When is spinach poisonous? Simply explained

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Spinach is said to be toxic when reheated. While there used to be warnings about the toxicity of spinach, the consensus today is that the amounts of poisonous nitrite produced when reheated are safe for a healthy person.

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Nitrite from spinach is toxic in large amounts.
That spinach is classified as toxic is only valid in moderation. To understand why this claim is made in the first place, you should look closely at the ingredients.

Spinach contains nitrate when fresh. Nitrate itself is not toxic. However, if the vegetable is stored for too long or heated a second time, the non-toxic nitrate turns into poisonous nitrite.
When nitrite comes in contact with amino acids, it can turn into nitrosamine. Nitrosamine is carcinogenic. You should, therefore, not eat spinach in combination with proteins.
For an adult person with a healthy liver, the nitrite from spinach is harmless because the amount is minimal. Children and babies should be more careful. They should eat the spinach as fresh as possible.

To avoid the formation of toxic nitrite, you can use a few tricks:

Reduce the nitrate content in spinach already during preparation. You can do this by boiling or blanching the spinach. When boiling, you should pour away the cooking water as the nitrate from the spinach passes into the water.
It would help if you consumed prepared spinach as soon as possible. Do not reheat it repeatedly. Stored in the refrigerator, spinach can remain safe for up to a week. However, cool the spinach as soon as possible after heating it.

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