Spinach is one of the healthiest and most iron-packed foods out there, but have you ever noticed that it leaves a weird feeling and residue covering your teeth? Well, this is actually a thing.
This is informally referred to as ‘spinach tooth’, and this is due to a particular acid that is present in spinach.
Spinach contains a natural chemical, and this chemical is found in many green and leafy plants. The chemical is a defense mechanism for predators and animals that attempt to eat spinach.
Spinach contains a lot of goodness, including vitamin C, calcium, potassium, folate, iron, and lutein. Consequently, this can make your teeth feel weird, leaving an extra film. Let’s find out more about this!
Where Is Spinach From?
Spinach is a leafy, fleshy green found in Persia, now known as Iran. It has been around for thousands of years, and it was brought to the US in 1809.
The spinach plant is native to central and western Asia, meaning it grows well in a neutral but warm environment.
However, spinach is part of the amaranth family, and many of its leafy counterparts are not edible. This includes chenopodiaceae, amaranth, and caryophyllales.
What Is In Spinach?
It is known that spinach contains a lot of minerals and vitamins. This includes iron, folic acid, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, carotenoids, potassium, and vitamin K.
Spinach is one of the healthiest vegetables in the world, and it is known for being a superfood due to all of the healthy minerals and vitamins present in it.
Spinach is jam-packed full of fibre, which is necessary for healthy and functioning intestinal and bowel movements.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Spinach?
Spinach is known as a superfood, with some incredible benefits. You can add spinach to your diet all year round, as it will keep you constantly packed with nutrients and vitamins. Let’s look at some of the health benefits of spinach.
Spinach actually has a lot of benefits for your eyes. It contains lutein, which protects your eyes against age-related defects.
It has been found that people who take regular lutein are at a lower risk of suffering from eye issues. This is great, and spinach can give you the upper hand, here.
Additionally, lutein also prevents cataracts, and it has been proven that people who take lutein are 25% less at risk than those who do not.
Spinach has several minerals that help lower your blood pressure. This is great for keeping a healthy diet.
Believe it or not, spinach is also great for preserving your cognitive abilities and brain function.
It has been proven that those who have more lutein levels in their diet have a better memory, reasoning ability, verbal cognition, and reaction time. This is crucial, especially when you get older.
Bone function is super important, and the vitamin K present in spinach helps maintain your bones healthy.
Spinach is known for being packed full of iron, which is necessary for producing haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen to the lungs, and blood to the heart.
This is why iron deficiency causes fatigue and tiredness. Include more spinach in your diet, especially if you are anaemic.
Spinach is full of vitamin A, which helps your body repair and grow new skin cells and tissues. Skin is the largest organ in your body, and it is just as significant as the other organs.
Vitamin A, which is present in spinach, supports the general immune system, and ensures that your skin stays hydrated.
Why Does Spinach Make My Teeth Feel Weird?
As well as the many other vitamins and minerals within spinach, the main compound is oxalic acid. This is an acid, and it makes your teeth feel weird when you eat spinach.
Oxalic acid is necessary to defend the leaves from insects and animals that try to eat them.
It is an antinutrient, meaning animals and insects cannot absorb the nutrients. However, spinach contains calcium, which counteracts the antinutrient properties.
When you eat spinach, the calcium in your saliva reacts with the oxalic acid in the spinach.
This creates calcium oxalate crystals, which do not dissolve in liquid, creating a gritty, chalky, and weird feeling on your teeth and in your mouth.
The weird texture in spinach is caused by the small crystals floating around your mouth. They may taste bitter and leave a gritty texture all over your teeth.
This is the same for other foods such as nuts, strawberries, tea, and dry beans. This acid is not bad for you at all, as there is no risk of it eroding your teeth or the skin in your mouth.
This is because the pH levels of spinach are neutral, so oxalic acid benefits your dental health.
But, if you are suffering from kidney stones, calcium oxalate stones may form in your kidneys, but this is only after a lot of spinach!
Will Eating Spinach Damage My Teeth?
Eating spinach will not damage your teeth, primarily due to the neutral pH level. Additionally, the acid in spinach is not concentrated, and the crystals are microscopic, meaning there is nothing harmful about the acid.
How To Cook Spinach
You can eat spinach raw and in a salad, but it is also delicious when cooked. You can steam spinach, pan fry, microwave, boil, and more! Spinach is super versatile, and you should include it in your daily diet.
Spinach is one of the best superfoods in the world, containing so many nutrients, vitamins, and oxalic acid. This acid is responsible for the weird feeling on your teeth, but you should not be concerned.
Continue implementing spinach in your diet, as the health benefits are amazing.