Spinach vs Collard greens

Spinach and Collard green both nutritious leafy green vegetables that belong to the same family, Brassicaceae. They are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber, making them excellent additions to a balanced diet.

While both are highly nutritious, they do have some differences in taste and texture, which can influence how they’re used in cooking. Spinach is more delicate and can be eaten raw or cooked quickly, while collard greens are heartier and benefit from longer cooking times to tenderize the leaves.

SPINACH

COLLARD GREEN

What is Spinach

Spinach is abundant in essential nutrients like iron, vitamin, A, C and E, potassium, folate and magnesium. When incorporated into a balanced diet, it can bolster immune function, promote healthy digestion, and potentially exhibit anticancer properties. Nevertheless, some individuals may benefit from consuming this vegetable in moderate quantities.

Spinach is an excellent source of iron, which helps your body make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin helps transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body.

Spinach contributes a notable amount of protein to your diet. In fact, every 100 grams of spinach provides nearly 2.9 grams of this essential nutrient.

SPINACH

Nutrients per serving

  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 7
  • Carbs: 1 gram
  • Fat: 0 grams

Key Characteristics of spinach

Spinach:

  1. Scientific Name: Spinacia oleracea.
  2. Appearance: Dark green, tender leaves with a slightly glossy texture.
  3. Flavor: Mild, slightly earthy taste.
  4. Nutrition: Rich in vitamins A, C, K, and folate, as well as minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium.
  5. Health Benefits: Supports eye health, aids in digestion, and boosts the immune system.
  6. Cooking: Can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in various dishes like stir-fries, soups, and omelets.
BBC good food

6 Health Benefits of Spinach

  1. Lowering Blood Pressure: Spinach is rich in potassium, a mineral known to help lower blood pressure.
  2. Healthy Eyes: Spinach contains lutein, an antioxidant that protects against age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Lutein supplementation has been linked to a lower risk of macular degeneration.
  3. Better Thinking Skills: Lutein in spinach has been associated with preserved cognitive abilities in older adults, including better verbal fluency, memory, reasoning ability, and processing speed.
  4. Healthy Bones: Spinach is a great source of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health and growth.
  5. Healthy Skin: The vitamin A in spinach supports skin health by aiding tissue growth, supporting the skin’s immune system, and helping maintain hydration. This may reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  6. Healthy Blood: Spinach is an excellent source of iron, crucial for hemoglobin production. Hemoglobin transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, and iron deficiency can lead to fatigue.

12 Common Types of Spinach, each with its own unique characteristics.

  1. Savoy Spinach (Spinacia oleracea var. Savoy): This type of spinach has crinkled, curly leaves and is known for its tender texture and mild flavor.

SAVOY SPINACH Distinct features

savoy spinach
  • Versatility in Cooking: Savoy spinach can be used in a variety of culinary applications. It can be eaten raw in salads, wilted in stir-fries, soups, and stews, or used as a filling in dishes like quiches and spanakopita.
  • Growth Habit: Like other spinach varieties, Savoy spinach is an annual plant that typically grows in a rosette shape, with leaves radiating from a central point.
  • Cultivation: It’s important to note that the Savoy spinach variety may have specific cultivation requirements. It typically thrives in cool weather and can tolerate light frosts. It’s often grown in early spring or late summer for a fall harvest.
Spinach ,Vegetable Rice
Spinach ,Vegetable Rice
  • Leaf Texture: Savoy spinach has crinkled or blistered leaves. These leaves have a wrinkled appearance, which sets them apart from flat-leaf varieties.
  • Color: The leaves are a deep, dark green. The color may vary slightly depending on factors like maturity and growing conditions.
  • Flavor: The taste of Savoy spinach is often described as robust and earthy, with a slightly nutty undertone. It is known for its rich, full flavor.
  • Nutritional Content: Like other spinach varieties, Savoy spinach is a highly nutritious leafy green. It’s an excellent source of vitamins (such as vitamin A, C, K, and folate), minerals (like iron, calcium, and potassium), and dietary fiber.
  • Texture After Cooking: Due to its crinkled leaves, Savoy spinach can retain more moisture after cooking compared to flat-leaf varieties. This can result in a slightly different texture when cooked.
  • Versatility in Cooking: Savoy spinach can be used in a variety of culinary applications. It can be eaten raw in salads, wilted in stir-fries, soups, and stews, or used as a filling in dishes like quiches and spanakopita.
  • Growth Habit: Like other spinach varieties, Savoy spinach is an annual plant that typically grows in a rosette shape, with leaves radiating from a central point.
  • Cultivation: It’s important to note that the Savoy spinach variety may have specific cultivation requirements. It typically thrives in cool weather and can tolerate light frosts. It’s often grown in early spring or late summer for a fall harvest.

