Spinach – what’s in the leafy vegetables

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Spinach – what’s in the leafy vegetables


Thanks to an error on the part of spinach was for a long time as ten times the iron-rich, as he is in reality. But even if the spinach does not appear now on the list of iron containing foods in the front ranks, the vegetables. Numerous healthy ingredients and fewer calories to make the leafy vegetables is not only a popular ingredient in many recipes, but also the ideal food during a diet. What makes spinach so healthy and what you should consider in the preparation, you can find here.

For what is spinach good for?

Spinach is not only popular in the kitchen. Also as a medicinal plant the vegetables can be attributed to a number of positive effects on health:

  1. The boiled leaves can help against bloating. Even in the case of spinach is considered to be easily digestible diet.
  2. Spinach can be used seeds as a laxative.
  3. Due to its content of Magnesium and various other content of spinach blood can act substances pressure.
  4. Thanks to the antioxidants, spinach is thought to have a cancer preventive effect.
  5. Spinach can promote the growth of muscles. According to an American study, the vegetable contains Phytoecdysteroide, which support muscle building, but you’d have to eat for a noticeable effect daily a kilogram of spinach. A Swedish study came to the conclusion that the spinach contained nitrate, promotes the muscle building.

In folk medicine, spinach is also regarded as a remedy for loss of appetite and fatigue. He also said to reduce fever and for the treatment of inflammation.

Spinach protects the eyes

Spinach has a twofold positive effect on the eyes. First, it contains a large amount of Beta-carotene, a precursor of Vitamin A. result in A deficiency of this vitamin can lead to night blindness.

Secondly, the vegetables scores with its high content of the carotenoid Lutein. The micro-nutrient helps to bind free radicals in the eye and protects the sensitive retina from the harmful effects of the sun’s radiation. In addition, Lutein is supposed to help age-related macular degeneration (AMD), prevent.

Lose weight with spinach?

Also, when you lose weight spinach can be a good helper. Because of the leafy vegetables contained Thylakoids slow down fat digestion and cravings prevention, a Swedish study showed. In addition, the study of the value of the LDL-cholesterol decreased in the participants.

Who smells now is the perfect spinach diet with green spinach Smoothies and spinach salad, but unfortunately disappointed. The Thylakoids have to be extracted according to the researchers in the laboratory from the spinach, so that they can be used by the body.

However, spinach can assist in diets, because the vegetable is low in calories and rich in healthy nutrients. Thanks to its low carbohydrate content of spinach also for Low-Carb-diets great.

Nutritional values and ingredients – it’s all in the spinach

Spinach has many healthy ingredients. So, spinach, for example, is as a supplier of various vitamins. In addition to the already mentioned Beta-carotene it contains, among other things:

  • Folic acid
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

In the vegetable antioxidants, which can contribute as a scavenger of free Radicals to cancer so abundant. Particularly rich is the green leaf vegetable substances also the following minerals:

  • Potassium and Magnesium, which are needed for the function of nerves and muscles
  • Calcium for growth and formation of bones and teeth essential
  • Zinc, which strengthens, among other things, the defence forces and for numerous metabolic processes is needed
  • Iron, which is for the uptake and Transport of oxygen is important

Furthermore, spinach contains about 2.5% protein, 1.6% carbohydrate, and 0.4 per cent fat, and is composed of approximately 93 percent water.

And how many calories are in spinach? Fresh spinach is only twenty kilocalories (kcal) per 100 grams, is relatively low in calories.

Iron content of spinach – myth and truth

For a long time it was believed that spinach contains around 35 milligrams of iron per 100 grams. Then it turned out that this value agreed with – at least not for fresh spinach. The extremely high iron content was calculated in 1890 for spinach powder and later on may be in error on fresh spinach to transfer – when and how the error came about exactly, is controversial.

But errors in calculation or not: Even with “only” 3.5 to 4 milligrams of iron per 100 grams of fresh spinach is still rich in iron than many other vegetables.

Nevertheless, spinach is not an ideal source of iron. On the one hand, the body’s herbal iron is not can use as well as animal. On the other hand, spinach contains oxalic acid, which binds to the iron it contains and the body is so complicated, the mineral.

