THE BATTLE OF THE GREENS BEGINS
In recent years, kale has exploded onto the health and nutrition scene. Dubbed an ultra nutrient-dense superfood, with many even calling it the most nutritious plant in the world, it’s no wonder that the leafy vegetable has gained so much attention. Don’t ignore the hype, because kale really is extremely nutrient dense with a vast array of vitamins, minerals, and even protein.
But the question remains: How does the lesser-known superfood moringa stack up against nutritional heavyweight kale?
Kale is a leafy green vegetable closely related to brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower. It is found in a wide variety of places around the world and is especially prevalent in Europe and the United States. Kale is also widely available in most grocery stores. A versatile food, Kale can be served steamed, boiled, or raw.
Nutritionally, kale is known for its high levels of iron, calcium, beta carotene, and vitamin C. It’s also a good source of plant protein. Furthermore, the carotenoids and phytochemicals in kale may protect against certain diseases, including cancer.
In the world of superfoods, kale’s established role as the go-to green superfood often overshadows moringa. However, moringa is becoming more and more popular and deserves much more attention. If you aren’t familiar, moringa is a slender tree with nutrient dense leaves. Moringa leaves can be added to soups, curries, pasta sauces, used to make tea, or tossed in a salad.
In several areas the nutritional profile of kale and moringa contain several similarities. Moringa also contains high levels of iron, calcium, beta-carotene, vitamins B and C, and is a complete plant protein with all nine essential amino acids. Furthermore, unlike kale, moringa contains three flavonoids which have been studied extensively for their role in protecting against heart disease and cancer, as well as having anti-inflammatory properties.
MORINGA VS KALE
To break things down visually, here is a comparison between the two leafy greens in their raw form:
A side-by-side comparison shows that moringa provides a better source of plant protein by more than a factor of two. Moringa is also about 25% higher in Calcium. Kale takes the prize for fiber and beta-carotene. However, both kale and moringa have a significantly higher levels of beta-carotene than carrots – a vegetable typically noted for its high vitamin A content. Both kale and moringa are good sources of iron, but moringa wins this round by containing roughly 3x more iron than kale, and moringa powder contains at least 6x more iron than kale. Lastly, moringa contains at least 2x the amount of B-vitamins than kale. For another visual, let’s take a look at a stacked bar chart.
Overall, moringa and kale are nutritionally similar. They both have a much higher nutritional content in most categories compared to other foods (making them ‘super’). Moringa’s higher levels of protein, iron, and calcium make it a nutritional heavyweight. That paired with its higher concentration of all-essential B-vitamins put moringa in the running for the title of most nutritional plant in the world. If you haven’t already tried moringa, start today by adding moringa to your morning smoothie or mix it into a bowl of oatmeal for a simple way to get more leafy greens into your diet.