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Parsley vs Spinach - In-Depth Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on June 02, 2022
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Parsley
vs
Spinach

Summary

Spinach contains more manganese, folate, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2, and magnesium than parsley. It is also low in sugars and saturated fat.

Parsley is richer in Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Iron, and Vitamin B5 and has low sodium. B

Introduction

In this article, you can find a detailed description of the differences between basil and parsley.

What's The Actual Difference?

Parsley and spinach are both used in cooking. However, they differ in taste and appearance.

Parsley has a fresh, peppery flavor, a bright green color, and feathery leaves. It has solid, oblong leaves with a point at the end. Raw spinach has a mild, slightly sweet flavor that can be refreshing in salads, but the flavor becomes more acidic and robust when cooked. Spinach leaves are triangular or ovate and can be flat or puckered.

Nutrition

Below you can find the nutrition infographics that visually show the differences between parsnip and spinach.

Calories

Both spinach and parsley are low in calories. Spinach contains 23 calories per 100g, whereas parsley contains 36 calories per 100g.

Fats

Both spinach and parsley have fats of less than 1g. Spinach contains 0.39g of fat, and parsley has 0.79g of fat.

Carbs

Parsley has two times more carbs than basil: it contains 6.33g of carbs per 100g, whereas spinach contains 3.63g of carbs per 100g. Parsley has 3.33g fiber and 3.02g net carbs. Spinach also has 2.2g of and 1.43g of net carbs.

They both are considered low carbs food.

Cholesterol

Spinach and parsley have no cholesterol.

Protein

Spinach and parsley have tiny and equal amounts of protein: 3g.

Vitamins

Parsley contains three times more Vitamin C, two times more Vitamin K, and more Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin B1.

Parsley falls in the range of the top 12% of foods as a source of Vitamin C.

On the other hand, spinach contains more Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and folate. Spinach falls in the range of the top 10% of foods as a source of Vitamin A.

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
:
Contains more Vitamin C +373.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +10.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +81.4%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +515.4%
Contains more Vitamin K +239.6%
Contains more Vitamin A +11.3%
Contains more Vitamin E +170.7%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +92.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +116.7%
Contains more Folate +27.6%
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.078
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 506% 15% 0% 444% 22% 23% 25% 24% 21% 114% 0% 4100%
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 C +373.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +10.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +81.4%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +515.4%
Contains more Vitamin K +239.6%
Contains more Vitamin A +11.3%
Contains more Vitamin E +170.7%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +92.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +116.7%
Contains more Folate +27.6%
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.078

Minerals

Parsley has a relatively higher amount of minerals than spinach. It contains more calcium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, iron, and less sodium than spinach.

Parsley falls in the range of the top 9% of foods as a source of iron. Spinach has more 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
Contains more Calcium +39.4%
Contains more Iron +128.8%
Contains more Phosphorus +18.4%
Contains less Sodium -29.1%
Contains more Zinc +101.9%
Contains more Copper +14.6%
Contains more Magnesium +58%
Equal in Potassium - 558
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 42% 233% 36% 25% 49% 8% 30% 50%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 30% 102% 57% 22% 50% 11% 15% 44%
Contains more Calcium +39.4%
Contains more Iron +128.8%
Contains more Phosphorus +18.4%
Contains less Sodium -29.1%
Contains more Zinc +101.9%
Contains more Copper +14.6%
Contains more Magnesium +58%
Equal in Potassium - 558

Health Impact

Cardiovascular Health

Parsley's diuretic properties are most effective in hypertensive individuals and may aid in the removal of excess water from the body. Parsley is high in Vitamin K, which has anti-calcification properties in blood vessels, allowing for smooth blood flow and reducing the risk of plaque formation and atherosclerosis complications [1].

Spinach is high in nitrates, which have been shown to help moderate blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease. In one study [2] of 27 people, eating spinach effectively reduced blood pressure. Several other studies have found similar results, indicating that spinach is beneficial to heart health.

Cancer

According to one study [3], parsley contains antioxidant flavonoids like apigenin, which has anti-carcinogenic properties in nearly all cancer cell lines.

