You've been making the biggest health mistake by eating palak paneer. Here's why!

You've been making the biggest health mistake by eating palak paneer. Here's why!

What if we told you that palak paneer has no nutrition at all!

All of us love to eat palak paneer and all these years we have been told that it is packed with nutrition as it is made of palak one of the richest sources of iron and paneer, which is loaded with calcium.

"Most of us grow up believing that eating spinach is the best way to solve an iron deficiency, and that a bowl of palak paneer is the best to binge on to increase iron in the blood. Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled. A great source of vitamin A, E, K, iron , folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids, spinach is considered to be a rich source of iron," says Dhrishti Bijlani, leading nutritionist and director- Flab-you-Less.

Many even call it a complete meal and people over India love to have it with naan, roti or even plain rice. Kids, too, love it's yummy taste. However, what if we told you that you're wrong! Palak paneer is only good in taste and zero in nutrition. Yes, you read that right!

Palak Paneer: Good to taste, but zero in nutrition

Yes, that's true. This is because the type of iron that is found in spinach is non-blood or non-heme iron, which is a plant iron and the body does not absorb it as as efficiently as blood (heme) iron, found in meat, says Dhrishti.


"The bio availability of iron is dependent on its absorption. The body's absorption of non-heme iron can be improved by consuming foods that are rich in vitamin C. Also, with the presence of iron absorption inhibiting substances such as oxalates that bind to the iron to form ferrous oxalate, it renders iron in spinach to be unusable by the body," says Drishhti.

Spinach is also known for its high calcium content, but the calcium found in spinach is the least bioavailable of calcium sources.

"However, the oxalate content in spinach also binds with calcium decreasing its absorption. Thus, making calcium limit the iron absorption. Due to this, the body can absorb only 5 percent of the calcium in spinach. On the other hand paneer is also loaded with calcium. The fact that calcium interferes with iron absorption means that palak paneer (a spinach and cottage cheese dish) is not as healthy a meal as you once thought," says Dhrishti.

Continue reading on the next page to know what are the healthier alternatives you should be eating instead of palak paneer!

Nutrition facts of palak paneer

Here are the nutrition facts as per 1 serving that is say 1 bowl of palak paneer:

  • Calories - 135 kcals
  • Carbohydrates - 5 gms
  • Proteins - 7 gms
  • Fats - 6 gms


Eat this instead

A photo posted by Srujan Desai (@d.srujan) on

Nutrition-wise, it would be a wiser decision to eat other varieties of paneer such as mattar paneer.

"Try to eat other recipes instead such as mutter paneer, lauki paneer, paneer bhurji and more ! And if you’re anaemic, and have been advised to eat spinach subzi or red spinach subzi, don’t forget to squeeze in some dose of Vitamin C in the form of lime juice to increase the iron absorption," says Dhrishti.

We know it'a hard-to-believe but sadly it is true!

Also read: How to make soft, chemical-free paneer at home!

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[All images courtesy: Instagram]
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