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A celebrity nutritionist reveals why eating too much spinach is bad for you

Published on:11 April 2021, 10:00am IST
Who would have thought eating excess amounts of spinach is bad for you? Unfortunately, it’s true.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Too much spinach is going to cause more harm than good. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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We’ve always been familiar with the good side of spinach, how it is all that we need for good health. Well, there’s no denying that it’s a powerhouse of nutrients, but until now, no one has really told us about how its overdose can impact us negatively. Today, we’re here to tell you why eating too much spinach is bad for you!

First, let’s find a little more about its nutrient composition. 100grams of spinach contains:

  • Calories: 23
  • Total fat: 0.4 gm
  • Sodium: 79 mg
  • Carbs: 3.6 gm
  • Fibre: 2.2 gm
  • Sugar: 0.4 gm
  • Protein: 2.9 gm

Spinach is abundant in nutrients and antioxidants and offers a range of benefits, but only when consumed in moderation. 

You need those greens but in limit. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“Spinach is very healthy and improves eye health, prevents cancer, reduces blood pressure levels, brings down oxidative stress, strengthens the bones, enhances immunity, promotes heart health and keeps you energised for a long time,” explains nutritionist and dietician Manisha Chopra.

But you also need to know about its negative effects: 

Ms Chopra reveals five reasons why overeating spinach can be problematic
1. It limits your calcium absorption

Spinach contains oxalic acid. When you eat too much spinach, oxalic acid binds with calcium and form oxalates (insoluble salts) in your intestines. These salts limit the calcium absorption by your body.

2. You may develop kidney stones

Spinach is among those green veggies that contain the highest amount of oxalic acid. Eating too much spinach may result in the formation of calcium-oxalate, which can cause kidney stones. It can also lead to hyperoxaluria i.e., excessive urinary excretion of oxalate.

Kidney stone is another side-effect of eating too much spinach. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
3. Nitrate can be dangerous for babies

Spinach contains nitrates, which don’t usually affect a human digestive system. However, it can cause a number of health concerns in infants.

4. Interaction with medications

Spinach is rich in vitamin K, which can interact with some drugs or medications and form blood clots. Diabetic drugs are taken to lower blood pressure levels, but the vitamin K present in spinach can combine with it and can lower the blood pressure way too much.

5. Metabolisation

Increased consumption of spinach can result in an excessive build-up of bloating, gas, and cramps, because your body needs time to digest spinach and cannot metabolise it all at once. Spinach is rich in fibre and hence, it takes time to get digested, which can lead to abdominal pain, diarrhoea and fever.

You can have spinach at any time of the day. You can add spinach in your breakfast smoothie or your sandwich; it will keep you energised for a long time. Eating spinach in lunch will keep you full until dinner, and will prevent you from having unhealthy snacks in the evening. When you eat spinach for dinner, it helps you to sleep well, as it contains calcium and tryptophan which are essential for good sleep,” recommends nutritionist Manisha Chopra.

Eating too much spinach can make you a fart machine. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

She adds, “1-1.5 cups of spinach per day can help you fulfil your daily nutritional requirements.” 

Who should avoid eating spinach completely?

People who are taking blood-thinning medications, diabetics and those who are prone to kidney stones should avoid eating spinach.

Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.