How much spinach should you eat?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “How much spinach should you eat?” and will discuss is it healthy to consume spinach every day?

How much spinach should you eat?

The spinach you should eat per day, two cups of dark, leafy greens More than 100 percent of your daily Vitamin A requirements are met by two cups of spinach (14 calories each), which also provides around 30 percent of your daily recommended intake of folate and vitamin C, plus a lot of vitamin K.

Spinach is primarily composed of water (91.4%), and contains small amounts of protein (2.9%), carbohydrate (3.6%), and fat (0.4%). The lipid fraction is mainly composed of mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids (e.g., alpha-linolenic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid) and trace levels of saturated fatty acids (e.g., capric acid, myristic acid, stearic acid). Spinach (100 g serving) contains 2.2 g fiber, meeting 8.8% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for a 2000 kcal diet (1).

Regular consumption of spinach contributes to glowing skin.

Spinach contains antioxidants that may help protect your skin. This is because the skin is made up of collagen and DNA, and free radicals, which are a sort of molecule, may wreak havoc on the collagen and DNA. Antioxidants have a role in this. Those antioxidants prevent those free radicals from causing harm to your skin cells.

Similarly, Shape referred to spinach as a “superfood” because of its high antioxidant content. Vitamins E and C, as well as antioxidants, contribute to the health benefits. These Vitamins can protect against free radicals that damage cells in the human body. Diets rich in leafy greens that provide antioxidants and other phytonutrients, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, may play a role in mitigating oxidative damage in the body and age-related disorders, such as prevention of cancers, heart disease. Vitamin E was shown to have a therapeutic and/or preventative role in brain aging, cognition, and Alzheimer’s disease (2). 

According to research published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, vitamin C aids in the production of collagen in the skin. Collagen reduces wrinkles and enhances skin suppleness, which implies younger-looking skin. Spinach, which is high in vitamin C, may help collagen perform its job and keep your skin looking young. Vitamin C also has antioxidant protection against UV-induced photodamage and has been attributed to depigmenting and brightening skin due to its ability to inhibit tyrosinase, thus suppressing melanin formation (3).

Eat a serving of spinach every day and you’ll be less likely to get cancer.

Spinach’s phytochemicals (called plant compounds) may help prevent cancer. The chlorophyll in spinach is what gives it its green color (remember when you learned that in school?). An investigation on the effects of chlorophyll from spinach extract on tumor incidence in mice revealed that chlorophyll may bind to carcinogens and aid in the body’s removal of them. These results indicate that regular inclusion of spinach in the diet may thus be chemopreventive in humans who frequently consume red meat (1).

Carotenoids, which give plants their red, orange, or yellow hue, are also found in spinach. Antioxidant phytochemicals, carotenoids are found in a wide variety of foods. Antioxidants protect cells from free radical damage, which helps keep skin healthy and prevents cancer from developing. Consuming foods high in carotenoids may help lower your risk of lung cancer, but the results aren’t statistically significant. No matter how you slice it, getting your daily dose of phytochemicals from spinach isn’t going to do you any harm (1).

Spinach glycolipids exhibited antiproliferative activity in multiple cancer cell lines derived from various tissues including gastric, blood, lung, cervix and colon cancer cells. A study showed that animals that were pretreated orally with glycolipids (20 mg per kg per day) for 2 weeks and subcutaneously implanted with colon cancer cells showed a 48.9% reduction in tumor growth when compared to vehicle controls (1).

Regular consumption of spinach might help you gain muscular mass.

Spinach is a great source of nitrates, which are essential for muscular growth. Increased blood flow and muscular support are two ways that nitrates may help you improve your athletic performance.

In a study researchers discovered that mice fed nitrates had stronger muscles than mice not given the substance. This is another research that shows supplementing with nitrates increases the number of muscle fibers in the body. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, nitrates increase the efficiency of muscular contractions, allowing the body to keep up with high-intensity activities for longer (4).

Regular use of spinach may increase your risk of acquiring kidney stones.

The drawback of eating spinach every day may surprise you. You may not know this, but eating too much spinach may result in the formation of kidney stones. 

Spinach is one of the “stone-forming” foods. Kidney stones occur when specific chemicals in the urine get concentrated enough to form crystals. As the stones grow in size, they begin to migrate through the urinary system. A stone may get lodged there and cause urine to back up, which is quite uncomfortable.

Stones are formed when calcium and another molecule come into contact. One of the most prominent culprits is oxalate, found in spinach. The oxalate content in spinach (8387.47 mg/100 g, dry weight) is high, which inhibits nutrient absorption, especially minerals such as calcium and iron, that can cause kidney stones and gout (2). 

The good news is that this unwelcome side effect is generally only present in high doses. Drinking a lot of water is always an excellent idea to flush out your system. Citrus liquids, such as orange juice, were also suggested as a way to avoid kidney stones.

Consuming spinach daily helps in preventing heart disease

Several studies have shown the heart-health benefits of eating spinach daily. Because spinach contains glycolipids, which aid in the production of nitric oxide, a natural vasodilator, this is possible. This sort of chemical causes blood arteries to dilate, which reduces the heart’s workload. As a result, blood pressure is reduced and circulation is improved.

 Because spinach contains nitric oxide, it lowers your risk of atherosclerosis. When cholesterol and other materials build up in the arteries, this may lead to heart disease. Blood arteries become thicker and stiffer as a result of this, making it harder for blood to move from one part of the body to the next. A blood clot may form as a result of this plaque. While it’s clear that this is a terrible ailment, there are ways that it may be avoided. Including spinach in your diet is a fantastic method to achieve this. A study showed that reductions in the mean systolic blood pressure (5 mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure (2 mmHg) as well as mean arterial pressure (2 mmHg) were observed by patients following administration of nitric oxide sources, which suggest that a diet rich in vegetables containing a high nitrate content might confer benefits to cardiovascular health (4).

In addition, thylakoid membranes isolated from spinach leaves have been shown to lower blood lipids. Men and women consuming a meal containing 50 g thylakoids had significantly lower serum free fatty acids postprandially (ca. −25%) when compared to the subjects not consuming spinach thylakoid (membrane-bound compartments inside chloroplasts). A lower serum fatty acid is related to decreased rates of cardiovascular diseases (1).

Other FAQs about Spinach that you may be interested in.

How to Drain Spinach 

How much spinach should I eat a day?

How to measure a cup of spinach?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the query, “How much spinach should you eat?” and discussed is it healthy to consume spinach every day?

References

  1. Roberts, Joseph L., and Régis Moreau. Functional properties of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) phytochemicals and bioactives. Food func, 2016, 7, 3337-3353.
  2. Nemzer, Boris, Fadwa Al-Taher, and Nebiyu Abshiru. Extraction and natural bioactive molecules characterization in spinach, kale and purslane: A comparative study. Molecules, 2021, 26, 2515.
  3. Escobar, S., et al. Effectiveness of a formulation containing peptides and vitamin C in treating signs of facial ageing: three clinical studies. Int J Cos Sci, 2021, 43, 131-135.
  4. Bailey, Stephen J., et al. Dietary nitrate supplementation enhances muscle contractile efficiency during knee-extensor exercise in humans. J appl physiol, 2010, 109, 135-148.