, shakes, juices, or smoothies. Many people prefer cooked spinach, and if you’re one of them, you will be glad to know that this vegetable maintains most of its nutritional value after being boiled. If you’re looking for a healthy snack between meals, you will likely find kale chips (which are kale leaves that have been seasoned and baked) very delicious. For best results, consume fresh, organic kale or spinach from a local grower whenever possible.
Kale vs. Spinach: Which is Better?
When deciding between kale vs. spinach, your workout goals, health, and lifestyle will all play a part. Women of childbearing age might prefer spinach because it provides high amounts of folate and iron, two nutrients that are essential for a healthy pregnancy. Vegans or those who are lactose intolerant may desire eating kale because it has a higher concentration of calcium. Most people find that including both in their diet on a regular basis provides them with the right balance of nutrition, while also helping them prevent future illnesses.
In the ongoing debate between kale vs. spinach, it is easy to see that each one of these vegetables provide numerous benefits, making it hard to choose one over the other. You don’t have to stick with just one, as enjoying both of them on a regular basis will provide you with the right variety and nutrition for optimum health.