When the original supergreen crashed on the scene, everything was kale, yeah! But since it’s been added to everything from smoothies to brownies (note: this is not a thing people, stop it!), we don’t blame you if you’re saying kale, meh.
But its superstar status isn’t for nothing. “What makes kale so great for you is that it is loaded in vitamins like A, K, C, and Bs that help to keep your bones healthy, eyes healthy, boost your immunity, give you energy, and fight off free radicals in the body that cause damage and premature signs of aging,” says Brigitte Zeitlin, R.D., owner of BZ Nutrition. “Plus, it is a great source of minerals like manganese, copper, calcium, and iron—all important when it comes to keeping your muscles healthy and bones strong.” It’s also chock full of filling fiber.
If you’re suffering kale fatigue though, you can still snag a number of these nutritional perks from other veggies. We asked Zeitlin for her favorites:
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These soy beans are high in manganese, copper, and fiber, and a good source of vitamin K, so they walk a very close line to kale, while having a totally different taste and texture. Added bonus: Unlike kale, edamame are a great source of protein.
Outside-the-salad-bowl use: Steam some pods and have them with salt as a healthy snack, or add to a stir-fry.
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Popeye’s staple food may be known for its muscle-building iron, but it also delivers immune-boosting zinc. Otherwise, the two leafy greens sport a nearly identical nutrient panel, with vitamins A and C, potassium, folate, and fiber.
Outside-the-salad-bowl use: Add a handful to your morning eggs (scrambled or omelets style) or sauté it and use it as a base for some tomato sauce and turkey meatballs.
(Soup your way slim with the Women's Health's Big Book of Smoothies & Soups!)
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This crucifer is full of vitamin C, B vitamins, manganese, and fiber, and like kale, delivers a good amount of vitamins, along with choline.
Outside-the-salad-bowl use: This veg is versatile. Try cauliflower rice as a base for your stir-fry or in pizza crust, or roast some as a quickie side.
Try these 7 cauliflower rice combos that weigh in at 250 calories or less:
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These often-overlooked nutrition powerhouses are high in fiber, minerals, and vitamins A and C. Compared to kale, they’re loaded with a lot more potassium, a mineral that balances sodium in the body and helps fight belly bloat.
Outside-the-salad-bowl use: Sauté them with some olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and a touch of sea salt, or use them as a lettuce wrap instead of a bun for your burger or grilled chicken sandwich.
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Broc packs potassium as well as vitamins C and E, antioxidants that may help prevent signs of aging.
Outside-the-salad-bowl use: Try it roasted or sautéed and sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on top as the perfect side dish to your grilled chicken, and definitely make extra broccoli to eat on it’s own for a snack the next day with a fresh sprinkle of parm.