Therefore, it is advisable to spinach to eat in conjunction with foods, which reduces the effect of the oxalic acid. This Vitamin includes, for example,-C-rich foods such as tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli or oranges. Also calcium facilitates the absorption of iron. Short boil or Blanch the spinach also reduces the proportion of the oxalic acid and makes the contained iron is also usable.

Driven by oxalic acid

That oxalic acid impedes the absorption of iron in spinach is not their only disadvantage is that they bind not only iron, but also calcium, which is why they can be damaging to excessive consumption of teeth and bones.

In the worst case, a combination of oxalic acid and the body’s own calcium deposits in the body, kidney or bladder stones develop.

Are affected, especially the person with a pre-existing condition. Except in the case of people with kidney problems is also required in the case of osteoporosis, gout, rheumatism or Arthritis, and particular care in relation to oxalic acid.

Tip: The consumption of spinach in connection with milk or milk products such as cream, Crème fraîche or cheese can help to reduce the effect of oxalic acid on the body’s own calcium, as in milk, calcium will neutralize the oxalic acid when cooking.

Why do you get from spinach dull teeth?

A further effect of the oxalic acid in spinach is responsible: The consumption of spinach in our mouth to a reaction between the oxalic acid and the calcium of our teeth. Therefore, one has sometimes the feeling, the spinach will make the teeth blunt. This furry feeling disappears after a short period of time.

Nevertheless, you should not wait after the consumption of spinach to brush your teeth at least half an hour, so as not to hurt the already compromised tooth enamel.

Can you eat spinach raw?

Contrary to popular belief, raw spinach is not toxic. You can eat spinach without a problem raw. However, only the young spring or summer, spinach is suitable for raw consumption, for example, in salads or green Smoothies. It contains relatively little oxalic acid. The long-stemmed autumn or winter spinach is always eaten cooked.

Of cooked spinach has, however, compared to raw spinach is a higher recoverability of the valuable ingredients, provided he has been carefully prepared, for example, steamed or blanched.

Nitrate in spinach

Due to its high nitrate content of spinach is said to have some adverse effect on health. A basic warning before the spinach, however, is not appropriate, such as the Federal Institute for risk assessment confirmed.

It is a fact that in The cultivation of spinach in appropriately-fertilized soils the plants take up this nitrate. In the body or in the processing of spinach, the initially harmless nitrate to nitrite, and then may be in nitrosamines converted. Of this substance, he can cause with regular consumption of cancer.

However, this is not a reason to give up on spinach, because that nitrosamines are formed, could not be demonstrated in humans so far. And as is so often the lot of power here, too, the Gift: The daily intake of a certain amount of nitrate is considered to be harmless to health. Some studies suggest that even on a health-promoting effect of nitrate and nitrite. So, nitrate-rich food to improve, for example, the gastric mucosal blood flow and lower blood pressure.

Nevertheless, the General recommendation is that adults should be more than once a week to eat spinach. This is especially true for people with a deficient supply of iodine, because nitrate inhibits the uptake and Transport of Iodine to the thyroid gland.

Tip: The content of nitrate in frozen spinach is less than in fresh spinach, because frozen spinach was blanched after harvest. Also, it can be advisable to buy organic spinach (best summer spinach), since the biological cultivation of other fertilizers are used, and the nitrate content is therefore low.

When can babies eat spinach?

Otherwise, the assessment looks concerning the health risks associated with spinach in babies and small children: For infants, nitrite can be harmful, because the fabric can impair the transport of oxygen in the blood (Methemoglobinemia), which can lead to life-threatening lack of oxygen (Cyanosis).

Therefore, children should be at the earliest from the age of six months, eat spinach and not raw, only in small quantities and not when the spinach has warmed up again. The best solution is to initially only purchased baby food with spinach, as these are subject to in relation to the nitrate content of the strict requirements.

The European food safety authority (EFSA) also draws attention to the fact that up to the age of three years, the consumption of large amounts of spinach in a day, the risk of Methemoglobinemia cannot be excluded.

Also, children suffering from bacterial gastro-intestinal disease, should avoid spinach, because such infections favor the conversion of nitrate to nitrite.

