The Best Leafy Greens (That Aren’t Kale)

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Greens are important, but let’s diversify a bit.

When it comes to modern health trends, people can’t seem to get enough of kale. Rightfully so; kale is loaded up with all sorts of essential vitamins and minerals, and it’s great for putting a little English on your healthy smoothie. That said, it also tastes like wet suede, and I can barely stand more than a single helping of it. Luckily, while kale is a nutritional powerhouse, it’s not the only nutritional power house. You can get lots of nutrients, some that kale doesn’t even have, by indulging in its various siblings in the leafy greens family.

Mustard greens, for instance, are an excellent choice. The leaves of mustard plants (as well as the seeds if you want a snack) are rich in five essential vitamins, as well as seven vital minerals. Plus, they’re tangy and peppery, great for adding a little bit of kick to a salad, sandwich, or even a pizza if you’re feeling saucy. Speaking of additions, watercress is another fine candidate. What watercress lacks in size, in makes up for in nutritional content, packing many of the same vitamins and minerals as mustard greens, plus a healthy dose of fiber, omega-3, and more. You can eat the whole plant right out of the bag, and it goes great on bready stuff like pasta and sandwiches. If you’re looking to branch out a bit, try some bok choy. This species of Chinese white cabbage has a crisp, earthy taste to it, kinda like spinach, and it’s absolutely lousy with heart-healthy antioxidants, plus some rarer minerals like phosphorus and manganese. Try some in your stir fry!

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These are just a few of the excellent members of the leafy greens family. If you like kale, by all means, have some more, but if you’re not into it, you’re not spoiling for alternatives.