A social media post claims that eating spinach is bad for you as it is full of oxalates and can cause kidney stones. We fact-checked and the claim to be Mostly False. Spinach contains oxalates but not everyone who consumes spinach will develop kidney stones.
In an Instagram video, Paul Saladino, a verified Doctor and known as CarnivoreMD, asserts that consuming spinach is unhealthy. With 1.3M followers, he advocates for an animal-based diet and focuses on self-healing through nourishment. He claims that high oxalate concentrations in spinach contributes to kidney stones in humans.
Is consuming spinach not healthy?
Not really. Spinach is generally considered to be a healthy food due to its rich nutritional profile. It is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Our research shows that spinach is low in calories and carbohydrates and is high in fiber. This can be beneficial for weight management and digestive health.
Spinach is mainly known for its high content of vitamins, such as vitamin A, etc., and minerals, such as, iron, magnesium, and manganese and bioactive compounds that promote health beyond basic nutrition. These nutrients are essential for maintaining healthy skin, promoting immune function, supporting bone health, and aiding blood clotting. Additionally, spinach contains various phytochemicals that have been linked to potential health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and lowering the risk of chronic diseases.
However, it’s worth noting that some individuals may need to limit or avoid spinach due to specific health conditions or dietary restrictions. It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized advice regarding your specific dietary needs and health concerns.
Does eating spinach cause kidney stones, joint pain and gut health?
Not necessarily. Eating spinach in moderation will not likely cause kidney stones, joint pain, or gut health problems. However, if you have a history of kidney stones, you may want to limit your intake of spinach, as it is high in oxalates. Oxalates can form kidney stones in some individuals. Oxalate is a naturally occurring compound found in many foods. Oxalate can bind with calcium in the body to form crystals, which can then accumulate and develop into kidney stones. However, it’s important to note that not everyone who consumes spinach will develop kidney stones, as susceptibility to kidney stone formation varies from person to person. People who are prone to forming kidney stones may need to moderate their intake of high-oxalate foods, including spinach, as advised by their healthcare provider.
We approached Dietitian Priyanka to shed light on whether spinach is healthy or not. To which she replied, “ Spinach is unhealthy only for those who have specific pre-existing conditions, such as kidney stone problems otherwise, anyone can have this green leafy vegetable in their daily diet as it is a good source of nutrition.”
Regarding joint pain, there is no direct evidence to suggest that spinach consumption causes joint pain. In fact, spinach can be beneficial for joint health due to its anti-inflammatory properties and its content of vitamins and minerals that support overall joint health. But, a research paper has shown that spinach is a good source of oxalic acid, which can contribute to joint pain in people with arthritis. However, the amount of oxalic acid in spinach is insufficient to cause joint pain in most people. Additionally, joint pain can have various causes, and it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying factors contributing to joint pain.
Lastly, as for gut health, spinach is a good source of fiber, which can help to improve gut health as it promotes regular bowel movements and supports digestive health. The fiber in spinach can also act as a prebiotic, providing nourishment for beneficial gut bacteria. In some cases, if you have a sensitive stomach, you may want to avoid eating spinach raw, as it can cause bloating and gas. It must be noted that like any food, individual responses to spinach may vary. Some individuals may be more sensitive to certain fibers or experience digestive discomfort when consuming large quantities of spinach. It’s always recommended to listen to your body and make adjustments to your diet as needed.
Senior Gastroenterologist at Akash Healthcare Dr. Sharad Malhotra explains this by stating, “Spinach is an excellent source of iron and vitamins. However, all food items should be taken in moderation as food needs to be holistic. If there is any specific concern, then only spinach should be avoided.”
Overall, eating spinach in moderation is safe for most people. It’s important to remember that individual food responses can vary, and any specific concerns or health conditions should be discussed with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized guidance based on your unique needs.
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