[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
Spinach is a leafy vegetable with low calories and high nutritional value. All year round, frozen and fresh spinach are available in stores. In the following lines I will reveal to you how many calories spinach provides, what minerals and vitamins spinach contains and what are its beneficial properties for health. I will explain who will benefit from its consumption, and who should be careful about this product.
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
How many calories are in spinach?
Spinach is a low-calorie vegetable, as 100 grams only provides 23 calories. A large handful of fresh spinach (25 g) provides 5.5 kcals. A glass of thawed chopped spinach (22 g) provides 48 kcals. A serving of frozen spinach leaves (50 g) provides 10 kcals.
Spinach: Lipid, protein and carbohydrate content
The calories in spinach come from carbohydrates at 2.9%, protein at 3.4%, and fat at 0.7%.
Spinach Nutritional Values Table
|Spinach: content per 100 grams
|-of which starch
|-including dietary fiber
|-of which saturates
How much does spinach weigh on average?
A glass of fresh spinach (30 g) provides 7 kcal.
What are the vitamin and mineral contributions of spinach?
Spinach contains mineral salts, such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper and calcium. It is also rich in vitamins, especially vitamin C and folic acid (vitamin B9).
Spinach is also a good source of carotenoids, chlorophyll and lutein. Chlorophyll is a useful substance for its antioxidant power. It protects our cells from damage caused by free radicals. Lutein is also an antioxidant. It is a natural pigment contained in certain plants. It is essential for the normal functioning of the retina and is not synthesized by the body. According to some research, lutein supplementation is helpful in preventing macular degeneration, a fairly common condition among older adults.
All the nutritional qualities of spinach are only guaranteed when consumed raw. The concentration of vitamins and minerals is well maintained in fresh leaves. A raw spinach salad should be seasoned with a little salt, extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. The latter facilitates the absorption of plant iron.
Boiled spinach has a reduced mineral salt content because it is dispersed in the cooking water. Their vitamin C and folic acid content is also reduced because these vitamins are heat labile. A good compromise would be to steam the spinach
Does spinach contain food additives?
No, spinach does not contain any food additives. It is generally consumed fresh, some time after harvest.
Does spinach make you gain weight?
Spinach is also a good source of dietary fiber (around 2% by weight). It is excellent for losing weight.
Properties and benefits of spinach
This vegetable has antioxidant properties. Spinach is rich in antioxidants such as vitamins (A, C, E), beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. These compounds neutralize oxidative stress caused by free radicals. They fight against cellular aging and reduce the risks of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Spinach also has anti-tumor properties. Spinach is the vegetable richest in glycoglycerolipids, particularly monogalactosyl diacylglycerol (MGDG) and sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol (SQDG). They are anticancer molecules because they are capable of inhibiting the replication of cancer cells. Some studies have shown that this vegetable plays a preventive role against prostate and breast cancer.
It also has a strong diuretic power. The abundant potassium contained in spinach counteracts the action of sodium. It is therefore useful to combat cellulite and water retention. It is also a laxative. The fiber and water present in this vegetable increase the fecal mass in the intestine, favoring its expulsion. It is therefore strongly recommended in cases of constipation.
Spinach also has hypotensive properties. Thanks to the considerable amount of nitrates contained in spinach, these vegetables are able to reduce blood pressure. It also has hypoglycemic properties. It is suitable for diabetics because it contains very few carbohydrates. In addition, the fibers contained delay the absorption of sugars, thus avoiding sudden increases in blood sugar levels.
Spinach is good for eye health. Zeaxanthin, lutein and beta-carotene help protect our eyes from damage caused by sunlight. Additionally, several studies have shown that these pigments are capable of preventing macular degeneration and cataracts.
Spinach has enormous benefits for teeth and bones. Vitamin K, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium are essential for the development and maintenance of bone and tooth structure. Spinach also contains good amounts of folate, which is very important for the proper development of the neural tube in the fetus.
Spinach is famous because it is considered by many to be an iron-rich vegetable. They actually contain a significant amount, but much less than lentils, chickpeas and sunflower seeds. The amount of iron one can get from a serving of spinach is also limited by the oxalic acid content of these vegetables. This acid forms a salt with iron, which prevents the body from absorbing the mineral.
Spinach therefore remains an excellent food with nutritional characteristics useful for our health and well-being.