Spinach - Composition, Benefits And Contraindications

Victoria Aly Author: Victoria Aly Time for reading: ~5 minutes Last Updated: December 04, 2023
Spinach - Composition, Benefits And Contraindications

Spinach is a super food - low in calories, healthy and rich in many nutrients: vitamins K, D, C; minerals calcium, magnesium, iron; organic acids, proteins, carotene.

Spinach is a super food - low in calories and rich in many nutrients.

Leafy vegetables have been used by various peoples over the years, especially in Mediterranean and Southeast Asian cuisines. It can be included very easily in any diet, as it is cheap and easy to prepare.

The different types of spinach are:

  • savoy - with slightly wrinkled leaves, dark green color and rich aroma of greenery; more difficult to clean;
  • semi-savoy - with smoother leaves, which allows easier cleaning, more often grown at home;
  • flat-leafed - with completely smooth leaves, very easy to wash and grown mainly for commercial use.

Nutritional value of spinach


One cup of raw spinach has the following composition:

  • 7 calories;
  • 0.86 grams of protein (similar in chemical composition to that in cow's milk);
  • vitamins: B1, B2, D, C, P, A (2813 IU), E, ​​H, K, PP, folic acid (58 micrograms);
  • minerals: calcium (30 milligrams), magnesium (24 milligrams), sodium, phosphorus, iron (0.81 grams), zinc, copper, selenium, iodine ;, potassium (167 milligrams);
  • oxalic acid;
  • carbohydrates, fats, cellulose, organic, saturated and unsaturated fatty acids.

Vitamins A and C in spinach are not destroyed, so the plant can easily prepare various pastries and dishes subjected to heat treatment. In terms of protein content, it is second only to peas and beans. Most of the calories in it are from proteins and carbohydrates. There are 28.1 micrograms of vitamin C in 100 grams of spinach (34% of the recommended daily dose). 

Lack of iron in the diet can affect the body's efficiency in using the energy it receives. Vegetables are a great source of the element. The culture contains vegetable iron, which in combination with foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, improves its absorption. 

A cup of spinach contains approximately 250 milligrams of calcium, which is absorbed less than that obtained from dairy products. The oxalate contained in vegetables binds to calcium and makes it difficult for the body to use it.

The green leafy plant is one of the best sources of magnesium, which is needed for energy metabolism, maintains muscle and nerve function, regular heart rate, a healthy immune system and normal blood pressure. It also plays an important role in more than hundreds of biochemical reactions in the human body.

The benefits of the plant for the body are invaluable. It is a real source of useful and necessary substances.

Useful properties of spinach


Vegetables are a rich source of folic acid and vitamin C, which help the body fight premature aging, prevent abnormalities in fetal development and abortion. The calcium content strengthens the bone system and teeth. Chlorophyll and iron have a beneficial effect on the blood. Iron is an excellent prophylactic against anemia, it increases hemoglobin and increases the amount of red blood cells in the blood.

Spinach is a record holder for iodine content. This element helps the absorption of nutrients and affects the processes in the body.

Fresh, processed or frozen, the vegetable works well on the gums and is recommended for use in tuberculosis. 

The plant should be included in the menu of people suffering from diabetes, hypertension, patients with nervous system disorders and even pregnant women and children, as it is easily absorbed by the body.

Green leafy vegetables are useful for those who complain of decreased appetite, as well as in the recovery period after major surgery and chemotherapy.

It has anti-inflammatory action and is often recommended as an adjunct in the treatment of inflamed gums or throat.

The juice of the plant is very useful. It can be taken alone or in combination with other vegetable juices. The drink increases performance, strengthens immunity and promotes weight loss.

The leaves of the plant contain saponins, which improve bowel function. Thanks to them, spinach activates intestinal peristalsis, normalizes the work of the entire digestive system, removes toxins and toxins from the body. With regular consumption stops the development of cancer, in addition, the leaves help remove radionuclides from the body.

The substances in the composition activate the metabolism, have a calming effect on the nervous system, stimulate the production of important hormones, help in the fight against stressful situations. Therefore, it is suitable for people under nervous tension.

The plant frees the body from the accumulated toxins, recharges with energy.

Harm and contraindications to spinach


Due to its content of oxalic acid, spinach is not recommended for consumption in gout, nephritis, kidney disease, urolithiasis. Also in rheumatism, diseases of the liver and duodenum.

Although it is one of the healthiest vegetables with a powerful nutritional composition, its consumption in excessive amounts can lead to health problems, so it should be taken in moderation. As it increases the excretion of calcium in the urine, its frequent consumption in large quantities can lead to kidney stones.

There are 970 milligrams of oxalates in 100 grams of the green leafy plant. Very high concentrations of oxalic acid accumulate in the more mature leaves of the plant, so it is good to consume only fresh young spinach. Cooked, vegetables have a somewhat reduced concentration of oxalate. Combining foods rich in calcium (such as cottage cheese or cottage cheese) with spinach can prevent the formation of stones. Each person's condition is individual and the reactions are different, so it is good to consult a doctor before including the green leafy plant in the diet.

Vegetables contain high levels of vitamin K - a mineral that reduces the effectiveness of drugs to thin the blood. Blood thinners are usually given to prevent stroke, so sensitive people should reduce their intake of the plant. This vitamin plays an important role in the formation of blood clots in the body. Half a cup of cooked spinach contains 444 micrograms of vitamin K, and one cup of raw spinach contains 145 micrograms. Cooked vegetables have higher levels of the vitamin, as heat increases the absorption of the substance.

Vitamin K also plays an important role in preventing arterial calcifications, coronary heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis.

If leafy vegetables are consumed in moderation from time to time, they can be safe provided the person is healthy or not in the acute phase of the disease.

Vegetables also contain purines - chemical compounds that are thought to contribute to the development of gout. Further research is needed to draw a definitive conclusion about their association with gout. There is some evidence that high consumption of leafy greens can lead to low blood pressure and low blood sugar. This can be a problem for people taking medication for these conditions. Consult your doctor before including spinach in your diet in larger quantities.



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