Here are spinach nutrition facts and health benefits. The health benefits of spinach mentioned in this article are based on studies.
Spinach is a high-fiber food that can add volume, color, and texture to your favorite recipes. Whether eaten cooked or raw, this leafy green vegetable offers a nutritious punch without adding any fat or natural sugars to your diet—helpful if you’re monitoring either of these.
1. Spinach nutrition facts
Three cups of spinach (85g) provide 20.4 calories, 2g of protein, 3g of carbohydrates, and zero fat. Spinach is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.
Sodium: 64.6 mg
Vitamin K: 410mcg
Vitamin C: 24mg
Carbs: Most of the carbohydrates in spinach are from fiber, making it a very filling vegetable. Along with other leafy greens, it may be considered a “free” food on a low-carbohydrate diet because it provides fiber while being low in calories.
Spinach also ranks close to zero on the glycemic index. This means that it will have minimal impact on your blood sugar levels.
Fats: There is no fat and no cholesterol in spinach. But adding a little fat to your spinach-containing meal may help your body absorb more of its beta-carotene—especially if the spinach is raw or in the form of a steamed puree.
Protein: There are 2 grams of protein in three cups of fresh spinach. That means spinach has almost as much protein as it does carbohydrates.
Vitamins and Minerals: Three cups of fresh spinach provide more than three times your daily vitamin K needs (340%). You also get roughly 25% of your recommended vitamin C intake and 10% of your suggested potassium intake from a three-cup serving of spinach.
Cooking spinach increases its concentration of vitamin A. You will get 64% of your daily value in a half-cup serving of boiled spinach.
Calories: There are approximately 20 calories in three cups of spinach, or just under 7 calories per cup. That makes its calorie count similar to that of kale, which provides 7.2 calories per cup (raw).
Spinach is high in fiber while also being low in calories and fat. It is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium, making it a great addition to a nutritious meal plan.
2. Health benefits of spinach
Spinach hits it out of the ballpark when it comes to heart health. High blood pressure puts the heart at risk, and spinach lowers blood pressure, thanks to its nitrates, which help make arteries less stiff and improve the function of the cells that line blood vessel walls.
This leafy green also promotes proper blood clotting. This is thanks to its hefty dose of vitamin K.
According to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease.
Lower blood pressure
Spinach is rich in several minerals that your body needs, including potassium. Consuming foods that are high in potassium helps lower your blood pressure.
Spinach is an excellent source of lutein, an antioxidant known to protect against age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Studies have found that people who take lutein supplements are at a lower risk for macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness.
Cataracts are an eye condition caused by oxidation of the lens of the eye. Studies have shown that lutein appears to prevent ultraviolet damage to your lenses. One study found that women who had a higher dietary intake of lutein were 23% less likely to develop cataracts than those who had a low-lutein diet.
Certain foods, especially leafy greens, have the right combination of nutrients to help increase your metabolism. And the only work involved is finding tasty ways to enjoy them! Leafy greens’ secret energy-burning power comes from their high levels of iron and magnesium. Spinach is a delicious and versatile leafy green that’s high in iron and magnesium, whether you enjoy it raw or cooked, two nutrients linked to a healthy metabolism.
Iron is essential to several reactions in the body affecting energy metabolism. If you’ve ever had low iron levels, you most likely felt sluggish and tired most of the time. One of the ways low iron levels can work against you is by interfering with the metabolism-boosting effects of your thyroid hormones. This leads to a lack of appetite and a lack of energy.
In one study, researchers in Turkey treated 21 women with iron deficiency anemia. After six months, the women had significant reductions in weight and BMI, suggesting that treating low iron levels may increase the metabolic rate. The study was small and more research is needed to determine the relationship between iron levels and weight loss.
Along with increasing the number of calories your body burns, treating an iron deficiency can also increase your hunger levels—which in some cases may also lead to weight gain.
Magnesium is a mineral essential to energy production and metabolism; without enough of it, your body can’t effectively turn the food you eat into energy (calories burned).
It’s estimated that up to half of the U.S. population has insufficient intakes of magnesium. A 2014 meta-analysis found an inverse relationship between magnesium intake and metabolic syndrome (the combination of metabolism-related diseases such as high cholesterol, hypertension, insulin resistance, and obesity). The more magnesium people ate, the less likely they were to have metabolic syndrome.
Lutein has also been shown to help preserve cognitive abilities. Studies of older adults have shown that those with higher lutein levels exhibited better verbal fluency, memory, reasoning ability, and processing speed than those with low amounts of the nutrient.
Vitamin K is essential to bone health and growth, and spinach is packed with it. Eating just one cup of spinach fulfills the recommended daily amount of Vitamin K your body needs.
The vitamin A in spinach is used by your body to grow tissues, including the largest organ in your body, skin. Not only does Vitamin A support the skin’s immune system (preventing disease and damage), but it also helps skin stay hydrated, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Spinach is an excellent source of iron, which helps your body make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is needed to transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. This is why one of the primary symptoms of iron deficiency is heavy fatigue.