Can You Eat Spinach Raw – Answered | Whateatly

Property of: Whateatly
can you eat spinach raw
No you can't eat spinach raw because of E. coli, a type of bacteria found in raw spinach. And, there's a best way to cook spinach.

Can you eat spinach raw is the next query we answer in this article from our mailbox – thanks for writing to us, asking about the possibility of eating spinach raw.

It totally makes sense to think about consuming spinach raw because if you’ve heard or read online, you might know that upon cooking, most of the nutrients content found in vegetables are either dead or lowered down drastically than that of the content of nutrients found in raw vegetables.

But that doesn’t mean you should be consuming all of these veggies raw – they have bacteria, and if you’ve eaten them, you might experience cramps, diarrhea, or stomachache.

I know many people who had to go through diarrhea after consuming vegetables raw.

But let’s just focus on spinach here and forget about other vegetables for now.

Is Spinach better raw or cooked?

Spinach, in case you have no idea about its nutrients, contains fiber, vitamin K, magnesium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, iron, manganese, tryptophan, potassium, and other vitamins and minerals – that’s a lot of healthy stuff isn’t it?

Now, let’s find if it’s better to eat spinach raw or cooked.

Raw Spinach:

A 1-cup serving of raw spinach contains:

  • 29 calories
  • 9 gram of protein
  • 1 gram of fat
  • 1 gram of carbohydrate
  • 7 grams of fiber
  • 145 micrograms of vitamin K
  • 2,813 international units of vitamin A
  • 9 milligrams of vitamin E
  • 4 milligrams of vitamin C
  • smaller amounts of iron, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus.

You see, the benefits attached to eating spinach raw are a lot.

Let’s look into cooked spinach now.

Cooked Spinach:

When you cook spinach on a stove, the nutrients are the same, but their amount or quantity (content) is lowered by up to 77 percent.

When you microwave spinach, however, the content of its nutrients is hardly affected.

If you compare the two, you find that the raw spinach has more health benefits and nutrients content than the cooked spinach.

The fact that cooking spinach will lower the quantity of these found nutrients is saddening and makes us question “can you eat spinach raw?” – let’s find out.

Can you eat Spinach raw?

The problem with eating spinach raw is the presence of E. coli in spinach.

If you have no idea what that is, it’s a type of bacteria that has the capability to contaminate many types of foods, vegetables for instance.

There is and will always be harmful effects linked to the consumption of bacteria with raw spinach, and this is why we cook them first before we eat them.

Side effects of eating spinach raw (in the presence of E. coli) are:

  1. Stomach cramps
  2. Abdominal pain
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Death (in rare cases)

Well, how do you kill the bacteria then?

If your answer was to cook it, then there are two ways of cooking spinach: boiling and microwaving.


If you boil your spinach before consumption, you are not doing it right; boiling vegetables is the worst possible way of preserving nutrients found in them.

When you boil a vegetable, most of its nutrients and their quantity is lost – that is not how you should cook your spinach to eat them.


Microwaving your raw spinach, however, will make sure the nutrients and their quantity found in spinach are still there for you to take benefits from.

In fact, one study shows that microwaving spinach for four minutes is the best possible way to take most out of your spinach.

This will kill the existence of E. coli in your spinach while making sure you don’t lose more of your spinach’s nutrients content and health benefits.

Microwaving, we believe, is the best option as it keeps your spinach crunchy and fresh, kills E. coli in your spinach, and keeps the number of lost nutrients and their content as low as possible.

However, if you are still unsure about the presence of E. coli in your spinach, we advise you to cook them thoroughly, in the presence of water – this is how you kill the existence of E. coli in your spinach entirely.

Best Way to Eat Spinach?

Microwaving, hands down, is the best way to eat spinach in order to get most out of the spinach and avoid consumption of E.Coli as well.

In case you do not like microwaving spinach, cooking spinach in water is also a good idea.

Eating spinach raw, however, is not a good way to be eating spinach.

Eating Raw Spinach Every Day:

One more thing we want to share here before we end up this query is that we get a lot of messages saying if it’s wise to be eating raw spinach every day and get its benefits.

That’s not fine, again for the same reason; the presence of E.Coli in spinach is not healthy and thus not consumable.

You must kill its presence before you consume your spinach.


A. You can’t eat spinach raw because of E. coli, a type of bacteria found in spinach.

B. You can microwave spinach to make sure the content of nutrients is hardly affected.

C. Cooking spinach on a stove is not a good idea and can lower the content of nutrients by up to 77 percent.

D. E. coli bacteria can cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even death in rare cases.

Get your free food pyramid guide today!

The information contained within this article and overall site is merely for informational purposes and is based on historical facts. Please always consult with your dietitian before creating a diet plan for yourself.

Leave a Reply