It’s All Green and Good

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on April 15, 2009


207. Jill asks, “I do have a question about the Green Monsters. I have recently told a friend about them and she had her first this morning (she loved it)! My question is spinach vs. kale. I started on spinach then switched to kale. What is the nutritional difference between the two? Any advantages to using one vs. the other?”

That is a great question Jill! It is a question that I had a lot of fun trying to answer too. I went to the World’s Healthiest Foods website to do some research. It is one of my favourite websites with so much great information!

I think the key to proper nutrition and health is to have a wide variety of vegetables in one’s diet. There are many advantages to eating all types of vegetables as each offer unique levels of vitamins and nutrients. That is why I include both spinach and kale in my diet daily and also why I am eager to try other greens such as collards. The more variety we have in our diet, the more we will benefit from the unique levels of nutrients present in each.

Ok, are you ready to feast your eyes on these nutrient powerhouses???



  • Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin E. In addition, it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin and selenium.
  • Spinach is said to contain 13 phytoflavinoids
  • It has cartenoids that fight prostate cancer
  • It fights ovarian cancer
  • Vitamin K is important for bone health
  • Vitamin C and A destroy free radicals in the body
  • Folate promotes gastrointestinal health



  • Kale is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese. It is also a very good source of dietary fiber, copper, calcium, vitamin B6 and potassium.



  • Kale is said to prevent ovarian cancer
  • It aids in detoxifying and cleansing the body
  • It is said to have 10-15 phytonutrients
  • It has cartenoids which lower cataract risk
  • Excellent source of Vitamin A, C, B6, fibre, and calcium

“Sulforaphane, which is formed when cruciferous vegetables such as kale are chopped or chewed, triggers the liver to produce enzymes that detoxify cancer-causing chemicals, inhibits chemically-induced breast cancers in animal studies, induces colon cancer cells to commit suicide. (I love that visual!!!)

Sulforaphane may also offer special protection to those with colon cancer-susceptible genes, suggests a study conducted at Rutgers University and published online in the journal Carcinogenesis.

How many weekly servings of cruciferous vegetables do you need to lower your risk of cancer? Just 3 to 5 servings-less than one serving a day! (1 serving = 1 cup)

To get the most benefit from your cruciferous vegetables like kale, be sure to choose organically grown varieties (their phytonutrient levels are higher than conventionally grown), and steam lightly (this method of cooking has been shown to not only retain the most phytonutrients but to maximize their availability).”

On Storing kale:

  • Kale should be wrapped in a damp paper towel, placed in a plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator crisper.
  • It should not be washed before storing since this may cause it to become limp.
  • Kale can be kept in the refrigerator for several days, although it is best when eaten within one or two days after purchase since the longer it is stored, the more bitter its flavor becomes.

I strongly recommend reading up on both spinach and kale over at WHF’s!

Thanks for your question Jill!

Green Monster of the Day

Today’s Green Monster comes from the beautiful Marlow. On her blog, “Gluten Hates Me But I’m Still Surviving”, she writes:

“Bloggers everywhere have been trying the Green Monster, but I first read about it over at Oh She Glows, one of my favorite blogs. The mixtures are different, but this smoothie was so good!”

Her ingredients:

1 cup Vanilla Soymilk

1 cup Orange Juice

One dollop of Oikos Vanilla Yogurt

3 handfuls of Spinach

2 strawberries halved

Colors: Red, Green, Orange

The orange juice with the vanilla gives it a dreamsicle twist! I will def make this again, but I think I’ll add a little hemp powder for fiber.


And the delicious result:

green_monster_full_cup[6] green_monster_last[5]

Just delicious! Thanks for sharing Marlow! :)

On that note, I am going to go make a delicious and healthy Green Monster! After which I will be adding today’s BBBC and updating my workouts in the run page. Stay Tuned!

PS- The poll for the winner of the fundraising contest is heating up!!! VOTE NOW to be sure that your favourite wins the race! Ashley and Brandi are neck and neck!!!


"Simply put, you believe that things or people make you unhappy, but this is not accurate. You make yourself unhappy." ~ Wayne Dyer

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

brandi April 15, 2009 at 9:13 am

ooh, I bet OJ is good in it!


Jenny April 15, 2009 at 9:13 am

This quote is so true Angela. And only WE have the power to make OURSELVES happy! :)


VeggieGirl April 15, 2009 at 9:21 am

Gorgeous green goodness!! :-)


Mara @ What's For Dinner? April 15, 2009 at 9:39 am

Ok, I’m working my way up to a green monster… just got some protein powder!


Marlow April 15, 2009 at 10:00 am

Just had another one this morning!! I’m thinking of adding some kale next time, but I love the spinach!!


Run Sarah April 15, 2009 at 10:42 am

I definitely need to try kale in my green monster! Although iron is important for me as a veg, so I think spinach is a better bet for me.


Angela April 15, 2009 at 10:51 am

I have also read the difference between kale and spinach is that the nutrients in kale are more readily absorbed by the body.


Julie April 15, 2009 at 12:15 pm

I love, love, LOVE green smoothies! I didn’t get one this morning since I was all out of spinach – green smoothies is otherwise my one and only for breakfast – and these pictures just make me drool! Just came home from yoga, and I’m actually considering giving up dinner just to have a really big smoothie!


amy April 15, 2009 at 2:24 pm

I’ve been loving my green smoothies in the morning, but since I have a week left of graduate school (well—a week of classes at the very least!) I just moved all my stuff back home with my hubby. This included my blender.

Any thoughts on how I can mimic a green monster w/o a blender for a week? I bought some low-sodium V-8 and had that for breakfast. Do you have any good suggestions of other ways to get that nutrient punch right off the bat?


Alison April 15, 2009 at 5:20 pm

Thanks for the info on kale and spinach. That was really interesting. Both are among my favorite veggies.


mai February 17, 2010 at 12:44 am

Ok, I realize this is an older post but I was browsing through your FAQs and was curious about the whole spinach/kale thing, and I noticed at the very bottom that you made a green monster with Oikos. Now I too live in Canada (Vancouver) and cannot find oikos, or chobani, or fage, or any Greek yogurt ANYWHERE. I am from the states and lived off of fage yogurt from TJs for the longest time, and I miss it dearly.

Where did you get yours??? I realize that maybe the grocery stores in Ontario stock different things than in BC but I’m hoping that maybe, just maybe you found it somewhere I couldn’t.


Cyn October 10, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Thanks so much for the Green Monster suggestion. We have made it a couple of times, with different fruits (my husband is fructose sensitive, strawberries can bother him if he has too many over time). It is my favorite dessert smoothie! I even had the leftovers this morning, before my workout.


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