How many grams of spinach is in a cup? (3 differences between raw and cooked)

In this article, we will answer the question “How many grams of spinach is in a cup?”, and discuss if a cup of raw spinach equals a cup of cooked spinach and what is in one cup of spinach.

How many grams of spinach is in a cup?

A cup of raw spinach has 30 g and a cup of boiled and drained spinach has 180 g (1). The weight of cooked vegetables increases to the same volume of the vegetable when raw, or, inversely, the volume of cooked leafy vegetables is reduced by cooking, when considering the same initial amount (2).

This happens because the heat applied to leafy vegetables and other vegetables, causes the cell wall to disrupt and destroys the membrane of the plant cell, with consequent loss of cell turgor. 

Is a cup of raw and cooked spinach the same?

No, a cup of raw spinach is not the same of a cup of cooked spinach. In addition to the loss of texture and volume and changes in the flavor, heat applied to spinach causes the change in its nutritional properties (2,3).

According to studies, different vitamins are differently affected by different cooking methods. Carotenoids, which are found in spinach mainly in the form of beta-carotene and lutein, are both increased by boiling, while stir frying lowered the amount of lutein, but increased the amount of beta-carotene (3).

Carotenoids can be better extracted from cells during cooking of vegetables, which generally results in a higher amount of these compounds, when compared to the raw vegetables. 

On the other hand, the amount of vitamin C is significantly reduced in spinach after cooking. Vitamin C is very heat sensitive and water soluble. 

Studies showed that, while the concentration of vitamin C was 43 mg for each 100 g of raw spinach, it was 17 mg/ 100 g in boiled spinach, 23 mg/ 100 g for steamed spinach (4).

In this way, eating raw and cooked spinach has advantages and drawbacks. You can vary the ways to consume this nutritious vegetable in order to obtain all the vitamins and nutrients it contains.

What nutrients are in a cup of spinach?

The nutrients in a cup of spinach vary, depending if it is raw or cooked spinach, the cooking method (in the case of cooked spinach), the plant variety,  the growing conditions (soil, fertilization), and storage (2,3,4).

The table below shows the nutrients in cup of raw and boiled spinach (1):

Nutrient unit raw spinach (30 g) boiled spinach (180 g)
Calories  kcal 7 41
Water  g 27.4 164
Protein  g 0.85 5.35
Carbohydrates  g 1.0 6.75
Sugar  g 0.12 0.77
Fiber  g 0.66 4.32
Fat  g 0.11 0.47
vitamin C mg 8.43 17.6
vitamin A micrograms 141 943
iron mg 0.81 6.43
calcium mg 29.7 245
folate micrograms 58.2 263

How to prepare a cup of spinach?

To prepare a cup of spinach, you should wash the leaves thoroughly with running water and pat dry them, making sure all dirt and bad leaves are removed.

Spinach can be eaten raw, added to other leaves, such as iceberg salad or added to dishes, such as lasagna and pasta. Spinach can be cooked by steaming, boiling or stir-frying and used in smoothies (5).

To cook spinach by stir-frying, follow the instructions:

  • Cut the washed leaves of spinach and press them with your hands to remove the excess of water
  • Give olive oil to a skillet and cook chopped garlic for a minute
  • Add the cut spinach
  • Add salt and stir for a minute or two

Other FAQs about Spinach which you may be interested in.

How much is a bunch of spinach?

How to eat spinach?


In this article, we answered the question “How many grams of spinach is in a cup?” and discussed if a cup of raw spinach equals a cup of cooked spinach and what are the nutrients in a cup of spinach.

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FoodData central [Internet]. [cited 2023 Aug 11]. Available from:


Andersson J, Garrido-Banuelos G, Bergdoll M, Vilaplana F, Menzel C, Mihnea M, Lopez-Sanchez P. Comparison of steaming and boiling of root vegetables for enhancing carbohydrate content and sensory profile. Journal of Food Engineering. 2022 Jan 1;312:110754.


Chang SK, Prasad NK, Amin I. Carotenoids retention in leafy vegetables based on cooking methods. International Food Research Journal. 2013;20(1):457.


Utah State University. Fruit and vegetable guide series: Spinach [Internet]. [cited 2023 Aug 12]. Available from: