20 Super Healthy Alternatives to Kale

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By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

April 21, 2017

  • Kale isn’t the only green superfood
  • Here’s what eating more greens can do for you
  • 20 super healthy alternatives to kale

Over the past few years, kale has become the watchword when it comes to green leafy vegetables. It’s the dark green darling of master chefs and foodies across the country. Even McDonalds and Chick-fil-A have gotten in on the act. Maybe you have, too.

But let’s face it. Kale isn’t for everyone.

A lot of people I’ve talked to tell me they’d love to eat it, but just can’t handle the bitter taste. Many of us are genetically “bitter tasters”, so we have a greater taste sensitivity to kale and other greens. Some even feel a little guilty about not working harder to find a way to like it. Others are just tired of it.

The good news is, if you haven’t been able to climb aboard the kale bandwagon, there are plenty of other leafy greens to choose from. And when you add them to your diet, good things are sure to follow.

Here’s what Eating More Greens can do for You

Green foods are a source of life. They’re loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that fuel your health.

But if you’ve been avoiding greens – kale or otherwise – you may be missing out on some phenomenal health benefits.

  • People who eat green leafy vegetables – even if it’s only one or two servings a day – tend to have cognitive abilities equal to people 11 years younger than they are.
  • Out of all fruits and vegetables, eating green leafy vegetables is most positively associated with a lower risk of major chronic disease… including cancer and cardiovascular disease. Leafy greens also cut your chances of type 2 diabetes.
  • Green leafy cruciferous vegetables appear to activate a gene (T-bet) that repairs damage to the lining of your gut and helps maintain the balance of good and bad intestinal bacteria. They also help in the critical removal (second phase) of liver metabolism of toxins.

Better yet, eating more leafy greens may just help prevent you from dying prematurely… from any cause!

20 Super Healthy Alternatives to Kale

There are a lot of greens in the world. And they come in many different forms. In addition to the bitter flavor of kale, you’ve got spicy mustard greens… tangy collards… zesty turnip greens… mild-tasting spinach and more.

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You can also choose from Swiss chard, broccoli, bok choy, leaf lettuces and arugula.

It’s time to spread your horizons and check out a few of these tasty green foods. Adding just a couple of servings each day can do a world of good for your health.

To help you make the most health-conscious choice, here’s a chart of the 20 most nutrient dense leafy greens you can buy.

Item Nutrient Density Score Item Nutrient Density Score
Watercress 100 Turnip green 62.12
Chinese cabbage 91.99 Mustard green 61.39
Chard 89.27 Endive 60.44
Beet green 87.08 Chive 54.8
Spinach 86.43 Kale 49.07
Chicory 73.36 Dandelion green 46.34
Leaf lettuce 70.73 Arugula 37.65
Parsley 65.59 Broccoli 34.89
Romaine lettuce 63.48 Brussels sprout 32.23
Collard green 62.49 Scallion 27.35

Always choose organic… steam (vs. boil) whenever possible… and feel free to boost the healing power of these green veggies by drizzling them with a little garlic and olive oil. Remember, try to eat something at every meal.


Morris MC, et al. Relations to Cognitive Change with Age of Micronutrients Found in Green Leafy Vegetables. FASEB J. April 2015 29:260.3

Hung HC, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of major chronic disease. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004 Nov 3;96(21):1577-84.

Carter P, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2010 Aug 18;341:c4229.

Gene discovery reveals importance of eating your greens. Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Apr. 2013.

Aune D, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality-a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. Int J Epidemiol. 2017 Feb 22. [Epub ahead of print]

Di Noia J. Defining Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables: A Nutrient Density Approach. Prev Chronic Dis. 2014;11:130390.

2 thoughts on “20 Super Healthy Alternatives to Kale

  1. 33Ethan

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  2. Dave

    I can’t eat any type of lettuce, I wear dentures and there can’t grind/chew lettuce like everyone else. I usually wind up choking on lettuce. I can’t afford new or better fitting dentures.

    I was looking for a healthy alternative to kale that I can eat raw.

    Any alternative suggestions?


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