Use of spinach

Spinach is very versatile to prepare. A popular traditional dish of potatoes with spinach and Fried egg. But also in the Form of salmon rolls, Pasta with spinach, puff pastry snails, or as a vegetarian spinach lasagna, the sheet will find vegetables a lot of followers.

As a side dish spinach blends well with carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, or onions. For Seasoning salt and pepper as well as nutmeg and garlic are the best.

Fresh spinach cooked – so it goes!

Fresh spinach should be washed before cooking thoroughly, but not in the water does not remain to be the nutrients out of the strand. The stems are cut off at the best. Then, the spinach is blanched, that is to say for a Minute in boiling water. So that the spinach retains its green color and crisp remains, plunge it immediately into ice water.

Pour away the cooking water then, as it absorbs from the spinach oxalic acid and nitrite.

Frozen spinach can be heated without previous thawing directly in the cooking pot. This also reduces the risk of germ development. Once thawed spinach should be consumed and processed.

By the way: Because our eyes are so valuable, Vitamin A is one of the fat-soluble vitamins, should the spinach be cooked with some fat. Ideal for a cold-pressed Oil contains a high proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as rapeseed oil.

Spinach buy – what should I be aware of?

Spinach you can buy – in one Form or another – in every supermarket. The choice between the tender spring and the summer spinach that has between March and may of the season, and the larger and stronger of the autumn and winter spinach, which is harvested from September to November. In addition, there is the frozen spinach, which is available throughout the year.

The following distinction is made with spinach also:

  • Spinach is in the rule of law, on the large leaves. It can be frozen or fresh to be bought.
  • Baby spinach is tender and both fresh and frozen.
  • Root spinach is fresh spinach, which is offered together with the roots.
  • Creamed spinach is shredded spinach that has been refined with cream for Vegans and people with lactose intolerance, usually frozen, this variant is not suitable.

You look for when buying fresh spinach to the fact that the leaves look not wilted or sick, but green and crisp.

By the way: Even if chard is often processed, such as spinach, these are different vegetables.

Shelf life and storage of spinach

Fresh spinach in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator for about two to five days of shelf life. It is best not to wrap the leaves in a damp kitchen towel to prevent drying out.

What is, however, with any leftovers? Finally, we hear again and again, you can’t reheat spinach twice and also not re-freeze. Is that true?

  • Can you reheat spinach? Yes. It should be noted, however, that spinach should not be kept too warm for a long time, since heat may promote the formation of nitrite. Therefore, spinach is always quickly warm up, cools down fast, and remains for a maximum of one day in the refrigerator. Small children should not eat warmed-up spinach.
  • Can you freeze spinach? Fresh spinach, you can Blanch after a short, and Quenching, easy to freeze, and for about ten months camps. It is, however, frozen spinach is not recommended to re-Freeze. Even if re-freezing is not a problem, as long as the food is heated before consumption, it is a wise precaution, once thawed food is not re-freeze.

Know for know-it-alls – 5 facts about spinach

To spinach, many rumors – from the myth surrounding the high iron value up to believe that spinach is a warm-up toxic. And also in addition to spinach for some Surprise is good. In the Following, we have compiled five amazing facts about spinach for you:

  1. What contains more iron: spinach or chocolate? With an average of 6.7 milligrams of iron per 100 grams of dark chocolate is clearly in front of spinach contains only 3.5 to 4 milligrams of iron.
  2. Why do you eat at the green Thursday of spinach? Although the Name dates back to Thursday, probably not by the color Green, but the word snivels (wines), it has become in many regions the custom to eat on Holy Thursday something Green – but it’s not spinach.
  3. A green gummy spinach? Indirectly. The green dye in the spinach, the Chlorophyll that provides the green gummy bear color. To Dye noodles, Easter eggs, mouthwash, or toothpaste is used the dye.
  4. How to remove spinach stains? In the case of fresh stains, warm soapy water helps. Popular home remedies for spinach stains methylated spirits or Rubbing with raw potato slices.
  5. Why is eating Popeye’s spinach? Reason for Popeyes taste for spinach, at the time, as a significantly higher force iron content of spinach is probably not. In the early years of the Comics Popeye himself explains, he’ll eat spinach due to its high content of Vitamin A.