Kirksey asked in Food & DrinkCooking & Recipes · 1 decade ago

how healthy is raw spinach?

10 Answers

Relevance
  • AMY W
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Nutrition

    Iron

    Spinach is considered to be a rich source of iron. For example, the United States Department of Agriculture states that a 180 g serving of boiled spinach contains 6.43 mg of iron, whereas one 170 g ground hamburger patty contains at most 4.42 mg.[3]

    The bioavailability of iron is dependent on its absorption. This is influenced by a number of factors. Iron enters the body in two forms: nonheme iron and heme iron. All of the iron in grains and vegetables, and about three fifths of the iron in animal food sources (meats), is nonheme iron. The much smaller remaining portion from meats is heme iron.[4] Thus, the iron in spinach is poorly absorbed by the body unless eaten with vitamin C. The type of iron found in spinach is non-blood (non-heme), a plant iron, which the body does not absorb as efficiently as blood (heme) iron, found in meat.[5]

    The larger portion of dietary iron (nonheme) is absorbed slowly in its many food sources, including spinach. This absorption may vary widely depending on the presence of binders such as fiber or enhancers, such as vitamin C. Therefore, the body's absorption of non-heme iron can be improved by consuming foods that are rich in vitamin C. However, spinach contains iron absorption inhibiting substances, including high levels of oxalate which can bind to the iron to form ferrous oxalate, which renders much of the iron in spinach unusable by the body [6]. In addition to preventing absorption and use, high levels of oxalates remove iron from the body.[7] But some studies have found that the addition of oxalic acid to the diet may improve iron absorption in rats over a diet with spinach without additional oxalic acid.[8] However, foods such as spinach that are high in oxalic acid can increase the risk of kidney stones in some people.

    [edit] Calcium

    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.[9] The calcium in spinach is the least bioavailable of calcium sources.[10] 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. Oxalate is one of a number of factors that can contribute to gout and kidney stones. Equally or more notable factors contributing to calcium stones are: genetic tendency, high intake of animal protein, excess calcium intake, excess vitamin D, prolonged immobility, hyperparathyroidism, renal tubular acidosis, and excess dietary fiber.[4]

    Pureed Spinach & Homemade Cheese with Spiced Flat Bread Makki di roti from Punjab, India.

    [edit] Other

    Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled. It is a rich source of vitamin A (and lutein), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. Recently, opioid peptides called rubiscolins have also been found in spinach. It is a source of folic acid (Vitamin B9), and this vitamin was first purified from spinach. To benefit from the folate in spinach, it is better to steam it than to boil it. Boiling spinach for four minutes can halve the level of folate.[citation needed].

    [edit] Types of spinach

    A distinction can be made between older varieties of spinach and more modern varieties. Older varieties tend to bolt too early in warm conditions. Newer varieties tend to grow more rapidly but have less of an inclination to run up to seed. The older varieties have narrower leaves and tend to have a stronger and more bitter taste. Most newer varieties have broader leaves and round seeds.

    There are three basic types of spinach:

    * Savoy has dark green, crinkly and curly leaves. It is the type sold in fresh bunches in most supermarkets. One heirloom variety of savoy is Bloomsdale, which is somewhat resistant to bolting.

    * Flat/smooth leaf spinach has broad smooth leaves that are easier to clean than savoy. This type is often grown for canned and frozen spinach, as well as soups, baby foods, and processed foods.

    * Semi-savoy is a hybrid variety with slightly crinkled leaves. It has the same texture as savoy, but it is not as difficult to clean. It is grown for both fresh market and processing. Five Star is a widely grown variety and has good resistance to running up to seed.

    Source(s): wikipedia
    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anna E
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It has always been healthy to eat dark, leafy greens like spinach, however I recently read that in order to release much of the vitamins in spinach that it needs to be at least steamed or wilted.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 4 years ago

    It's rich in calcium and minerals but humans need more vitamins then minerals so I wouldn't say that you're not going to be healthy if you don't eat spinach.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • katha
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    very healthy it is rich in vitamins dark leaf vegetables tend to be the healthiest i heard that spinach can help stop blot clots but i am not positive, i heard this a long time ago.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Ghost
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Just make sure you wash it thoroughly. Recent E coli outbreaks were attributed to raw spinach that was improperly handled.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • NXile
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    It's excellent. Heating over 110 degrees begins to deplete nutrients. Add a handful to a smoothie, and liquefy it. The nutrients are much more available to your body that way.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 3 years ago

    Vegetable is not only a clinical term, it is a cooking term. So the qualifications to become a vegetable are not very coherent, which is why we have cases like the tomato: people argue both ways.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Incredibly healthy. Much healthier than lettuce and has much more vitamins.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 4 years ago

    Vegetables retain their nutrients when eaten raw. Steaming is the healthiest way to cook, as the veggies retain the most nutrients when cooked this way.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Pretty good, but I prefer to put something hot on top just to make it wilt a little.

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.