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Moringa vs Kale: Nutritional Comparison

Published: September 4, 2018

Moringa or Kale

Moringa and kale have much more in common than just their green color. Both are members of the botanical order Brassicales, and both are packed with a wide range of nutrients. Below, we provide a side-by-side comparison of moringa and kale so you can easily see which one packs more nutritional punch. We also compare the potential health benefits of moringa vs kale, plus provide some tips on how you can incorporate these nutritional heavyweights into your diet.

Nutrient Content of Moringa vs Kale (per 100 g)

To understand how moringa and kale fare against each other in terms of nutritional composition, let's start by putting moringa and kale side by side for a fair comparison. The Moringa vs Kale comparison chart below shows you how much nutrients 100 grams of fresh, uncooked moringa/kale leaves contain. The chart provides both the actual amount and the % Daily Value (% DV) for each nutrient.

NutrientMoringa, freshKale, fresh
Protein9.4 g4 g
Fiber2 g (7% DV)3.6 g (13% DV)
Calcium185 mg (14% DV)150 mg (12% DV)
Iron4 mg (22% DV)1.47 mg (8% DV)
Magnesium42 mg (10% DV)47 mg (11% DV)
Potassium337 mg (7% DV)491 mg (10% DV)
Vitamin A378 RAE (42% DV)500 RAE (56% DV)
Vitamin C51.7 mg (57% DV)120 mg (133% DV)
Vitamin Kn/a705 mcg (587% DV)
Thiamin0.257 mg (21% DV)0.11 mg (9% DV)
Riboflavin0.66 mg (51% DV)0.13 mg (10% DV)
Niacin2.22 mg (14% DV)1 mg (6% DV)
Vitamin B61.2 mg (71% DV)0.271 mg (16% DV)
Folate (B9)40 mcg (10% DV)141 mcg (35% DV)

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28

Looking at the chart, it is easy to see why moringa has been promoted to superfood status. This nutritional powerhouse is an excellent source of manganese, vitamin C, thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B6 and vitamin A, with a 100-gram serving of fresh moringa leaves providing more than 20 percent of the Daily Value (DV) for each of these health-protecting nutrients. In addition, moringa contains plenty of magnesium, calcium, copper, niacin and folate.

Moringa is also loaded with iron, and with 4 milligrams of iron per 100 grams, moringa even beats out spinach when it comes to supplying iron. Unfortunately, however, research suggests that the plant-based iron in moringa leaves is not well absorbed by the human body (1). The good news is that by eating plant-based sources of iron together with vitamin C rich foods such as camu camu or acerola you can boost the absorption of iron in your digestive tract (2).

Like moringa, kale is a nutritional heavyweight packed with a wide range of minerals and vitamins. It is supercharged with copper, manganese, vitamin C, folate and vitamin K, with 100 grams of fresh kale providing more than 20 percent of the Daily Value for each of these nutrients. Furthermore, kale is packed with beta-carotene, which is a pre-cursor to vitamin A, plus it contains appreciable amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin E. Given its high nutritional value, it is not surprising that also kale has been lauded as a superfood.

To sum up, both moringa and kale are loaded many important nutrients. Both provide at least 10% of the Daily Value for calcium, magnesium, copper, manganese, vitamin C, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids). The perhaps most notable difference is that moringa is generally a much better source of B vitamins than kale, with one exception: when it comes to supplying folate (vitamin B9), kale is clearly the winner.

Potential Health Benefits

Some dieters swear by moringa tea as a weight loss aid. However, there have been no large clinical trials investigating whether moringa really promotes weight loss in humans. However, research done on animals suggests that moringa does indeed have properties that promote weight loss and fight insulin resistance. In addition, there is some evidence suggesting that moringa extracts may have anti-viral anti-bacterial properties as well as anti-inflammatory effects.

Like moringa, kale is thought to offer a wide range of health benefits. Research shows that kale has exceptionally strong antioxidant properties, and as you know, foods with strong antioxidant properties may help slow the progression of a wide-range of age-related diseases as well as aging in general.

What's more, both kale and moringa contain glucosinolates. While glucosinolates themselves do not offer many health benefits, they are easily converted into isothiocyanates in the body. Isothiocyanates are powerful phytochemicals that have been extensively researched for their anti-cancer properties, and they are the reason why Brassica vegetables like kale and broccoli have been hailed as anti-cancer foods.

Adding Moringa or Kale to Your Diet

One important difference between moringa and kale is that moringa only grows in warm climates, whereas kale grows well in cool weather and even tolerates frost. If you live in an area where moringa cannot be grown because the climate is too cold, you will have trouble finding fresh moringa leaves because they are highly perishable.

The good news is that you can buy moringa powder made from dehydrated moringa leaves at many health food stores as well as online. If you like to shop online, check out Zen Principle's moringa powder which is one of the most popular moringa powders on Amazon.

You can use moringa powder in many different ways, including mixed into smoothies and soups, stirred it into sauces and dressings, and added to recipes for homemade power bars. Some people also use moringa powder instead of matcha to make nutritious green "lattes".

If you like kale better than moringa and can't wait to start using kale in cooking, you don't necessarily have to head to a health food store because also regular supermarkets usually carry both fresh and frozen kale. However, if you want to buy kale powder, you may have to make a trip to a health food store, or buy it online.

Kale powder is used much in the same way as moringa powder (e.g. in smoothies, soups, omelets), and it is a good option if you have a small kitchen because unlike fresh or frozen kale, it does not take much storage space.

Moringa and Kale vs Other Superfoods

If you want to learn how moringa or kale stacks up against other healthy foods, be sure to check out the following comparisons:

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