It’s not really one of the health benefits of spinach but the dark green leaves with a crunch in them. Yes, that’s a bonus.
Spinach, botanically is called Spinacia oleracea, is a very commonly available vegetable.
The benefits of eating spinach have been discussed and recognized for decades. To encourage children to eat spinach, even the cartoon character of Popeye is shown to gain his energy from spinach.
Extremely low on calories, these green leafy vegetables are loaded with tons of nutrients making it a perfect go-to option for everyday meals. It is available all-year round, and is extremely easy to cook.
Nutritional Value Of Spinach
Spinach is loaded with Vitamin A, C and K and other minerals making it extremely beneficial for eyes and internal organs of the body. Extremely rich in dietary fiber, these nutrient-dense foods help improve digestion and helps in eliminating the waste from the body.
A rich source of many B-complex vitamins such as pyridoxine, thiamine, niacin and riboflavin, spinach makes a perfect component of a balanced diet. This leafy vegetable is also a source of beta-carotene which serves as an antioxidant. It helps prevent fast cognitive decline and conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
Most of the time, people consuming a purely vegetarian diet are found to lack omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are the good cholesterol that helps in preventing heart disease by breaking up the bad cholesterol in the body.
While many meats and fishes contain omega-3 fatty acids, not many vegetables contain them making spinach one of the best superfoods that lowers your risk of having a cardiovascular disease.
Spinach however, is a good source of these Omega-3 fatty acids making them a valuable diet component for vegetarians.
Eating Spinach Regularly Can Provide Amazing Health Benefits:
Eating spinach regularly has many positive effects on our health. The green color of spinach comes from the chlorophyll present in it. Chlorophyll is a rich source of vitamins like vitamin A and C.
Spinach is considered one of the healthiest foods in the world due to its nutritional value and the benefits it provides to human body.
Spinach has anti-inflammatory properties in it that helps to heal any inflammation in the tissues and cells of the body. Spinach has high levels of phytonutrient content – which includes flavonoids and carotenoids.
These phytonutrients are found to have anti-inflammatory properties and also act as anti-cancer agents.
The anti-cancer properties of flavonoids found in spinach are being researched and soon spinach extracts might be used in controlled laboratory studies.
These flavonoids are found to slow down the division of cells of stomach cancer cells. Spinach has also shown to reduce the incidence of breast cancer in women.
Spinach also has folic acid and alpha-lipoic acid which can help repair cell damage.
Spinach As A Source Of Antioxidants
The green leaves of spinach are rich sources of antioxidants. The flavonoids and carotenoids that provide it anti- inflammatory properties also act as antioxidants.
The other antioxidants present in spinach are vitamin A, C and E.
Manganese present in spinach has high zinc content which also is a great antioxidant. These antioxidants prevent premature aging of the cells of the body keeping one looking and feeling young for long.
Two types of carotenoids – lutein and zeaxanthin, act primarily as antioxidants for the eye region. They keep the retina and macula healthy and supple keeping the eyes working well for long preventing conditions such as age-related macular degeneration.
Controlling Blood Pressure
Spinach is a rich in potassium. In fact, it is one of the richest sources of potassium. One cup of cooked spinach has 839 mg of potassium which is even higher than banana which has 539mg potassium per cup.
The potassium in spinach helps to regulate the fluid content of blood keeping the blood pressure under control. Excess sodium leads to higher water retention in the body and can cause high blood pressure.
Potassium negates the effects of sodium and balances the blood pressure. A low potassium diet can have the same effects on blood pressure that a high sodium diet has.
Secret To Beautiful Skin And Hair
The vitamin A present in spinach is an important facilitator of sebum production. Sebum is a secretion by the sebaceous glands of the body that keeps the hair and skin moisturized.
Vitamin A is also essential for the growth of different body tissues, including those of skin and hair. The Vitamin C present in spinach helps in production of collagen.
Collagen is a substance that provides texture to skin and hair in the body. Regular consumption of spinach helps in keeping skin and hair healthy and soft.
Development Of Strong Bones
The vitamin K present in spinach plays a very vital role in development of bones. It improves the bone mass by promoting the osteotrophic or the bone building activity in the bone.
100 grams of fresh spinach leaves provide 402% of the daily requirement of Vitamin K. Not consuming sufficient quantities of vitamin K can lead to weak bones that can easily break.
Spinach reduces osteoporosis in women and is highly recommended for women over the age of 30. Apart from vitamin K, spinach also contains good quantities of calcium that also helps in improving bone strength.
Improvement Of Gastro-Intestinal Health
The vitamin C present in spinach works wonders when it comes to improvement of gastro-intestinal health.
Vitamin C along with the beta carotenes, protect the cells of the inner lining of the colon from the harmful effects of free radicals and even some harmful bacteria.
Spinach also prevents any mutations in the colon cells that can lead to colon damages and even cancer.
How To Incorporate Spinach In Everyday Diet?
Spinach is a vegetable that can be cooked and consumed in various ways.
The versatility of this leafy greens can be known from the fact that it can be incorporated in salads and eaten raw or cooked to create delightfully tasty recipes. Spinach can be included in pastas and soups.
When it comes to cooking, the best way to cook spinach is by boiling it. The boiling water should be thrown away as it has high acid content.
Boiling spinach releases the oxalic acid making them even healthier for consumption. Spinach is a vegetable that can add both colour and taste to the food it is added to.
You can also make a spinach juice out of raw spinach leaves. Make this more drinkable and pleasing by adding a stalk of celery and green apple into the juicer. Experiment with other combinations until you find that taste that suits you the best. Add this to the list of your green smoothies so you won’t run out of healthy juicing ideas.
With the load of nutrients packed in it, including spinach in regular everyday meals can protect and improve health and keep one looking and feeling young.