I used to eat raw spinach salads frequently. However, I learned that raw spinach is very high in oxalates. Cooking does help reduce the amount of oxalates a little, but not too much. I’m not particularly sensitive to oxalates but many people are sensitive and should avoid them.
As a compromise, I always cook spinach and eat it with a good fat like bacon fat, butter or ghee. These fats help in the absorption of the minerals in spinach and they are a good source of anti-oxidant fat soluble vitamins. Without the fat, you cannot assimilate the minerals. Eat your leafy greens, but cook them and eat them with fat.
Protection from oxalates
Anti-oxidants are the body’s main response to exposure to oxidants like oxalates. This works well until the oxalate levels get too high or when infection or illness burdens the body’s antioxidant systems.
Bacteria in the gut are usually able to transform oxalate to a harmless substance. Unfortunately, these bacteria are killed by antibiotics and/or may not be colonized properly in some people. These folks should avoid eating a lot of high oxalate foods.
Spinach has good nutrition
Aside from the oxalates, spinach is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E vitamin K, the B vitamins, including niacin, B6 and folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese.
Beware of E. coli
I love the idea of a “wilted” spinach salad, but as I said, I always cook the spinach these days. The term “wilted” just refers to a quick heat — not really cooking it.
Another reason I cook spinach these days is because I am a little nervous about the possible presence of the unwanted bacterium, E. coli. Of all the many food recalls we have had in the last few years, this one disturbed me the most. No more crapped up raw spinach for me. I’ll just cook mine from now on.
Ingredients for the dressing
Instructions for the dressing
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
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