2.Flat-Leaf Spinach (Spinacia oleracea var. Smooth Leaf): Also known as smooth-leaf or flat-leaf spinach, this variety has smooth, broad leaves. It’s often preferred for its ease of cleaning and cooking.

3.Semi-Savoy Spinach (Spinacia oleracea var. Semi-Savoy): Semi-savoy spinach is a hybrid variety that combines characteristics of savoy and flat-leaf spinach. It has slightly crinkled leaves, making it easier to clean than savoy but with some of the texture.

4.Baby Spinach: This is not a specific variety but rather a term used to describe young, tender spinach leaves. Baby spinach is typically harvested at an early stage of growth when the leaves are small and tender.

Baby Spinach with Rice and Mushroom
Baby Spinach with Rice and Mushroom this is one of my personal recipe , coconut milk is added for additional flavor.

5.Bloomsdale Spinach: Bloomsdale is a popular heirloom variety known for its crinkled, dark green leaves. It’s a savoy-type spinach with a robust flavor.

6.Tyee Spinach: Tyee is a relatively new hybrid spinach variety that is known for its disease resistance and high yield. It has dark green, smooth leaves.

7.Space Spinach: This variety is specifically bred for its ability to grow in limited space, making it a good choice for container gardening or small garden plots.

8.Melody Spinach: Melody is a variety known for its slow bolting (going to seed) and high resistance to downy mildew. It produces glossy, dark green leaves.

9.Corvair Spinach: Corvair is a semi-savoy variety that is known for its resistance to bolting and disease. It has slightly crinkled, dark green leaves. Well-suited for both spring and fall cultivation, this variety boasts high yield potential and demonstrates adaptability across a wide range of conditions. Additionally, it exhibits resistance to downy mildew.

Corvair Spinach
Corvair Spinach

10.New Zealand Spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides): While not technically related to true spinach, New Zealand spinach is a heat-tolerant alternative. It has succulent, triangular leaves and a similar flavor profile.

11.Red Malabar Spinach (Basella alba): Another spinach alternative, Red Malabar Spinach, is a vining plant with succulent, red-tinged leaves. It’s often used in salads or as a cooking green.

A vibrant variety of spinach with red-colored stems and leaves. This spinach is known for its unique appearance and is a popular choice among gardeners and culinary enthusiasts.

Red Malabar Spinach
Red Malabar Spinach

12.Indian Summer Spinach (Amaranthus tricolor): This is another warm-season spinach substitute. It’s not from the Spinacia genus but is used in similar culinary ways.

Remember that availability may vary depending on your location and local nurseries or seed suppliers. When choosing a type of spinach, consider factors like your local climate, available space, and personal taste preferences.

Consideration or limitations for Spinach

There are a few limitations associated with spinach:

  1. Oxalates: Spinach contains oxalates, which can crystallize and cause health issues for those with kidney problems or a history of kidney stones.
  2. High in Purines: People with gout should consume spinach in moderation as it contains purines, which can exacerbate the condition.
  3. Interference with Mineral Absorption: Spinach contains compounds like oxalic acid and phytates that can hinder the absorption of certain minerals like calcium and iron.
  4. Risk of Pesticide Residues: Conventionally grown spinach may carry pesticide residues, so opting for organic varieties can be beneficial.Despite its numerous health benefits, spinach does come with potential risks, often associated with its production and packaging. The nonprofit organization Environmental Working Group has consistently placed spinach near the top of its yearly list of foods that may contain pesticide residues.
  5. Allergies: Some individuals may have allergic reactions to spinach, although this is relatively rare.
  6. Potential for Contamination: Spinach, especially if not properly washed, can sometimes harbor harmful bacteria like E. coli, so thorough cleaning is essential.
  7. Thyroid Interference: Spinach contains goitrogens, which can interfere with the thyroid function if consumed in excessive amounts.
  8. Vitamin K Interaction: Individuals on blood thinners need to monitor their vitamin K intake, as spinach is high in this nutrient, which can affect blood clotting.
  9. FODMAP Content: Spinach contains some fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs), which can cause digestive discomfort for individuals sensitive to them.
  10. High Fiber: Spinach is rich in fiber, which, when consumed in excess, can lead to symptoms like gas, cramping, and abdominal discomfort.

It’s worth noting that while these limitations exist, spinach is still a highly nutritious vegetable and provides numerous health benefits when consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Consulting a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized advice is always recommended, especially for those with specific health concerns or dietary restrictions.

