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Spinach: Pointless?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:02 pm
by jamesndawson
Wikipedia says:

However, spinach contains iron absorption-inhibiting substances, including high levels of oxalate, which can bind to the iron to form ferrous oxalate and render much of the iron in spinach unusable by the body. In addition to preventing absorption and use, high levels of oxalates remove iron from the body.

Spinach also has a moderate calcium content which can be affected by oxalates, decreasing its absorption. The calcium in spinach is among the least bioavailable of food calcium sources. By way of comparison, the human body can absorb about half of the calcium present in broccoli, yet only around 5% of the calcium in spinach.


I was shopping for kale, but they were out, so I bought a bag of spinach instead. I've frozen it and have been using a little now and then. I don't want to waste it, but it almost seems negatively nutritious. Is there any point in eating spinach at all? Doesn't kale pretty much have everything spinach does without the oxalates? Does anybody here eat spinach? Avoid it? Shun it? Or do you eat it? For nutrition, or just taste? (I like the taste myself.)

Re: Spinach: Pointless?

PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:00 pm
by Lordmuppet
yeah spinach is not a good source of calcium, good post on it from a VF member here http://beforewisdom.com/blog/milkandbones/absorbing-calcium/

Re: Spinach: Pointless?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:36 pm
by thestoatyone
Still got plenty of vitamins and fibre. Not totally pointless, but not the best for iron you're right...

Re: Spinach: Pointless?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:37 pm
by silver
I don't worry about it.
It's food.

It's not like you're planning to eat it to excess, which is surely the only time these numbers would start to mean anything.
(Unless of course you've got a deficiency in your diet, but of course, that shouldn't be the case :) and if you're worried about that, get yourself checked.)

If you like it, eat it. That's what Popeye would say.

Re: Spinach: Pointless?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:55 pm
by blinki
I'm not a fan of thinking about food in that level of detail, I just don't really see the benefit for the effort. I decide what meals I want for the week (I make two in bulk cause of time) then pick the veg to go in balancing what tastes good in the dish with having a variety of colours. Sometimes spinach is the leafy green that'd best fit by taste, sometimes it's not. I don't think much beyond that and I think my overall nutrition is still well beyond sufficient.