Both tomatoes and spinach are amazing ingredients. They are both bursting with nutrition, are incredibly versatile, and taste amazing! What more could you ask for?
But, is it ok to eat tomato and spinach together? Recently, there has been some concern regarding the effects that these two oxalate-rich veggies have on the kidneys.
To make sure that you’re making the healthiest diet decisions possible, take a look at our in-depth article on tomatoes and spinach below.
We discuss everything you need to know so that you can learn how to incorporate these awesome ingredients into your diet in a safe and effective way. Check it out!
Are Tomatoes And Spinach Healthy?
First of all, let’s take a look at whether tomatoes and spinach are good for you when they are consumed separately.
Take a look at the most notable health benefits of consuming tomatoes and spinach below.
Tomato Health Benefits
Tomatoes are the primary dietary source of lycopene, an antioxidant that has been linked to a number of health-boosting effects.
Consequently, tomatoes boast a huge number of health benefits. We’ve listed the most impressive below. Check them out.
Support Heart Health
Multiple studies have found that people, specifically men, who have low lycopene levels in the blood are at higher risk of heart attacks and strokes.
There is mounting evidence to suggest that lycopene supplements can help to lower bad cholesterol.
Additionally, many studies have concluded that tomato products themselves can actually protect the body against inflammation and oxidative stress. It has also been shown that they can protect against blood clotting.
Lower Risk Of Cancer
Multiple observational studies have recognized a link between tomato products and a lower risk of certain types of cancers, including prostate, lunch, and stomach. It is thought that lycopene is responsible for this protective effect.
However, a study has recently found that carotenoids, which are found in large amounts in tomatoes, may work to protect women against breast cancer.
More studies on lycopene and carotenoids are required to confirm these results.
Supports Skin Health
Finally, it has been shown that tomatoes are very beneficial for skin health. Foods that are tomato-based or rich in lycopene may actually help to protect against sunburn.
More studies are needed to confirm this, however, the results so far are promising.
For example, one study found that people who consumed 1.3g of tomato paste with olive oil daily over the space of ten weeks experienced around 40% fewer sunburns than those who did not.
Spinach Health Benefits
Like tomatoes, spinach also boasts a range of great health benefits. It is a nutritious leafy green that can do wonders for your diet.
To learn more about the health benefits associated with eating spinach, take a look at the information below.
Reduces Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress, which is caused by free radicals, is known to increase the risk of cancer and diabetes.
It is thought that the antioxidants in spinach work to protect against oxidative stress and aid in reducing the damage that it causes.
There have been a few small studies that have shown this effect to be the case.
However, many of these studies are very small, so more research is required to confirm that spinach can reduce oxidative stress.
Promotes Eye Health
Spinach has an abundance of carotenoids that are known to protect human eyes from sun damage.
Specifically, spinach contains zeaxanthin and lutein, which have been shown to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.
In fact, some evidence suggests that these carotenoids may even help to reverse the damage that has already been done.
However, much more research is needed in this area to confirm these findings.
Reduces Risk Of Cancer
Finally, like tomatoes, spinach is also thought to reduce one’s risk of cancer.
It contains MGDG and SQDG, which are two compounds that are understood to slow the growth of certain types of cancer.
There are several studies to suggest that consuming spinach reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
There is also some evidence to suggest that spinach reduces the risk of breast cancer. However, more studies are required.
Should You Eat Tomatoes And Spinach Together?
Now that you know the health benefits associated with tomatoes and spinach, you’re likely thinking, ‘tomatoes and spinach… What a great combination!’. However, this may not actually be the case.
Whilst tomatoes and spinach are excellent sources of powerful antioxidants and nutrients, when they are eaten together, they can have some negative effects on the body.
Specifically, it is thought that this combination can have negative effects for the kidneys.
Tomatoes and spinach have a large concentration of oxalic acid. Spinach also contains calcium.
When too much oxalic acid and calcium are consumed, they form into calcium oxalate crystals, better known as kidney stones.
Kidney stones are small, hard deposits that form in your kidneys.
They cause sharp cramping pain in the back and side. Kidney stones can cause significant discomfort and require medical attention.
The combination of tomatoes and spinach has been shown to increase the risk of kidney stones in people who already suffer from this condition. It has also been shown to aggravate the condition.
However, for people who don’t have problems with their kidneys, the combination of tomatoes and spinach is fairly safe to consume.
You just need to avoid eating large quantities of both foods on a daily basis.
As such, don’t let these concerns put you off enjoying your favorite tomato and spinach dishes.
Just make sure that you are getting your nutrients from a wide variety of different foods to ensure that you don’t do any harm to your kidneys.
Tomatoes and spinach are incredible ingredients. They both boast a huge range of health benefits, and they are also absolutely delicious!
However, if you have experienced kidney problems, you should try to avoid eating tomatoes and spinach together.