Health & Wellness

Broccoli vs. Kale: Which is Better For You?

by Meg Gerber August 20, 2019
kale_vs_broccoli_blog_post

Which is higher in Vitamin K? Kale

Supports protein activation and bone and artery health.

Higher in Vitamin C? Broccoli

To retain the most nutrient density overall, lightly steam broccoli from fresh (not frozen); PS-the stems contain the highest density of vitamin C!

Higher in antioxidants? Kale

These are generally heat-sensitive – eat raw where you can for the biggest antioxidant punch! (1)

Lower in carbs? Broccoli

Kale happens to pack just a few grams more carbs per serving than broccoli BUT both are considered very low carb foods!

Higher in Calcium? (& most trace minerals in general) Kale

1 cup cooked kale packs in close to 100 mg of calcium (for reference most of us need ~1000 mg/day). Gram per gram kale has more iron, magnesium, copper, manganese than broccoli (3).


The bottom line – Kale takes the cake BUT eat both for a variety of nutrition!

Gut health, detox & cancer fighters!

Both contain dense sources of fiber to support regularity and your gut microbiome as well as help boost levels of liver cleansing glutathione -the most potent antioxidant in the body! Raw forms of kale and broccoli also contain sulforaphane – a phytochemical that has anticarcinogenic properties by protecting from cell damage.  The chemical is most active when the veggies are in the raw, chopped up form but research has shown that adding mustard seed to cooked broccoli increases sulforaphane bioavailability (2).

Culinary versatility

Both are becoming increasingly versatile beyond just the classic methods of steaming, roasting or adding kale to your smoothies. Some different uses for the veggies include:

  • Broccoli rice as a sub for regular rice
  • Kale chips instead of potato chips
  • Fiber boost your smoothies by blending in steamed then frozen broccoli stems
  • Sub kale for basil in a pesto or juice kale and mix with fruit juices to freeze into popsicles!

References:

  1. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/132/3/461/4687290
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mnfr.201700980
  3. https://www.healwithfood.org/comparison/kale-vs-broccoli-which-is-better.php