Rice Spinach ,mushroom and Carrots fried with ginger
Rice Spinach ,mushroom and Carrots fried with ginger

Simple Nutritional facts Spinach vs Collard Greens

Spinach (Raw)
Nutrient
Collard Greens (Raw)
Nutrient
Calories
23
Calories
32
Protein
2.9g
Protein
2.1g
Total Fat
0.4g
Total Fat
0.6g
Carbohydrates
3.6g
Carbohydrates
6g
Fiber
2.2g
Fiber
4g
Sugars
0.4g
Sugars
0.5g
Vitamin A (IU)
4696 IU
Vitamin A (IU)
3333 IU
Vitamin C
47.9mg
Vitamin C
35.3mg
Calcium
99mg
Calcium
145mg
Iron
2.7mg
Iron
0.4mg
Vitamin K
482.9mcg
Vitamin K
418.4mcg

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as cooking methods and specific varieties of spinach or collard greens. It’s always a good idea to refer to specific nutritional information on packaging or consult with a nutritionist for precise details.

Very Important Facts When Storing Spinach

  1. Refrigeration: Store fresh spinach in the refrigerator. Place it in the vegetable crisper drawer, preferably in a perforated plastic bag or a loosely closed plastic bag. The perforations allow for proper air circulation, preventing excess moisture buildup.
  2. Remove Excess Moisture: Excess moisture can lead to the growth of mold and spoilage. Before storing, make sure the spinach is dry. You can pat it gently with a paper towel or use a salad spinner to remove excess water.
  3. Avoid Freezing: While you can freeze spinach for later use in cooked dishes like soups or smoothies, freezing can change its texture, and it’s not ideal for fresh salads. If you plan to freeze spinach, blanch it first and store it in airtight containers or freezer bags.
  4. Store Unwashed: It’s generally best to store spinach unwashed. Washing it before storing can introduce excess moisture, leading to quicker spoilage. Instead, wash it just before use.
  5. Use airtight containers: If you’ve opened a bag of pre-washed spinach, transfer any remaining leaves to an airtight container to help maintain freshness.
  6. Check for Spoilage: Regularly check your stored spinach for any signs of spoilage, such as wilting, sliminess, or a foul odor. Remove any damaged leaves promptly to prevent the spread of spoilage.

What is Collard greens?

Collard greens are a nutritional powerhouse, boasting a wealth of essential nutrients like iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K. Their fiber content supports healthy digestion and helps reduce cholesterol levels. Additionally, these greens are packed with antioxidants and have a low glycemic index, making them an excellent addition to your diet for overall well-being.

Collard greens are a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Brassica oleracea family, which also includes cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. There are several types of collard greens, though the most commonly known and cultivated variety is the Acephala group. Within this group, there are different cultivars and varieties.

A Soul Food Video on how to make Collard greens

By Soul food recipe

Basic Health Benefits of Collard green

Health BenefitDescription
Rich in NutrientsGood source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate, manganese, calcium, and potassium.
High in FiberExcellent source of dietary fiber, promoting digestive health, regular bowel movements, and aiding in weight management.
Antioxidant PropertiesContains beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.
Anti-Inflammatory EffectsPresence of phytonutrients, such as glucosinolates, contributes to anti-inflammatory properties.
Heart HealthFiber, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids contribute to lower blood pressure and improved cardiovascular function.
Bone HealthExcellent source of vitamin K and calcium, crucial for strong and healthy bones.
Blood Sugar ControlHigh fiber content helps regulate blood sugar levels, beneficial for diabetes management.
Supports DetoxificationCompounds like sulfur-containing glucosinolates may support the body’s detoxification processes.
table of health benefits

Within this group, there are different cultivars and varieties. Here are some types of collard greens:

Nutritional value one Cup Collard green per Serving 

collard green

One cup of fresh collard greens contains

  • Calories: 11
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: Less than 1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 2 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Sugar: Less than 1 gram

Here are some key characteristics of collard greens:

Collard Greens:

  1. Scientific Name: Brassica oleracea var. acephala.
  2. Appearance: Large, dark green leaves with a tough central stem.
  3. Flavor: Robust, slightly bitter taste (more so than spinach).
  4. Nutrition: High in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate, calcium, and fiber.
  5. Health Benefits: Promotes heart health, supports bone health, and aids in digestion.
  6. Cooking: Commonly cooked by boiling, steaming, or sautéing. Often served as a side dish, particularly in Southern cuisine.