Several human studies have found that eating spinach lowers the risk of prostate cancer. In one study [4], MGDG and SQDG (galactolipids) compounds in spinach were found to help slow tumor growth in the cervix. They also reduced the tumor's size. Consuming this leafy green may also aid in preventing breast cancer [5].

Diabetes

Parsley is high in Vitamin A. A new study [5] found that Vitamin A improves insulin-producing-cell function. The researchers first discovered that insulin-producing beta-cells have a high Vitamin A cell surface receptors concentration.

Moreover, parsnips are high in Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin that is a powerful antioxidant. According to some test-tube studies, it also contains polyacetylenes, which may have anti-cancer properties [6].

Eye Health

Spinach is high in zeaxanthin and lutein, which are carotenoids that give some vegetables their color. Human eyes contain a high concentration of these pigments, which protect your eyes from sun damage [7]. Furthermore, several studies show that zeaxanthin and lutein help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts, significant causes of blindness [8].

Side Effects

Allergy

Spinach allergies are rare; however, reactions to spinach ingestion appear similar to those of oral allergy syndrome. Parsley can cause food allergy symptoms in people who are allergic to pollen, especially those with allergic rhinitis [9].

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4600246/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22019438/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32059077/
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123746283000268
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17652276/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6542390/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19168000/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7933422/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27795547/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: June 02, 2022

Infographic

Parsley 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.
Parsley Spinach
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Lower in glycemic index Equal
Rich in minerals Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Parsley Spinach Opinion
Net carbs 3.03g 1.43g Parsley
Protein 2.97g 2.86g Parsley
Fats 0.79g 0.39g Parsley
Carbs 6.33g 3.63g Parsley
Calories 36kcal 23kcal Parsley
Starch g g
Fructose g 0.15g Spinach
Sugar 0.85g 0.42g Spinach
Fiber 3.3g 2.2g Parsley
Calcium 138mg 99mg Parsley
Iron 6.2mg 2.71mg Parsley
Magnesium 50mg 79mg Spinach
Phosphorus 58mg 49mg Parsley
Potassium 554mg 558mg Spinach
Sodium 56mg 79mg Parsley
Zinc 1.07mg 0.53mg Parsley
Copper 0.149mg 0.13mg Parsley
Vitamin A 8424IU 9377IU Spinach
Vitamin E 0.75mg 2.03mg Spinach
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 133mg 28.1mg Parsley
Vitamin B1 0.086mg 0.078mg Parsley
Vitamin B2 0.098mg 0.189mg Spinach
Vitamin B3 1.313mg 0.724mg Parsley
Vitamin B5 0.4mg 0.065mg Parsley
Vitamin B6 0.09mg 0.195mg Spinach
Folate 152µg 194µg Spinach
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 1640µg 482.9µg Parsley
Tryptophan 0.045mg 0.039mg Parsley
Threonine 0.122mg 0.122mg
Isoleucine 0.118mg 0.147mg Spinach
Leucine 0.204mg 0.223mg Spinach
Lysine 0.181mg 0.174mg Parsley
Methionine 0.042mg 0.053mg Spinach
Phenylalanine 0.145mg 0.129mg Parsley
Valine 0.172mg 0.161mg Parsley
Histidine 0.061mg 0.064mg Spinach
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.132g 0.063g Spinach
Monounsaturated Fat 0.295g 0.01g Parsley
Polyunsaturated fat 0.124g 0.165g Spinach

Which food is preferable for your diet?

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

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
441
Parsley
181
Spinach
Mineral Summary Score
59
Parsley
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
18%
Parsley
17%
Spinach
Carbohydrates
6%
Parsley
4%
Spinach
Fats
4%
Parsley
2%
Spinach

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Spinach
Spinach is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.43g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Spinach
Spinach is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.069g)
Which food is cheaper?
Spinach
Spinach is cheaper (difference - $0.1)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Parsley
Parsley contains less Sodium (difference - 23mg)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (32)
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.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
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. Parsley - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170416/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.