Is Spinach Good For You?

Friday, March 18, 2011 19:43
Posted in category Healthy Food

Spinach, YogurtSundaysAmong the World’s Healthiest vegetables, spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled. Spinach is a great food to add to any diet. This dark green vegetable gets its color from chlorophyll. The more chlorophyll a vegatable has, the darker green the color. Spinach is jam packed with vitamins and minerals.

Fun Fact:

Spinach leaves that look fully alive and vital have greater concentrations of vitamin C than spinach leaves that are pale in color.

Spinach Nutrient Chart

Below is the Nutritional Profile of spinach provided by WHfoods:

Spinach is an excellent source of bone-healthy vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, and calcium; heart-healthy folate, potassium, and vitamin B6; energy-producing iron and vitamin B2; and free radical-scavenging vitamin A (through its concentration of beta-carotene) and vitamin C. It is a very good source of digestion-supportive dietary fiber, muscle-building protein, energy-producing phosphorus, and the antioxidants copper, zinc and vitamin E. In addition, it is a good source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, and heart-healthy niacin and selenium. While this mixture of conventional nutrients gives spinach a unique status in the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory department, it is the unusual mixture of phytonutrients in spinach that “seals the deal” in terms of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components. In terms of flavonoids, spinach is a unique source of methylenedioxyflavonol glucuronides, and in terms of carotenoids, its difficult to find a more helpful source of lutein and zeaxanthin. The epoxyxanthophyll carotenoids neoxanthin and violaxanthin are also welcomed constituents of spinach leaves.

For an in-depth nutritional profile click here: Spinach.

Commonly and Not-So-Commonly Known Facts:

Spinach, along with other green leafy vegetables, is commonly known to be a rich source of iron. However, the absorption of iron depends on a number of factors. In the case of spinach, it contains iron absorption inhibiting substances, including high levels of oxalate which can bind to the iron to form ferrous oxalate, and renders much of the iron in spinach unusable by the body.

Spinach also has a high calcium content. However, the oxalate content in spinach also binds with calcium, decreasing its absorption. Calcium and zinc also limit iron absorption. According to Dr. Sue Rodwell Williams, author of many best-selling texts for practitioners over the past several decades, the calcium in spinach is the least bioavailable of calcium sources. By way of comparison, the body can absorb about half of the calcium present in broccoli, yet only around 5% of the calcium in spinach.

What is Oxalate?

Oxalates are naturally-occurring substances found in plants, animals, and in humans. In chemical terms, oxalates belong to a group of molecules called organic acids, and are routinely made by plants, animals, and humans. Ever wondered why eating spinach makes your mouth feel funny? It is because of this “oxalic acid”. Further study revealed that this chemical compound, in conjunction with calcium, can create kidney stones and gout in addition to the funny teeth feeling.


You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

-->