How many times have you been told to ‘eat your greens’? While this phrase is commonly reserved to instruct our kids to finish everything on their plate, all of us probably need some occasional encouragement as well. The Brassica genus boasts a number of hearty leafy greens that are an especially important part of a healthy diet. While most of the green veggie options available are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber and low in calories, you may not know which to choose.
As two of the most popular and readily available leafy green options, collard greens and kale really do deserve all the attention they receive. From increasing your bone health to decreasing your risk of cancer, these leafy greens can do wonders when incorporated into your diet.
So the question becomes, collard greens vs. kale — how do they measure up?
Collard greens are a leafy green vegetable with large, smooth, flat leaves that are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants making them a powerhouse of nutrition. Collard greens are an excellent source of nutrients like:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
The amount of dietary fiber in this vegetable makes it a great choice to support your digestive health. The soluble fiber helps absorb cholesterol before it makes its way into your bloodstream while the insoluble fiber increases the good bacteria in your gut. In addition, collard greens may improve bone health. One cup contains 27% of the daily value (DV) of calcium and 128% of the DV of Vitamin K. Both calcium and vitamin K are essential in the formation and maintenance of healthy, strong bones.
While some people may prefer collard greens straight from the garden, the most common way to consume them is by steaming or sauteing to soften the tough leaves. Incorporate collard greens into your diet with one of these recipes:
Mighty kale is widely considered as a nutritional superstar. Kale has been called the king of all cruciferous vegetables due to the high amounts of vitamins and minerals it contains like:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid
- Lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that give kale its deep, dark green color
There are many varieties of kale and the good news is that every option packs a big nutritional punch as they all contain a very high density of vitamins and minerals. With all of the options available, incorporating kale into your diet can be easy! With benefits like lowering your cholesterol, decreasing risk of cancer, and even helping in weight-loss it’s easy to see why kale is so widely praised. Reap some of the numerous benefits of kale by adding one of these meals to your lineup:
We all win!
At the end of the day both kale and collard greens are excellent choices if you are looking to add greens to your diet, both of these cruciferous vegetables are low calorie and filled with fiber, folate, and vitamins C, E, and K. Adding either of these leafy greens to your diet consistently can offer numerous health benefits including reduced risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and mental decline. With anti-inflammatory properties, the ability to inactivate carcinogens, protect cells from DNA damage, and deliver antiviral and antibacterial effects, adding any one of these leafy greens to your diet can help lower your risk of cancer according to the National Cancer Institute.
With harvest season in full swing you can find an abundance of collard greens and kale at your local farmer’s market.Not in the mood to cook? Keep it simple and healthy with one of Snap Kitchen’s nutritionist-developed meals like our Cajun Salmon with Collard Greens or Tuscan Kale Salad with Shrimp