Do you need superfoods to be healthy? Short answer: no!
Superfoods are popularised by individuals, media, celebrities, or food industries to promote intake of these products. Like many other foods, they can come and go in popularity, such as other fads including swallowing tapeworms to lose weight.
A huge superfood which has been really popular has been kale, which has only fallen short in popularity to smashed avocado. Kale has a very distinctive taste and texture, and is cooked into dishes, added to smoothies, had in salad or eaten cooked up as chips. But is kale that great? Or are the other foods out there which are as good as kale?
Kale is a rich source of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, copper, dietary fibre, calcium, iron, vitamin E, B vitamins, in different quantities. The list of foods below are very similar in nutritional value to kale, and can often be a lot more versatile and enjoyable for people to make part of their daily intake. This would save some half bunches of kale going into the bin.
- Collard greens – this includes broccoli, cabbage, and other types of green leafy vegetables.
- Iceberg lettuce – is very rich in vitamin K, folic acid, and a variety of B vitamins which is very similar to kale.
- Watercress – voted by the Centre for Disease Control in the US for being the number one powerhouse vegetable!
- Chinese cabbage – rich source of calcium and iron, and can assist in reducing the risk of inflammatory markers which can attribute to cardiovascular disease.
- Parsley – has lots of vitamin K, and sprinkling it on your dinner can contribute to meeting your daily vitamin K intake.
- Spinach – has a slightly improved nutrient profile than kale, and has a higher content of iron.
- Beet greens – has a huge amount of fibre per cup of beet green, which is the cuttings they take off the top of beetroot before selling them. It is often available in pre-prepared salad mixes.
So don’t feel restricted by what you can do with kale when there is a huge variety of other foods which are just as great for you out there.
For more advice, speak with one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians.