Spinach Nutrition Facts And Health Benefits

Rohit Kumar

5 min read | Jan 3, 2021


I’m strong to the finich ’cause I eats me spinach.

~ Popeye, The Sailor Man

How could I not agree with Popeye? Spinach does have health benefits that may lower our chances of needing a pill. Originating in Persia, the green leafy vegetable spinach is from the amaranth family. It is a relative of beetroots and quinoa.


It is a low-calorie, high-nutrient food with many health benefits. To know your daily quota of each nutrient, you may check this link. 1https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/appendix-7/

Spinach Health Benefits




High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for heart disease. Research shows that nitrates, which are natural compounds in spinach, are effective in lowering blood pressure. 2https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18250365/ In fact, there are studies specifically on the ability of spinach to reduce blood pressure. 3https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22019438/, 4https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15080624/


Do you remember watching Popeye finishing strong after eating spinach? We believed in him during childhood, but once we grew up, it didn’t seem realistic, right? Let us call him “Sir Popeye” here, as science agrees with him.


Studies conclude that nitrates in spinach can boost physical performance, in particular during high-intensity endurance training. 5https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17635415/ The reason may be that nitrates enhance the efficiency of mitochondria. Mitochondria are the energy-producing parts of cells. 6https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21284982/, 7https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21071588/, 8https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23370859/


Oxidative Stress Protection


Spinach may help fight chronic diseases. Free radicals are unstable molecules that produce oxidative stress. They are linked to chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.


Air pollutants, cigarettes, alcohol, fried foods, and pesticides can contain free radical-generating substances. 9https://hopes.stanford.edu/about-free-radical-damage/ Continuous exposure to these substances can be lethal. Spinach contains antioxidants, which may neutralize or reduce the effects of oxidative stress, preventing various chronic diseases. 10https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21384253/, 11https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12111045/


Cancer Prevention


MGDG (monogalactosyl diacylglycerol) and SQDG (sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol) are cancer-preventing components present in spinach. One study found that these components may help inhibit tumor growth in the human cervix. 12https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17439396/, 13https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123746283000268


Studies suggest that regular consumption of spinach is linked to reduced risk of prostate and breast cancer. 14https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17652276, 15https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9367061/


Healthy Vision


Lutein and zeaxanthin are compounds known to promote eye health. Numerous studies suggest these compounds protect us from potential damage to the retina caused by sunlight. 16https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19168000/


Macular degeneration and cataracts are the leading causes of blindness. There is evidence that lutein and zeaxanthin may prevent these issues and even reverse existing damage. 17https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7933422/, 18https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16936087/, 19https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25515572/

Spinach Vs. Kale


An exciting battle here. Both spinach and kale are green, leafy, nutrient-dense vegetables. Let’s find out which has the upper hand.


Taste– Kale has a bitter taste, while the taste of spinach is not that strong.


Texture– Kale is chewier, while spinach is smooth and cooks quicker than kale.


Those with thyroid-related issues should avoid kale as it contains goitrin, which may interrupt thyroid function. Spinach also contains goitrin but not as much as cruciferous veggies like kale.


However, spinach has oxalates, which might inhibit calcium absorption and can also cause kidney stones. 20https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4525130/ Boiling spinach can reduce dietary oxalate composition by 87%, though. 21https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15826055/


Related: What Are Cruciferous Vegetables? Cruciferous Vegetable Benefits

Spinach For Weight Loss


When it comes to weight loss, you need to consume less than your maintenance calories. You can achieve a calorie deficit by eating healthy foods in the right quantity and doing physical activities. You can calculate your maintenance calories using the Fabulous Body’s Free body calculator.


Related: Body Calculators


Some foods are suited to support your journey. Spinach is one such food. So how can spinach be weight loss-friendly?




Spinach surprises us by offering a massive amount of nutrients for just seven calories per cup (25g). Therefore, it could be an excellent replacement for sugar-laden foods. If you plan to go on a 500-calorie deficit daily, you would eventually burn 3,500 calories a week, meaning you would shed around one pound in a week.


The daily calorie deficit is not that much. You can easily achieve it through diet and exercise. This is an ideal way to lose weight healthily. I have given you a rough idea of how things work when you are on a weight loss journey.


Foods like spinach could make the job easier. So, choose smartly. Having a bowl of spinach soup instead of junk is a healthy way to lose weight.




Fiber gives you a feeling of fullness, and spinach is full of fiber. Thus, it can prevent cravings to eat extra.


Related Articles:


What Is Fiber? Health Benefits, Food Sources And Daily Requirements


Calories In Calories Out: CICO | Does It matter?

How To Eat Spinach


Here are a few ways you can enjoy spinach


-Make spinach puree


-Stir fry


-Add it to pasta


-Blend it into soup


-Sprinkle it into green or fruit salad


-Mix in smoothies


-Enjoy steamed spinach in a sandwich

Spinach Safety Concerns


Typically, spinach is very healthy. But under the following conditions, it may not be a safe option.


Medications- Spinach is rich in vitamin K, which is known for its blood-clotting properties. This may interfere with blood thinner medicines.


Kidney Stones- Spinach may promote kidney stones under certain circumstances. So, those who are at risk of developing kidney stones should limit their spinach intake.


Remember, the ideas in this article are not a substitution for medical advice. If you have health concerns, it’s best to talk to your doctor before adding any food to your diet.

Conclusion And My Recommendation


Filled with innumerable nutrients, spinach is a superfood indeed. It is true that spinach cannot give you a forearm like Popeye’s, but what it offers you is an abundance of impressive health benefits.


A few I have mentioned are lowered blood pressure, enhanced physical performance, eye health, cancer prevention, and protection against oxidative stress. Spinach could also be a food for weight loss, as it is low in calories and has a high fiber content.


You can effortlessly cook and add it to your diet. So how do you agree with Popeye about spinach? He is a smart guy, no? You can be, too, once you start choosing superfoods like spinach for a healthy lifestyle.


However, one thing I would not recommend learning from Popeye is smoking. As we discussed, smoking can cause oxidative stress in the body.


What do you think of this article? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

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About Rohit Kumar

Rohit Kumar is an avid writer who puts a lot of his emotions in words through his articles. Today, he is a certified fitness expert with a vast knowledge on nutrition and has contributed to the pages of Fabulous Body with his articles.


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