Komatsuna for Healthy Blood

Komatsuna, a green-yellow leafy vegetable widely loved on Japanese dining tables, plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy blood with its abundant nutrients. Today, I'll discuss how komatsuna aids the blood flowing through our bodies.


First, let's consider the difference between komatsuna and spinach, which are often compared.

Komatsuna has a slightly milder bitterness than spinach and is characterised by a refreshing taste. Its crisp texture makes it suitable for stir-fries and ohitashi (boiled greens dressed with dashi-based sauce).

Spinach has a soft, smooth texture. It's commonly boiled and dressed for salads or side dishes but also used in stir-fries and soups.


[Nutritional Comparison of Komatsuna and Spinach per 100g]


Nutrient Komatsuna  Spinach

Energy  14 kcal  23 kcal

Water   93.5 g  91.2 g

Protein  1.5 g   2.2 g

Fat  0.2 g  0.4 g

Carbs  2.1 g  3.1 g

Fibre  1.8 g  2.8 g

Iron  2.8 mg  2.0 mg

Vitamin C 39 mg  28 mg

Folate  110 μg  210 μg

Vitamin K  250 μg  483 μg

Calcium  170 mg  49 mg

Magnesium  20 mg  69 mg


While spinach contains more protein, carbs and fibre, komatsuna is richer in iron and calcium.

Although spinach wins in overall nutrients, it contains oxalic acid, which may inhibit iron and calcium absorption. Komatsuna has negligible oxalic acid, allowing better absorption of these minerals.



Moreover, nutrient-rich komatsuna offers many health benefits, especially for blood health. Here are four key points about komatsuna's link to blood health:

1. Iron Supply

Komatsuna is an excellent source of iron, a crucial component of haemoglobin that transports oxygen in the blood. Iron deficiency can lead to anaemia, particularly iron-deficiency anaemia.

2. Vitamin K  

Komatsuna is rich in vitamin K, essential for blood clotting and stopping bleeding. Vitamin K also contributes to bone health.

3. Folate

Folate (vitamin B9) is a vital vitamin that aids red blood cell formation. It's especially important for pregnant women and foetal development. Folate deficiency may cause anaemia and other blood disorders.

4. Antioxidant Effects

Komatsuna contains antioxidants like vitamin C and carotenoids that support vascular health and may prevent atherosclerosis. Vitamin C also enhances iron absorption, helping prevent iron-deficiency anaemia.


[Vegetables that Pair Well with Komatsuna]

- Carrots: High in carotene, enhancing nutrient value when cooked with komatsuna.

- Broccoli: Rich in vitamin C and folate, creating a synergistic effect with komatsuna.  

- Bell Peppers: High in vitamin C, promoting iron absorption when eaten with komatsuna.

- Tomatoes: Abundant in lycopene and vitamin C, boosting the antioxidant effect when combined with komatsuna.



Garlic Komatsuna and Tomato Stir-fry 



- Komatsuna: 1 bunch

- Cherry tomatoes: 10

- Garlic: 2 cloves

- Olive oil: 2 tbsp

- Salt: To taste

- Black pepper: To taste

- Nutritional yeast: 2 tbsp



1. Wash komatsuna and cut into 3-4cm pieces. Halve the cherry tomatoes.

2. Mince the garlic.

3. Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté garlic until fragrant.

4. Add komatsuna and stir-fry briefly. Season with salt and pepper.  

5. Add tomatoes and stir-fry until everything is well combined. Remove from heat.

6. Plate and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.


This simple yet nutrient-dense recipe beautifully marries komatsuna's crunch with tomatoes' tanginess. As an Italian cuisine enthusiast, I've given it an Italian twist with the seasoning.

Nutritional yeast, a vegan-friendly ingredient, is also rich in vitamin B12 needed for blood formation. It can substitute cheese.



I plan to make a komatsuna curry soon. If it turns out well, I might share the recipe.