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Spinach Extract: Benefits, Side Effects & Dosage

Spinach
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What is Spinach Extract?

Spinach may have been every person’s foe as a child, but as an adult, it could be the answer to all the weight loss benefits you ever hoped for. How? It uniquely contains thylakoids, proteins, antioxidants and chlorophyll. Thylakoids are specifically the most important, and only found in other green-leaved plants.

What Does it Come From?

Spinach extract comes from spinach, of course. It is a green powder that you can mix with water or smoothies. The vegetable is native to Central and Western Asia and is an annual plant, sometimes growing to 30 centimeters tall in winter. It has barely noticeable, yellowish flowers and oval to triangle-shaped leaves.

You can use this extract to reduce cravings, lower gastrointestinal issues and fight fatigue. People also use it to stimulate growth in children and promote recovery from illness (x).

Spinach Extract Benefits

Gastrointestinal Issues

Spinach, the leafy vegetable, is high in fiber and water, suggesting the same benefits in its extract. The fiber and water in spinach and its extract both contribute to a healthy digestive tract, especially preventing constipation. The extract has an overall positive effect on other gastrointestinal issues, which means you can say goodbye to flatulence, bloating, diarrhea and constipation (x).

Fatigue and Mental Health

Fatigue is the feeling of tiredness, a lack of energy and a lack of motivation. This can be a result of stress or depression. Spinach has the most physical and mental health benefits of all leafy green vegetables. Studies show that it is successful in improving fatigue by having anti-stress and anti-depressive effects. This is because it lowers blood corticosterone and increases blood glutamate and glutamin levels. Spinach extract is therefore an effective treatment for increasing energy and fighting fatigue by way of anti-stress and anti-depressive benefits (x).

Spinach Benefits

Other Benefits and Uses

There’s a reason spinach was Popeye’s go-to vegetable. Its benefits are boundless. It stimulates growth in children and promotes recovery from illness, as well as combats fatigue, gastrointestinal issues and reduces cravings. Powdered spinach extract may be just the solution for you if you don’t prefer the bold taste of spinach — all the benefits, none of the flavor (x).

Spinach Extract and Weight Loss

Spinach extract should be everyone’s go-to weight loss supplement. It delays fat digestion, reduces your appetite and doesn’t have the harmful side effects that other weight loss drugs do (x, x).

How it Works

The magic of spinach extract is in the thylakoids. Spinach is rich in thylakoids, which suppress the activity of lipase, an enzyme that digests fat. This interaction increases appetite-reducing hormones while decreasing hunger hormones, which results in delayed fat digestion. Keep in mind that spinach extract does not completely prevent fat digestion, simply by causing a delay. However, spinach extract is much more preferred over other lipase-inhibiting drugs (for example, orlistat).

Reduces Cravings

Thylakoids also reduce cravings. Research concluded that in a study to investigate how a single dose of thylakoids before breakfast affects hunger (measured by wanting and liking palatable foods), thylakoids significantly reduced hunger. Reducing hunger includes; increasing satiety, reducing cravings for all snacks and sweets during the day and reducing cravings for salty and sweet treats. This means that spinach extract is an effective supplement for reducing cravings, even those associated with overeating and obesity (x).

Spinach Extract Side Effects

Diarrhea

One common side effect can be diarrhea. This is potentially due to the excess of fiber and water contained in spinach extract. If it continues, stop taking immediately and consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Mineral Absorption

The body needs sufficient levels of various minerals. For example, you need calcium to build strong bones and teeth. However, contact with oxalic acid slows, even blocks, the absorption of calcium. Spinach and its extract are high in oxalic acid. In addition, calcium can combine with oxalic acid and form oxalates, which are insoluble salt crystals. These can also lead to kidney stones (x). For this reason, you should always consult your doctor or pharmacist before using spinach extract, especially in medicinal doses.

Allergic Reactions

Whenever you consume a new supplement, natural or otherwise, an allergic reaction is always a possible side effect. Allergic reactions can manifest themselves as an itchy mouth, face or tongue; swollen areas of the face or rashes on the skin. If symptoms are noticeable on the face, seek medical attention immediately. When it comes to spinach extract, you may also notice an allergic reaction if you are allergic to certain molds or latex.

Other Side Effects and Warnings

If you have kidney disease or have an upcoming surgery, you should not use spinach extract. Since it lowers blood sugar, it is not recommended to take before, during or after surgery, since it may interfere with specific blood sugar levels needed to perform surgery. Lastly, taking any supplement in medicinal doses during pregnancy or while breastfeeding can be harmful. Not enough research is known about the true effects of spinach extract during this time, so it is best to avoid use.

Spinach Extract Dosage and Instructions

While dosage does depend on the user’s health, age and several other conditions, there is a recommended dosage. When supplementing with spinach extract powder, take 1,500 mg (scant 1/2 tsp) to 3,000 mg (scant 1 tsp) daily. Be sure to talk to a doctor before adding this supplement to your regimen.

Why Take Spinach Extract?

Anyone can reap the benefits of spinach extract. If you experience fatigue, gastrointestinal issues or need a boost in recovery from illness, this supplement could be a big help. In addition, if you just want a healthier lifestyle and diet, spinach extract is the natural answer. The thylakoids in it reduce hunger by 95 percent and increases weight loss by 43 percent (x).

The Bottom Line

Spinach extract gives you all the benefits of the leafy green, but without the taste. While it is not new to the supplement world, it might be new to your lifestyle. If you’re looking for a diet and lifestyle change, spinach extract is proven and supported by research to reduce appetite and increase weight loss.

About the author

Chelsey Erwin


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