Spinach is nutrient dense and very filling, it’s one of the healthiest foods there is.
In most cases, spinach causes very little gas.
The only real concern is its fiber content, which can add up if you eat a lot of spinach.
However, spinach doesn’t contain a significant amount of other hard to digest carbohydrates like oligosaccharides or sugar alcohols that lead to bloating.
If you’d like to understand flatulence a little better, then let me break down if and when spinach could lead to excess gas.
Table of Contents
How Much Fiber is in Spinach?
Flatulence is caused by releasing gas from the gut.
This gas is formed by bacterial fermentation of carbohydrates in the gut, and those carbohydrates are the ones that don’t break down easily in the small intestine.
Fiber is hard for humans to break down, and ends up fermenting in the large intestine, and it’s probably the one that most people know best.
Like many vegetables, spinach has a good amount of fiber.
The data table below shows the macro nutrients in 100 grams of raw spinach, which contains 2.2 grams of fiber.
|Total Lipid (g)||0.39|
For reference, 1 bunch of spinach is about 340 grams, so it contains about 7.5 grams of fiber.
Most people are not eating a full bunch of spinach, and that’s still not that much fiber (100 grams of cooked chickpeas have 7.6 grams).
If someone eats a ton of spinach, the fiber could lead to gas. However, the fiber content in spinach really isn’t that high compared to many other vegetables, so it shouldn’t produce a large amount of excess gas.
Does Spinach Contain Any Hard to Digest Carbohydrates?
As mentioned, there are other types of carbohydrates that don’t break down in the small intestine and are later fermented in the gut.
However, spinach has virtually none of these.
Oligosaccharides are the worst offenders in most vegetables, but there’s not even a detectable amount in spinach (source).
In addition, there are no sugar alcohols either.
Finally, while fructose is hard to digest and can give some people stomach issues like gas and bloating, spinach has essentially 0 fructose as well.
The only carbohydrate in spinach that can realistically lead to gas is fiber.
Can You Reduce Gas and Bloating From Spinach?
Some people get excess gas if they’ve never eaten a food like spinach and then start to eat a ton of it. Their bodies get used to it over time.
For everyone else, the only things you can do if spinach is causing you stomach issues is to:
- Eat smaller servings
- Cook your spinach (in general, cooking improves the digestibility of vegetables)
Are You Sure Spinach is Giving You Gas?
One final thing to consider is whether or not it’s even the spinach causing you to have excess gas.
Based on what we’ve gone over, it’s not the most likely cause in most situations unless you’re just eating giant raw salads of spinach.
If you’d really like to test it, eat spinach by itself and see if it causes you any issues.