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Moringa vs Kale: A Battle Of New Superfood!

amita fotedar

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Kimberly Langdon, MD

Kale vs Moringa

Gone are the days, when In the world of superfoods, kale’s established role as the go-to green superfood often overshadowed moringa (miracle tree). Moringa[1] is gaining more and more attention and it is not wrong to say that this superfood could be the next kale. 

The health claims[2] for moringa powder sound way too good to be true. The nutrient-packed plant has become the next big super green of the decade and can be used as a powerful supplement.

Dubbed as ultra nutrient-dense superfoods, both moringa and kale offer a myriad of health benefits. Both are members of the botanical order Brassicales and both are popular on every brunch menu. 

Both offer at least 10% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C, folate, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, vitamin B6, and vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids). 

So to get to know these two super greens, keep reading.

Kale vs Moringa

Kale and Moringa have a lot in common. Both have a very promising nutritional profile. Let’s find out more about them. 

Kale 

Prepared using cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts, Kale – a vegetable[3] with green or purple leaves is earning popularity amongst Europeans and Americans looking to get in shape. These can be boiled, steamed, or even eaten in the form of salads. Kale is also called borecole.

Power-packed with a plethora of nutrients[4] including calcium, vitamins, iron, potassium, copper to name a few – it is a rich source of plant protein that forms a hot favorite item in the menu of vegans and vegetarians. 

Carotenoids and phytonutrients are found in abundance in Kale. These are known to boost the immune system, help with digestion and even protect from a few ailments.

Moringa

Another close companion of Kale is Moringa. Known globally by many other names—”the miracle tree,” “the never die,” “the drumstick tree,” “horseradish tree,” “mother’s best friend,” and “ben oil tree or benzolive tree”—Moringa oleifera, offers an abundance of nutritional and medicinal benefits[5], as per the anecdotal evidence and increasing scientific studies. 

Moringa shares equal (if not more) status of being a known superfood[6]. It is known to be rich in Vitamins, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and manganese. Moringa is known to contain 40 antioxidants compounds, 35 anti-inflammatory compounds, and 20 essential amino acids that are a rich source of proteins.

According to research[7], 3 separate flavonoids contained in Moringa are known to reduce risks of coronary ailments and certain types of cancer.

To understand how both fare against each other in terms of their impressive nutritional profile, let us compare the nutrients present in 100 grams of fresh, uncooked moringa/kale leaves.

The below chart provides both the actual amount and the Percent Daily Value (percent DV) for each nutrient.

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

It is evident from the table that Moringa[8] has twice the protein, thrice the iron, and almost six times vitamins to Kale[9]. In saying that, Kale has a slightly higher concentration of Vitamins and potassium. 

Notably, both Moringa and Kale are packed with nutrition and have immense health benefits.

Kale has gained more popularity as a nutrient-dense green vegetable, but Moringa has the winning edge over kale. Moringa is known as an immensely powerful anti-inflammatory green food man has ever known. In addition, Moringa comes with many real benefits backed with scientific evidence.  

Potential Health Benefits Of Moringa and Kale

Research suggests that moringa has multiple health benefits[10]. It promotes weight loss in humans. It also possesses antibiotic, anti-bacterial, anti-asthmatic, anti-diabetic, anti-viral properties as well as anti-inflammatory effects. The powerful antioxidant – Quercetin present in moringa reduces blood pressure and fats in the body and the blood. 

Leaf extracts of moringa are also helpful to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis by lowering fluid swelling, redness, and pain.

Chlorogenic acid (CGA) – a phenolic compound present in moringa helps moderate blood sugar levels in diabetic patients after meals. Moringa also possesses cholesterol-lowering effects, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease.

The moringa powder obtained from crushed seeds helps to purify drinking water since the proteins in moringa seeds aid in creating bacterial clumps that fall to the bottom and can be easily removed.  

Kale, like moringa, contains heaps of nutrients and offers multiple health benefits[11]. It possesses exceptionally strong antioxidant properties that may help slow the progression of a wide range of age-related diseases as well as aging in general. 

Kale contains Lutein and zeaxanthin[12] (types of organic pigments termed as carotenoids), nutrients that give kale its dark and deep green color and safeguard against macular degeneration (an eye disease that causes vision loss) and cataracts.

Calcium and phosphorus present in kale are crucial for healthy bone formation.

Kale is rich in fiber and water that supports a healthy digestive system and prevents constipation. 

Other nutrients present in kale like – beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E support a healthy immune system.

What’s more, both moringa and kale contain glucosinolates (biologically active compounds with nutritional effects). Glucosinolates are sulfur-containing compounds that convert into isothiocyanates in the body. Isothiocyanates are powerful phytochemicals that are also called stress-response chemicals known for their anti-cancer properties, and this is the reason why kale and moringa are hailed as effective anti-cancer foods.

To sum up, both moringa and kale are powerful superfoods, rich in nutrients offering a multitude of health benefits

Adding Moringa or Kale to Your Diet

One major difference between moringa and kale is that kale grows in cooler weather and moringa grows only in warm weather. So, fresh moringa leaves are not available in places where the climate is too cold. In such places. Moringa powder is easily available at health food stores. The powder can be used in smoothies and soups, added to coconut water, fresh apple juice, or orange juice, or stirred into dressings and sauces. Some people use moringa powder in making green “lattes”.

Kale (both fresh and frozen)  is easily available in regular supermarkets if you want to use it in cooking. Kale powder is also available in health food stores for people who want to use it as supplements. You can have kale leafy greens by adding them in juices and smoothies, by baking kale leaves, and in the form of homemade kale chips.

The Final Takeaway

Both kale and moringa possess a much higher nutritional content in most categories in comparison to other foods (making them ‘super’). 

Kale has ruled the super greens kingdom for a very long time. But recently, a ‘miracle tree’ Moringa oleifera is making waves as an even nutritious and healthier alternative. Moringa has also been touted for some 300 medicinal benefits and is being identified as the next big super green.


+ 12 sources

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amita fotedar

Written by:

Amita Fotedar, Ph.D.

Medically reviewed by:

Dr. Amita Fotedar is an experienced research consultant with a demonstrated history of working in elite research institutes such as the UNDP. She has a Ph.D. in Life Sciences, and a Post Graduate Diploma in International Studies from International Pacific University (New Zealand Campus), and has also achieved certification in Climate Studies from Harvard University. She has done a MicroMasters specialization in Sustainable Energy from The University of Queensland (Australia). She is also a co-founder and research consultant for a New Zealand-based sustainability and environmental services entity. Dr. Amita Fotedar firmly believes in the mantra of "health is wealth" and has a special interest in health and wellness topics. She is a freelance writer who covers health-related topics and is a lead author for many health publications and websites.

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