Including a variety of leafy greens like spinach and collard greens in your diet can provide a range of essential nutrients and contribute to overall health and well-being.

10 different Types of collard greens:

  1. Georgia Southern Collard Greens: This is the most widely recognized and grown variety of collard greens. It is known for its large, dark green, crinkly leaves.
Georgia Southern Collard green
Georgia Southern Collard green

2.Vates Collard Greens: This variety is similar to the Georgia Southern but tends to have slightly smaller leaves. It’s a more compact plant, making it suitable for smaller gardens. Large, deep green, rounded leaves with a subtle crinkled texture exhibit cabbage like look and a mild cabbage-like taste that becomes more pronounced with a gentle frost.

In temperate regions, collard greens thrive throughout winter without interruption, allowing for continuous harvesting over the course of several months. The flavor is particularly enhanced during cooler weather, making it an ideal time for peak condition and quality.

Vates Collard Greens
Vates Collard Greens

3.Morris Heading Collard Greens: This type of collard green produces a central head, similar to cabbage, which is unusual for collards. It has smooth, dark green leaves.

4.Top Bunch Collard Greens: This variety is known for producing an abundance of tender, sweet leaves. It’s often favored for its improved flavor and texture.

Top bunch Collard green
Top bunch Collard green

5.Blue Max Collard Greens: Blue Max is a relatively newer cultivar known for its blue-green, large, and slightly crinkled leaves. It’s resistant to bolting (going to seed prematurely).

6.Champion Collard Greens: This variety is valued for its cold hardiness. It has dark green leaves and is a reliable choice for fall and winter gardening.

7.Flash Collard Greens: Flash is a hybrid collard green variety known for its rapid growth and high yield. It produces smooth, dark green leaves.

8.Green Glaze Collard Greens: This variety is characterized by its glossy, deep green leaves. It’s known for being disease-resistant and tends to hold up well in various growing conditions.

Green Glaze Collard Greens
Green Glaze Collard Greens

9.Early Spring Collard Greens: As the name suggests, this variety is bred for early spring planting. It matures quickly, allowing for an early harvest.

10.Yellow Cabbage Collard Greens: This cultivar is unique in that it produces yellow-green leaves. It has a milder flavor compared to some other varieties.

Remember that availability might vary depending on your location and local nurseries or seed suppliers. When choosing a type of collard greens, consider factors like your local climate, available space, and personal taste preferences.

Consideration or Limitations for Collard Green

  1. Oxalates: Like spinach, collard greens contain oxalates, which can crystallize and pose problems for individuals with kidney issues or a history of kidney stones.
  2. Digestive Discomfort: Collard greens are high in fiber, which can lead to gas, bloating, and abdominal discomfort, especially if consumed in large quantities or for those with sensitive digestive systems.
  3. Thyroid Interference: Collard greens, like other cruciferous vegetables, contain goitrogens which, when consumed in excessive amounts, can interfere with thyroid function.
  4. Interaction with Blood Thinners: Collard greens are high in vitamin K, which can affect blood clotting. This may be a concern for individuals on blood thinning medications.
  5. Contamination Risk: If not thoroughly washed, collard greens may harbor harmful bacteria, so proper cleaning is crucial.
  6. Potential for Allergies: Some individuals may have allergic reactions to collard greens, though this is relatively uncommon.
  7. High in Vitamin A: While vitamin A is important for health, excessive intake from sources like collard greens can lead to hypervitaminosis A, which can have adverse effects.
  8. FODMAP Content: Collard greens contain fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs), which can cause digestive discomfort for individuals sensitive to them.
  9. Pesticide Residues: Conventionally grown collard greens may carry pesticide residues, so opting for organic varieties can be beneficial.

Despite these limitations, collard greens are a valuable source of nutrients and offer various health benefits. As with any food, moderation and balanced consumption are key. If you have specific health concerns or dietary restrictions, consulting a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian is advisable.

Differences between Spinach and Collard green

SPINACH

Taste and Texture:

Spinach has tender, delicate leaves and a mild, slightly earthy flavor. It can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in various dishes.

Nutritional Content

  • Rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, iron, and calcium.
  • Low in calories but high in fiber, making it beneficial for digestion.
  • Contains antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are good for eye health.

Culinary Uses:

  • Can be eaten raw in salads or sandwiches.
  • Cooked spinach can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, quiches, and as a filling for pastries like spanakopita.

Cultural and Regional Use:

Spinach is used in a wide range of global cuisines, from Mediterranean salads to Indian curries.

Storage and Shelf Life:

Spinach tends to have a shorter shelf life and can wilt quickly. It’s best stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and used within a few days.

