Can You Eat Spinach Raw? That’s What Matters!

There are several myths surrounding spinach: For example, it should not be eaten uncooked. But that’s not true – you can eat spinach raw. Raw spinach is even healthy if you pay attention to these points!

Raw food, i.e. eating food without heating it, is a nutritional trend: This is how the nutrients should be preserved as much as possible. However, not every vegetable or fruit is suitable. Many people, therefore, ask themselves: Can you eat spinach raw? Or do you have to cook it? Is Raw Spinach Healthy or Toxic? And which spinach can you eat raw? The answer: You can also eat spinach raw – but with restrictions.

Vitamins & Co. make spinach so healthy

Although there is not nearly as much iron in leafy vegetables as many think, it is a real vitamin bomb and contains many minerals, for example:

  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C
  • Beta carotene (precursor of vitamin A)
  • Potassium, calcium, magnesium, and also iron

Plus, spinach is low in calories.

However, spinach also contains oxalic acid and nitrate

However, leafy greens contain two other components: oxalic acid and nitrate. Oxalic acid impedes the absorption of calcium and iron in the body, which can result in kidney stones. People with kidney problems should therefore avoid eating spinach raw.

The vegetables also contain nitrates – these are nitrogen compounds that help the plant grow. If stored incorrectly or if the transport routes are too long, nitrate can convert to nitrite, which impairs the transport of oxygen in the blood. This can be life-threatening, especially for babies. They should not be fed raw spinach.

On the other hand, studies show that nitrate-rich foods dilate blood vessels and are therefore good blood pressure reducers. So: Is eating raw spinach healthy or toxic?

Can you eat spinach raw? Yes, but you have to be careful!

To avoid the intake of oxalic acid and nitrate as much as possible, you should heed these points – then you can also eat spinach raw:

  • Reach for young spinach with small leaves – baby spinach is wonderful to eat raw, it only contains a very small amount of these substances.
  • Buy regionally grown products to keep the transport route as short as possible – this reduces the risk of nitrite formation.
  • Eat the raw spinach as fresh as possible.
  • If you want to eat spinach uncooked, you can also combine it with vitamin C – for example with other vegetables containing vitamin C – this inhibits the conversion process from nitrate to nitrite.
  • Be careful when the vegetables are already flowering: You should not eat the spinach leaves raw then, as they contain a lot of oxalic acid and nitrate.
  • Even root spinach – which, in contrast to leaf spinach, is harvested with the roots – must not be eaten raw.
  • Stems, leaf veins, and outer green leaves should be removed because potentially harmful substances accumulate here.

If you have kidney problems or just to be on the safe side, you should heat the spinach: the high temperatures destroy the oxalic acid. However, some of the vitamins and minerals are then also lost.

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