The Russian Tortoise 
Agrionemys horsfieldii ( Testudo horsfieldii)  

Nutritional Analysis of Kale, Cress and Dandelions

 

Many sites list watercress as a good food because it high in vitamins. The following chart shows otherwise. It is said that kale and turnip greens are bad because of their goitrogenic and oxalate properties.  But watercress is the highest in glucosinolate (goitrogens) ¹ Some eperts believe that all the Brassicae family should be avoided like the plague due to this. However Kuzmin and others observe that plants from this family are regularly eaten². A recent paper outlines in detail the diet of Russian Tortoises³ .

In reality life isn't that cut and dry. Dandelions come highly recommended on these sites by the same experts that say that there is no acceptable levels of oxalates. But dandelions have almost twice as much oxalates as kale and turnip greens and watercress is the lowest.t4

And oxalates have some interesting properties in animals. Seems animals can use them in the immune response

plant oxalates mg/100g
Kale 13 mg
Watercress

10 mg

Dandelion greens 24.6 mg
Turnip greens 14.6 mg

Data from the USDA and Canadian nutritional databases

KALE,
RAW

Gram Weight: 100.0

Calories (kcal): 41.0

Energy (kJ): 170.0

Protein (g): 4.3

Carbohydrates (g):
3.1

Fat (g): 1.2

Total Dietary Fiber (g): 4.3

Vitamin A (RE):
842.0

Thiamin (mg): 0.15

Riboflavin (mg): 0.29

Niacin (mg): 2.8

Pantothenic Acid (mg):

Vitamin B-6 (mg):
0.35

Total Folate (mcg): 60.0

Vitamin B-12 (mcg): 0.0

Vitamin C (mg): 124.0

Vitamin D (IU): 0.0

Vitamin E (IU): 8.046

Biotin (mcg):

Vitamin K (mcg):

Calcium (mg): 135.0

Chloride (mg):

Chromium (mcg): 8.3

Copper (mg): 0.091

Fluoride (mg): 0.02

Iodine (mcg): 1.4
(counteracts the goitrogenic effect)

Iron (mg): 2.0

Magnesium (mg):
40.0

Manganese (mg):
 0.5

Molybdenum (mcg): 2.0

Phosphorus (mg):
73.0

Potassium (mg):
264.0

Selenium (mcg): 5.0

Sodium (mg): 35.0

Zinc (mg): 0.3

 

WATERCRESS,
RAW

Gram Weight: 100.0

Calories (kcal): 11.0

Energy (kJ): 46.0

Protein (g): 2.3

Carbohydrates (g):
1.29

Fat (g): 0.1

Total Dietary Fiber (g): 1.5

Vitamin A (RE):
470.0

Thiamin (mg): 0.09

Riboflavin (mg): 0.12

Niacin (mg): 0.2

Pantothenic Acid (mg): 0.31

Vitamin B-6 (mg):
0.129

Total Folate (mcg):
9.0

Vitamin B-12 (mcg):
0.0

Vitamin C (mg): 43.0

Vitamin D (IU):

Vitamin E (IU): 1.49

Biotin (mcg):

Vitamin K (mcg):

Calcium (mg): 120.0

Chloride (mg):

Chromium (mcg):

Copper (mg): 0.077

Fluoride (mg):

Iodine (mcg):

Iron (mg): 0.2

Magnesium (mg):
21.0

Manganese (mg):
0.244

Molybdenum (mcg):

Phosphorus (mg):
60.0

Potassium (mg):
330.0

Selenium (mcg): 0.9

Sodium (mg): 41.0

Zinc (mg): 0.11

 DANDELION GREENS, RAW

Gram Weight: 100.0

Calories (kcal): 45.0

Energy (kJ): 188.0

Protein (g): 2.7

Carbohydrates (g):
9.2

Fat (g): 0.7

Total Dietary Fiber (g): 3.5

Vitamin A (RE):
1400.0

Thiamin (mg): 0.19

Riboflavin (mg): 0.26

Niacin (mg): 0.806

Pantothenic Acid (mg): 0.084

Vitamin B-6 (mg):
0.251

Total Folate (mcg):
27.0

Vitamin B-12 (mcg):
0.0

Vitamin C (mg): 35.0

Vitamin D (IU):

Vitamin E (IU): 3.725

Biotin (mcg):

Vitamin K (mcg):

Calcium (mg): 187.0

Chloride (mg):

Chromium (mcg):

Copper (mg): 0.171

Fluoride (mg):

Iodine (mcg):

Iron (mg): 3.1

Magnesium (mg):
36.0

Manganese (mg):
0.342

Molybdenum (mcg):

Phosphorus (mg):
66.0

Potassium (mg):
397.0

Selenium (mcg): 0.5

Sodium (mg): 76.0

Zinc (mg): 0.41

 

 TURNIP GREENS, RAW

Gram Weight: 100.0

Calories (kcal): 27.0

Energy (kJ): 113.0

Protein (g): 1.5

Carbohydrates (g): 5.73

Fat (g): 0.3

Total Dietary Fiber (g): 3.2

Vitamin A (RE): 760.0

Thiamin (mg): 0.07

Riboflavin (mg): 0.1

Niacin (mg): 0.6

Pantothenic Acid (mg): 0.38

Vitamin B-6 (mg): 0.263

Total Folate (mcg): 194.0

Vitamin B-12 (mcg): 0.0

Vitamin C (mg): 60.0

Vitamin D (IU):

Vitamin E (IU): 4.321

Biotin (mcg):

Vitamin K (mcg):

Calcium (mg): 190.0

Chloride (mg):

Chromium (mcg):

Copper (mg): 0.35

Fluoride (mg):

Iodine (mcg):

Iron (mg): 1.1

Magnesium (mg): 31.0

Manganese (mg): 0.466

Molybdenum (mcg):

Phosphorus (mg): 42.0

Potassium (mg): 296.0

Selenium (mcg): 1.2

Sodium (mg): 40.0

Zinc (mg): 0.19

 

 

1. McNaughton SA, Marks GC. Development of a food composition database for the estimation of dietary intakes of glucosinolates, the biologically active constituents of cruciferous vegetables.
Br J Nutr.  2003 Sep;90(3):687-97.  "The highest glucosinolate values were for cress (389 mg/100 g)"

2. Kuzmin, S. L. 2002. The Turtles of Russia and Other Ex-Soviet Republics. Edition, Chimaira Frankfurt am Main (pg. 101-130)

3. Diet research

4. oxalates.pdf

I feel its very erroneous to eliminate a green just because it belongs to a particular family or because it contains a particular nutrient. One must look at the whole picture and base decisions on current research and nutritional databases. That is exactly what I have done on this site.

The other factor to consider is variety. Feeding a wide variety minimizes and negative effects while at the same time allowing our animals to reap the positive benefits.

 

 

 

 

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