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Spinach vs Basil - 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
Spinach
vs
Basil

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
:
2
Basil
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%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +24.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +221.5%
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%
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%
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%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +24.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +221.5%

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
:
6
Basil
Contains more Magnesium +23.4%
Contains more Potassium +89.2%
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%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 30% 102% 57% 22% 50% 11% 15% 44%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 54% 119% 46% 24% 27% 1% 23% 129%
Contains more Magnesium +23.4%
Contains more Potassium +89.2%
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%

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

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

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Spinach Basil
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
181
Spinach
131
Basil
Mineral Summary Score
41
Spinach
52
Basil

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
17%
Spinach
19%
Basil
Carbohydrates
4%
Spinach
3%
Basil
Fats
2%
Spinach
3%
Basil

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