Locations:
Search IconSearch

Kale vs. Spinach: Which Is Heart-Healthier?

Discover which leafy green is better for your body

cleaning spinach and kale

It’s the battle of the greens and the ultimate faceoff is spinach versus kale. Health aficionados can’t get enough of kale and its signature dark green color, but where does it stack up against its opponent spinach?

Advertisement

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Kale and spinach — both “super veggies” — are packed with nutrients because they’re leafy greens, says preventive cardiology​ dietitian Kate Patton, MEd, RD, CSSD, LD.

From nutrients to health benefits, she helps unfold everything you need to know about this powerful duo and tips for working these leafy greens into your diet.

Which is heart-healthier?

Kale and spinach are both super veggies loaded with nutrients, but which leafy green should rule when it comes to heart health?

The truth is that both spinach and kale are heart-healthy and are great choices.

“Leafy greens are so good for you that you really can’t eat too many,” says Patton. “In fact, they’re considered heart-healthy superfoods.”

Spinach is not only great for your heart, but it helps boosts eye health, helps reduce blood pressure levels and it helps prevent cancer. Not only that, but it boasts more fiber, protein and vitamin A than kale and is also higher in calcium and iron.

On the other hand, kale crushes spinach when it comes to vitamins K and C, plus it’s also lower in calories and richer in heart-healthy flavonoids. These flavonoids are packed with anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Advertisement

“Truly, you can’t go wrong with either choice,” she says. “As a bonus, both contain omega-3 fatty acids. This helps fight the inflammation at the root of heart disease and other chronic illnesses.”

What’s the best way to prepare kale and spinach?

Kale’s pungent, slightly bitter, peppery taste stands on its own very well — steamed, sauteed or baked into yummy kale chips. If you find kale’s taste a bit strong, look for blends of kale with other greens or try milder baby kale. Don’t forget to remove the tough middle part so you don’t get a bitter taste in your mouth after chewing on it.

While cruising through your local produce aisle, look for dark green leaves that are free of brown or wilted leaves. The firmer it is, the better.

When it comes to spinach, there’s a variety of ways you can prepare (or drink!) it. Spinach can be tossed fresh in a salad, layered in a wrap or sandwich, or added to just about any dish. Its fairly mild flavor complements eggs, pasta, rice and beans. Add spinach to soups or chop it and mix into burgers and sauces. Plus, try throwing it into your favorite smoothie for added benefits. Don’t worry, you won’t be able to taste it.

“All leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, so don’t limit yourself to spinach and kale,” says Patton. “Think about adding collard greens, mustard greens, Swiss chard and turnip greens to salads and soups, or prepare them as a tasty side.”

Learn more about our editorial process.

Related Articles

Cooked slices of seasoned zucchini
July 22, 2024/Nutrition
Is Zucchini Good for You?

Packed with fiber and other nutrients, zucchini can boost your immune system and help you cut calories

Person in an apron, kitchen carrying a loaf of sour dough bread on tray
July 12, 2024/Nutrition
Is Sourdough Bread Healthy for You?

Sourdough can be healthier than some other bread choices — but that doesn’t give it ‘health food’ status

Bowl of horseradish
July 8, 2024/Nutrition
4 Health Benefits of Horseradish

This spicy root helps fight cancer, bacteria and inflammation

An array of meatless foods in different vessels on table
July 5, 2024/Nutrition
Going Vegan 101: A Beginner’s Guide

The meatless, plant-based eating style has countless tasty and healthy options

Hands cupping bowl of greens, chickpeas, whole figs, halved and tofu
July 3, 2024/Nutrition
4 Health Benefits of Figs

Packed with fiber and nutrients, this flower — yep, flower! — is great for your blood sugar, heart and gut

Assorted whole-grain foods, fruits, vegetables and nuts
June 21, 2024/Nutrition
Eating for Energy: Foods That Fight Fatigue

What’s on your plate can either help power you through your day or put you in nap mode

Person standing in front of oversized nutrition label, reading it
June 19, 2024/Nutrition
What Can You Learn From a Nutrition Label?

Information on serving size, calories and nutrients can help you make healthy choices

Piles of sugar alcohol
June 17, 2024/Nutrition
What You Should Know About Sugar Alcohols

Often labeled as ‘diabetes-friendly’ or ‘calorie-free,’ these sugar substitutes warrant caution

Trending Topics

Female and friend jogging outside
How To Increase Your Metabolism for Weight Loss

Focus on your body’s metabolic set point by eating healthy foods, making exercise a part of your routine and reducing stress

stovetop with stainless steel cookware and glassware
5 Ways Forever Chemicals (PFAS) May Affect Your Health

PFAS chemicals may make life easier — but they aren’t always so easy on the human body

jar of rice water and brush, with rice scattered around table
Could Rice Water Be the Secret To Healthier Hair?

While there’s little risk in trying this hair care treatment, there isn’t much science to back up the claims

Ad