Is spinach the best source of iron?

Spinach may not be the best source of iron, but there are still health benefits — and the supermarket bags are better still

Q: Is spinach as good for as you people say? I’ve heard that it’s hardly got any iron, even though we all associate it with Popeye and bulging muscles.

A: Spinach does give us iron, but our bodies can make use of only about half of what is present because within the spinach leaves, the iron is bound tightly to a substance known as oxalic acid, making it hard for our bodies to absorb it.

The bottom line is that while 50g of fresh baby spinach leaves in a salad gives us about 1mg of iron, of which we can make use of 0.5g, you need about a 70g portion of cooked spinach to provide about the same. To give this a sense of perspective, women should be aiming for 14.8mg a day; men 8.7mg a day.

Popeye would have been better off gulping down a steak with about 2mg of very easily absorbed iron or better still, the same weight of canned sardines with more than double this.

Source - Times

3 comments:

  1. The ONLY iron I have found that is easily absorbed and doesn't give me constipation is Spatone. It actually reminds me of the water I had to collect from the spring at hte bottom of the field on my Grandmothers' farm as a child. I loved it! Even the bits of orange (literally bits of iron!!)at the bottom!!
    xx

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  2. Anonymous5:07 am

    long ago i had my doubts about that Popeye's favourite menu and yr above post simply confirms the fact, thanks for sharing the info

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  3. But don't forget that spinach can help protect against eye disease, so it shouldn't be ignored.

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