Foodstruct Nutrition Search | Diet Analysis | Food Comparison | Glycemic Index Chart | Insulin Index Chart | Blog | Subscribe | Sign Up

Basil vs. Spinach — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

Compare
Article author photo Tatevik  Stepanyan by Tatevik Stepanyan | Last updated on June 26, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel Article author photo Igor Bussel
Basil
vs
Spinach raw

Summary

Spinach has 2 times more vitamin A, vitamin E, and potassium. It is also richer in fiber and protein.

On the other hand, basil has more calcium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin C, folate, and less sodium than spinach.

Introduction

With its round, pointed leaves, the basil plant frequently reminds us of peppermint. It is usually used as a seasoning herb for various dishes and is often considered “the king of herbs.” This green is the main ingredient in pesto. Its flavored mixture of 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, 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

Spinach has a slightly higher number of carbs than basil, containing 3.63g of carbs per 100g, whereas basil has 2.65g of carbs.

However, spinach is also higher in fiber. Basil is richer in protein.

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Protein +10.1%
Contains more Fats +64.1%
Contains more Carbs +37%
Contains more Other +14.7%
Equal in Protein - 2.86
Equal in Water - 91.4
3% 3% 92%
Protein: 3.15 g
Fats: 0.64 g
Carbs: 2.65 g
Water: 92.06 g
Other: 1.5 g
3% 4% 91% 2%
Protein: 2.86 g
Fats: 0.39 g
Carbs: 3.63 g
Water: 91.4 g
Other: 1.72 g
Contains more Protein +10.1%
Contains more Fats +64.1%
Contains more Carbs +37%
Contains more Other +14.7%
Equal in Protein - 2.86
Equal in Water - 91.4

Vitamins

Spinach contains more vitamins than basil.

Spinach has 2 times more vitamin A and vitamin E than basil. It also is higher in vitamin C, folate, and vitamin K.

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" charts 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 Choline +69.3%
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 Choline Vitamin K 317% 16% 0% 60% 9% 18% 17% 13% 36% 51% 0% 7% 1037%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 563% 41% 0% 94% 20% 44% 14% 4% 45% 146% 0% 11% 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 Choline +69.3%
Contains more Vitamin K +16.4%

Minerals

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

100g of basil has 19 times less sodium than 100g of spinach.

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" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
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 Manganese +28%
Contains more Magnesium +23.4%
Contains more Potassium +89.2%
Contains more Selenium +233.3%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 54% 119% 46% 24% 27% 1% 23% 129% 150% 2%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 30% 102% 57% 22% 50% 11% 15% 44% 117% 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 Manganese +28%
Contains more Magnesium +23.4%
Contains more Potassium +89.2%
Contains more Selenium +233.3%

Glycemic Index

Even though both have low carb content, surprisingly, basil has a higher glycemic index than spinach.

The glycemic index of basil is equal to 70, while the gi of raw spinach is equal to 32.

Spinach is considered low glycemic index food.

Health Impact

As a concerned individual who cares for 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 several health issues thanks to the following:

  • 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)

Kidney Stones

Spinach contains oxalate, meaning that spinach may increase the chance of oxalate stone formation.

Increased oxalate consumption is associated with an increased risk of kidney stone development (7).

However, since oxalate is a water-soluble compound boiling and cooking vegetables more often reduces the oxalate content by more than 50%. (8)

Article author photo Tatevik  Stepanyan
Education: Food Blogger
Last updated: June 26, 2023
Medically reviewed by Igor Bussel

Infographic

Basil vs Spinach raw infographic
Infographic link

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains less Saturated Fat -34.9%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +780%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +135.8%
8% 17% 75%
Saturated Fat: 0.041 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.088 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.389 g
26% 4% 69%
Saturated Fat: 0.063 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.165 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -34.9%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +780%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +135.8%

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Galactose +170%
Contains more Sucrose +∞%
Contains more Glucose +450%
Contains more Fructose +650%
6% 6% 87%
Starch: 0 g
Sucrose: 0 g
Glucose: 0.02 g
Fructose: 0.02 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0.27 g
16% 26% 35% 23%
Starch: 0 g
Sucrose: 0.07 g
Glucose: 0.11 g
Fructose: 0.15 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0.1 g
Contains more Galactose +170%
Contains more Sucrose +∞%
Contains more Glucose +450%
Contains more Fructose +650%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Basil Spinach raw
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 raw Opinion
Net carbs 1.05g 1.43g Spinach raw
Protein 3.15g 2.86g Basil
Fats 0.64g 0.39g Basil
Carbs 2.65g 3.63g Spinach raw
Calories 23kcal 23kcal
Fructose 0.02g 0.15g Spinach raw
Sugar 0.3g 0.42g Basil
Fiber 1.6g 2.2g Spinach raw
Calcium 177mg 99mg Basil
Iron 3.17mg 2.71mg Basil
Magnesium 64mg 79mg Spinach raw
Phosphorus 56mg 49mg Basil
Potassium 295mg 558mg Spinach raw
Sodium 4mg 79mg Basil
Zinc 0.81mg 0.53mg Basil
Copper 0.385mg 0.13mg Basil
Manganese 1.148mg 0.897mg Basil
Selenium 0.3µg 1µg Spinach raw
Vitamin A 5275IU 9377IU Spinach raw
Vitamin A RAE 264µg 469µg Spinach raw
Vitamin E 0.8mg 2.03mg Spinach raw
Vitamin C 18mg 28.1mg Spinach raw
Vitamin B1 0.034mg 0.078mg Spinach raw
Vitamin B2 0.076mg 0.189mg Spinach raw
Vitamin B3 0.902mg 0.724mg Basil
Vitamin B5 0.209mg 0.065mg Basil
Vitamin B6 0.155mg 0.195mg Spinach raw
Folate 68µg 194µg Spinach raw
Choline 11.4mg 19.3mg Spinach raw
Vitamin K 414.8µg 482.9µg Spinach raw
Tryptophan 0.039mg 0.039mg
Threonine 0.104mg 0.122mg Spinach raw
Isoleucine 0.104mg 0.147mg Spinach raw
Leucine 0.191mg 0.223mg Spinach raw
Lysine 0.11mg 0.174mg Spinach raw
Methionine 0.036mg 0.053mg Spinach raw
Phenylalanine 0.13mg 0.129mg Basil
Valine 0.127mg 0.161mg Spinach raw
Histidine 0.051mg 0.064mg Spinach raw
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 raw
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet Equal
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
121%
Basil
168%
Spinach raw
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
57%
Basil
45%
Spinach raw

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Spinach raw
Spinach raw is lower in glycemic index (difference - 38)
Which food is cheaper?
Spinach raw
Spinach raw is cheaper (difference - $2.6)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Spinach raw
Spinach raw 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

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

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