Culinary Flexibility:

Spinach is highly versatile and can be used in a wide range of dishes, both cooked and raw.

COLLARD GREEN

Taste and Texture:

Collard greens have tougher, thicker leaves and a more robust, slightly bitter flavor. They require longer cooking times to become tender.

Nutritional Content

  • Also high in vitamin K, vitamin A, and folate, but tends to have higher levels of these nutrients compared to spinach.
  • Excellent source of fiber, making it beneficial for digestive health.
  • Collard greens are known for being particularly rich in calcium, which is important for bone health.

Culinary Uses:

  • Typically cooked before consuming, often boiled, steamed, or sautéed.
  • Commonly served as a side dish, often with ingredients like garlic, onion, and ham hock for flavor.

Cultural and Regional Use:

Collard greens are a staple in Southern U.S. cuisine, where they are often cooked with ingredients like bacon or ham hock.

Storage and Shelf Life:

Collard greens are more resilient and can last longer in the refrigerator. They can be stored similarly to other greens, like kale or Swiss chard.

Culinary Flexibility:

Collard greens have a more specific culinary use and are primarily consumed after being cooked.

Storing Collard Green

Storing collard greens properly can help maintain their freshness and quality for a longer period. Here are some tips on how to store collard greens:

  1. Refrigeration:
    • Collard greens should be stored in the refrigerator to slow down the deterioration process.
    • Place the unwashed collard greens in a plastic bag. You can use the produce bags typically available in grocery stores or a resealable plastic bag with holes punched for ventilation.
    • Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing the bag. Excess air can lead to quicker deterioration.
  2. Temperature:
    • Keep collard greens in the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator. The ideal temperature for storing collard greens is around 32°F to 40°F (0°C to 4°C).
  3. Moisture:
    • Moisture can lead to the growth of mold and bacteria, so it’s essential to keep the collard greens dry.
    • If the collard greens are damp, you can pat them dry with a paper towel before storing them in the refrigerator.
  4. Separation:
    • Store collard greens away from fruits like apples and bananas, as these release ethylene gas, which can accelerate the ripening and deterioration of collard greens.
  5. Washing Before Use:
    • It’s best to wash collard greens just before using them. Washing them before storage can introduce excess moisture, which can lead to spoilage.
  6. Freezing (for Long-Term Storage):
    • If you have a large quantity of collard greens and want to store them for an extended period, consider blanching them before freezing. Blanching involves briefly immersing the greens in boiling water and then quickly cooling them in ice water before freezing. This helps to preserve the color, texture, and nutritional value.

Medication that can interact with Spinach and Collard Green

Spinach Medication Interaction

There are some medications and conditions for which spinach intake may need to be monitored or restricted. It’s always important to consult with a healthcare professional or pharmacist for personalized advice based on your specific medical history and medications. Here are a few examples:

  1. Warfarin (Coumadin): Spinach contains high levels of vitamin K, which can interfere with the anticoagulant effects of warfarin. Consistent intake of vitamin K-containing foods, including spinach, is usually recommended to be consistent to avoid fluctuations in warfarin effectiveness. If you are on warfarin, your healthcare provider may advise you to maintain a stable vitamin K intake.
  2. Calcium Channel Blockers: Some calcium channel blockers, such as verapamil, may interact with high levels of potassium found in certain foods, including spinach. While spinach is not extremely high in potassium, it’s still a good idea to discuss your diet with your healthcare provider if you are taking these medications.
  3. Tetracycline Antibiotics: Spinach, along with other foods high in calcium, may interfere with the absorption of tetracycline antibiotics. It’s generally recommended to avoid consuming dairy products, antacids, and high-calcium foods within a few hours of taking tetracycline antibiotics.

Collard Green Medication Interactions

  1. Warfarin (Coumadin): Warfarin is a blood thinner, and its effectiveness can be influenced by vitamin K intake. Consistent intake of vitamin K is important to maintain the stability of warfarin levels.
  2. Other Anticoagulants: Similar to warfarin, other anticoagulant medications may be affected by changes in vitamin K intake. Examples include dabigatran (Pradaxa), rivaroxaban (Xarelto), and apixaban (Eliquis).
  3. Vitamin K Supplements: If you are taking vitamin K supplements, it’s important to coordinate their use with your healthcare provider, especially if you are on medications that are sensitive to vitamin K levels.

Resources:

https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-spinach

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collard_(plant)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinach

https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-spinach

https://www.smartgardener.com/plants/1691-collards-vates/overview#


Posted

in

, ,

by

Tags: