There are a fair share of reasons to eat leafy greens such as the fact that they can reduce your risk of heart disease and lower both your blood pressure and cholesterol, not to mention keep your brain sharp.
There are also plenty of different leafy greens—crispy kale, tasty cabbage, and versatile lettuce just to name a few—that can offer you a range of health-related benefits. But there’s one that stands out among the rest when it comes to helping you lose weight.
Keep reading to find out which green tops the list, and then check out The #1 Best Juice to Drink Every Day, Says Science.
“Spinach tops my list for best leafy green for weight loss for a couple of reasons,” Jenny Champion, MS, RD, CPT, tells Eat This, Not That! Champion notes that spinach is “super low-cal,” adding that “cutting calories is an age-old method for shedding pounds and it’s still effective today.” According to Healthline, 3.5 ounces of raw spinach contains 23 calories.
The second reason spinach is the best leafy green for weight loss has to do with the fact that “it’s super low carb,” according to Champion, while Healthline notes that 3.5 ounces of raw spinach contain 3.6 grams of carbs. “Research has shown time and time again, cutting carbs promotes weight loss,” Champion says. “Spinach is a great way to keep up your veggie intake while you’re on a low carb diet.”
Finally, spinach is “super high fiber,” according to Champion who explains that “fiber keeps you full and regular in the bathroom, which is ideal if you’re cutting portions.”
On the other hand, Champion notes that “too much of a good thing is not better. Eating a ton of greens can actually throw off your thyroid and make it harder to lose weight.” On top of that, “eating large amounts of spinach can lead to the development of kidney stones—especially if you’re prone to stone-forming.”
To get the most out of spinach without consuming too much, Champion explains that eating “one cup per day is sufficient to add all of spinach’s nutritional benefits without going overboard.”
To find out more about why you should be eating spinach regularly, be sure to read Secret Side Effects of Eating Spinach, Says Science.