Spinach is good for losing weight, as it’s pretty low in calories, and also contains compounds, such as fiber, protein, chlorophyll, and thylakoids, which reduce hunger for hours, and burn belly fat!
Spinach is low in calories
Above all, spinach is good for weight loss because it’s pretty low in calories. 100g of raw spinach has only 23 calories.
Actually, we lose weight when we consume fewer calories than we burn! Spinach and other greens are the best food choices for eating on a caloric deficit. In fact, you can eat as much spinach as you want, without gaining weight!
Protein in spinach promotes weight loss
Furthermore, spinach is particularly high in protein. Actually, 50% of calories of spinach come from protein! 100g of spinach contains 2.9g of protein.
High-protein meals are good for weight loss. In fact, high protein intake has been linked to reduced body weight, and decreased fat mass!
You better increase your protein intake when following a diet for weight loss. Protein is crucial for preserving the valuable lean body mass, which controls resting energy expenditure. In other words, increased muscle mass burns more calories.
Moreover, the body burns up to 30% of calories from protein to digest it. Protein has the highest thermic effect, as compared to carbs (5-10%) or fat (only 3%).
Spinach reduces hunger & cravings!
Additionally, spinach enhances weight loss because it has a high satiating effect.
First, spinach is pretty high in fiber. 100g of spinach contains 2.2g of fiber! The recommended daily fiber intake is 28g for a 2,000 calorie diet. High-fiber diets improve body composition and promote a healthy weight. Unfortunately, most people don’t consume adequate amounts of fiber, increasing the risk of obesity, and other diseases!
Moreover, spinach is 91% water! Foods high in water, fiber, and protein have the highest filling effect. These foods reduce appetite, making dieting easy.
Last, but not least, spinach has a pretty high satiating effect because it’s an excellent source of thylakoids. Thylakoids are the internal photosynthetic membrane system of green plants.
They significantly reduce appetite because they increase release of the satiety hormones GLP-1, cholecystokinin, and leptin, which play a key role in reward signaling in the body. Furthermore, thylakoids reduce the secretion of insulin and the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin.[5,6]
Most noteworthy, eating foods rich in thylakoids, such as spinach, reduces cravings for sweet or fatty snacks up to 38%! As spinach is among the richest foods in thylakoids, we should consume it regularly to prevent overeating, night cravings, and emotional eating.
Iron in spinach is vital for burning fat mass!
Additionally, spinach is particularly rich in iron. 100g of raw spinach contains 2.7 mg of iron. The daily recommended intake is 8 mg and 18 mg for men and women, respectively.
Actually, iron deficiency is pretty common. Especially among obese people and women. It can cause metabolic disorders, leading to fatigue, inactivity, inflammation, and eventually to obesity! Treating iron deficiency can reduce body weight and waist circumference.[7,8]
Potassium in spinach is vital for losing body weight
Furthermore, eating spinach is good for weight loss because it’s an excellent dietary source of potassium. 100g of raw spinach contains 558 mg of potassium, or 16% DV (Daily Value).
A diet high in potassium enhances weight loss, lowers Body Weight Index (BMI), and significantly lowers the risk of obesity.
Spinach promotes weight loss due to its high calcium content
Additionally, spinach contains decent amounts of calcium. 100g of raw spinach has about 100 mg of calcium.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body. Most people need about 1,000-1,300 mg of calcium a day.
Calcium is vital for muscle function, nerve transmission, and hormonal secretion! Adequate calcium intake is necessary for a normal body weight and less weight gain over time! It helps the body burn more fat tissue for energy, and also prevents the absorption of fat from the body.
Vitamin C burns belly fat
Spinach is an excellent dietary source of vitamin C as well. 100g has 28 mg, or 30% DV. Vitamin C is necessary for weight loss, as it helps the body burn more fat for energy.
Other common vegetables high in vitamin C are pepper, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
Carotenoids in spinach burn body fat!
Eating lots of foods containing carotenoids and other antioxidants is vital for health and losing weight.
First, obese people tend to have lower blood concentrations of carotenoids.
Secondly, carotenoids protect us from oxidative stress, which is a common cause of obesity! Overweight people have higher risk of developing oxidative stress, due to their higher fat mass.
Spinach is an excellent source of carotenoids. 100g contains 5,630 mcg of beta-carotene, 12,200 mcg of lutein and zeaxanthin, and 9,380 IU of vitamin A! Vitamin A plays a key role in burning body fat for energy!
In fact, spinach has an exceptional antioxidant content, providing potent anti-obesity effects on the body. It prevents the excess retention of fat in the body. Moreover, carotenoids in spinach can reduce total cholesterol, and triglycerides.[12,13]
Spinach is high in vitamin E
Additionally, spinach is good for weight loss because it’s particularly high in vitamin E! 100g has 2 mg of vitamin E, or 13% DV!
Vitamin E has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity properties. It may improve insulin sensitivity, reduce oxidative stress, and inflammation!
The best dietary sources of vitamin E are seeds and nuts, such as sunflower seeds, almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts! But, you shouldn’t consume more than 2 handfuls of seeds and nuts a day, if you want to lose weight, due to their high calorie content. On the contrary, spinach is a better source of vitamin E, as it’s pretty low in calories!
Vitamin K burns belly fat
Furthermore, spinach is particularly high in vitamin K. 100g of raw spinach has 483 mcg of vitamin K, or 400% DV!
Vitamin K plays a key role in fat and glucose metabolism. Actually, high vitamin K intake may reduce body weight. Above all, it burns body fat, and especially belly fat!
Spinach reduces cravings due to its high chlorophyll content
Additionally, spinach is among the richest foods in chlorophyll. It’s the compound that makes plants green! Spinach contains about 0.85 mg of chlorophyll per gram.
Chlorophyll reduces the urge for fatty or sweet foods, which are pretty high in calories. Furthermore, chlorophyll can reduce body weight, body fat, and waist circumference!
Folate in spinach is necessary for losing weight
Is it OK to eat spinach every day?
Certainly, spinach is among the best foods you can have for weight loss! It’s super nutrient-dense, containing only a few calories. But, people with a high risk of developing kidney stones should avoid eating it daily.
First, spinach contains high amounts of oxalates. 100g of spinach contain 600-1,000 mg of oxalates! Most people consume no more than 300 mg of oxalates a day.
Oxalates bind to calcium, increasing the risk of kidney stones.
To reduce the risk of kidney stones, you should eat spinach with foods rich in calcium. Calcium binds to oxalate in the intestines. This significantly decreases the amount of oxalate that gets absorbed into the bloodstream, and then excreted by the kidney. In this case, urine has less oxalate, lowering the risk of binding to urinary calcium. Therefore, milk and dairy can significantly reduce the availability of the oxalate in spinach.
Also, you should avoid eating raw spinach. You better boil, steam, or soak spinach, in order, to make oxalates leak into the water. Boiling reduces up to 87% of soluble oxalates!
Moreover, you should consult your health care provider before greatly increase your spinach consumption, due to its particularly high vitamin K content. Although, vitamin K from food doesn’t have any adverse effect, sudden changes in vitamin K intake can interact with certain drugs, such as Warfarin and similar anticoagulants, greatly increasing or decreasing the anticoagulant effect.
Certainly, the occasional consumption of high oxalate foods, as part of a healthy, nutritious diet, doesn’t pose any particular problem.
Last, but not least, you should prefer buying organic spinach. It’s in the list of the most contaminated with pesticides foods.