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Basil vs Spinach - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Tatevik  Stepanyan by Tatevik Stepanyan | Last updated on November 29, 2020
Education: Food Blogger
Basil
vs
Spinach

Summary

Spinach is slightly richer in carbohydrates and appears to be a part of more scientific studies than basil. On the other hand, basil has more protein and fats.

Although the difference in vitamin or mineral quantities is not very significant, spinach contains more vitamins, while basil is slightly higher in minerals.

Introduction

The basil plant with its round, pointed leaves frequently reminds us of peppermint. It is usually used as a seasoning herb for a wide variety of dishes and is often considered “the king of herbs.” It goes without saying that this green is the main ingredient in pesto. Its flavored mixture with pine nuts and parmesan is hard to forget.

The amazing versatility of spinach has been familiar to the culinary world for centuries. In contrast to basil, which is used as a seasoning, it is incorporated into our daily meals in many forms, be it raw, boiled, or cooked, and has numerous nutritional benefits.

Nutritional Content

Macronutrients

Despite basil being richer in protein overall, spinach has a better protein quality, containing higher amounts of nearly all essential amino acids.

Vitamins

Spinach is notably richer in nearly all vitamins, except for vitamin B3 and vitamin B5.

Both greens do not contain vitamin D and vitamin B12.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Basil
2
:
Contains more Vitamin B3 +24.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +221.5%
Contains more Vitamin A +77.8%
Contains more Vitamin E +153.8%
Contains more Vitamin C +56.1%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +129.4%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +148.7%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +25.8%
Contains more Folate +185.3%
Contains more Vitamin K +16.4%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 317% 16% 0% 60% 9% 18% 17% 13% 36% 51% 0% 1037%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 563% 41% 0% 94% 20% 44% 14% 4% 45% 146% 0% 1208%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +24.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +221.5%
Contains more Vitamin A +77.8%
Contains more Vitamin E +153.8%
Contains more Vitamin C +56.1%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +129.4%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +148.7%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +25.8%
Contains more Folate +185.3%
Contains more Vitamin K +16.4%

Minerals

In mineral content, basil is the winner, being richer in copper, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc. Basil is also lower in sodium.

Spinach, however, contains more potassium and magnesium.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Basil
6
:
Contains more Calcium +78.8%
Contains more Iron +17%
Contains more Phosphorus +14.3%
Contains less Sodium -94.9%
Contains more Zinc +52.8%
Contains more Copper +196.2%
Contains more Magnesium +23.4%
Contains more Potassium +89.2%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 54% 119% 46% 24% 27% 1% 23% 129%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 30% 102% 57% 22% 50% 11% 15% 44%
Contains more Calcium +78.8%
Contains more Iron +17%
Contains more Phosphorus +14.3%
Contains less Sodium -94.9%
Contains more Zinc +52.8%
Contains more Copper +196.2%
Contains more Magnesium +23.4%
Contains more Potassium +89.2%

Health Impact

As a concerned individual who takes care of their health, you may ask, which is better?

Spinach appears to be part of more scientific studies. One study showed that it might reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer (1). The case is that increased consumption of leafy and carotenoid vegetables leads to decreased risk of prostate cancer.

Nonetheless, these two foods are high in many nutritional elements and are excellent for fighting against a number of health issues thanks to:

  • Anti-bacterial properties (2, 3)
  • Anti-inflammatory effects (4, 5)
  • Anti-cancer properties (1, 6)
  • Nutrients essential for cardiovascular health (due to magnesium and potassium contents)

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3209415/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12744643/
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/336568422
  4. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316307034
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7399895/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3700662/
Article author photo Tatevik  Stepanyan
Education: Food Blogger
Last updated: November 29, 2020

Infographic

Basil vs Spinach infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Basil Spinach
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in minerals Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Basil Spinach Opinion
Net carbs 1.05g 1.43g Spinach
Protein 3.15g 2.86g Basil
Fats 0.64g 0.39g Basil
Carbs 2.65g 3.63g Spinach
Calories 23kcal 23kcal
Starch g g
Fructose 0.02g 0.15g Spinach
Sugar 0.3g 0.42g Basil
Fiber 1.6g 2.2g Spinach
Calcium 177mg 99mg Basil
Iron 3.17mg 2.71mg Basil
Magnesium 64mg 79mg Spinach
Phosphorus 56mg 49mg Basil
Potassium 295mg 558mg Spinach
Sodium 4mg 79mg Basil
Zinc 0.81mg 0.53mg Basil
Copper 0.385mg 0.13mg Basil
Vitamin A 5275IU 9377IU Spinach
Vitamin E 0.8mg 2.03mg Spinach
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 18mg 28.1mg Spinach
Vitamin B1 0.034mg 0.078mg Spinach
Vitamin B2 0.076mg 0.189mg Spinach
Vitamin B3 0.902mg 0.724mg Basil
Vitamin B5 0.209mg 0.065mg Basil
Vitamin B6 0.155mg 0.195mg Spinach
Folate 68µg 194µg Spinach
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 414.8µg 482.9µg Spinach
Tryptophan 0.039mg 0.039mg
Threonine 0.104mg 0.122mg Spinach
Isoleucine 0.104mg 0.147mg Spinach
Leucine 0.191mg 0.223mg Spinach
Lysine 0.11mg 0.174mg Spinach
Methionine 0.036mg 0.053mg Spinach
Phenylalanine 0.13mg 0.129mg Basil
Valine 0.127mg 0.161mg Spinach
Histidine 0.051mg 0.064mg Spinach
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.041g 0.063g Basil
Monounsaturated Fat 0.088g 0.01g Basil
Polyunsaturated fat 0.389g 0.165g Basil

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Basil Spinach
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet Equal
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
131
Basil
181
Spinach
Mineral Summary Score
52
Basil
41
Spinach

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
19%
Basil
17%
Spinach
Carbohydrates
3%
Basil
4%
Spinach
Fats
3%
Basil
2%
Spinach

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Spinach
Spinach is lower in glycemic index (difference - 38)
Which food is cheaper?
Spinach
Spinach is cheaper (difference - $2.6)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Spinach
Spinach is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Basil
Basil is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.12g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Basil
Basil contains less Sodium (difference - 75mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Basil
Basil is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.022g)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Basil - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172232/nutrients
  2. Spinach - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168462/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.