Spinach is a green leafy vegetable and is rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. It is advised to consume spinach on regular basis to enjoy its vast benefits. It is very durable, reason why it is valued around the world. It can easily survive through the winters and can be as healthy as in springs.
Spinach is native to Middle East. It is a staple food in a number of cultural cuisines, can be eaten raw as in salads, cooked with other vegetables or boiled. It is used in various parts of the world as a medicinal plant to help increase overall health and stamina.
Spinach is one of the wonderful vegetable, eaten fresh or prepared and is available in adequate amount throughout the year. It’s crispy, dark-green leaves make it one of the favorite ingredients of chefs all around the world. Moreover, its nutritional properties make it more special.
Spinach contains plenty of vitamins, minerals etc. like manganese, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A, B6, C, folate, niacin, and traces of the rest of the essential vitamins, including thiamine and riboflavin. It is also rich in pigments like beta carotene, lutein, and chlorophyll. Spinach has a low fat content and offers a wide range of benefits to our health.
The health benefits of eating Spinach include improved eyesight, controlled blood pressure, atherosclerosis, stronger muscles, neurological benefits, cataracts, healthy fetal development, heart attacks, bone mineralization, skin protection, proper growth for infants and prevention of age-related macular degeneration. Spinach also has anti-ulcerative and anti-cancerous properties.
Nutritional Value of Spinach
100g Spinach Contains:
|Beta carotene||5626 μg|
|Lutein zeaxanthin||12198 μg|
|Vitamin K||483 μg|
Health Benefits of Spinach
1. Promotes Eye health
Spinach contains high amount of Vitamin A, beta carotene, lutein, xanthene which are beneficial for sight. It irritation in eyes, eye ulcers and dryness of eyes. It also helps to overcome deficiency of vitamin A which cause night blindness.
2. Good for Skin and hair
Spinach contains all the things important for hair growth such as potassium, calcium, Vitamin A, B, C, and E, and magnesium. Vitamin A produces a sebum which keep the hair moisturized. Vitamin A and C are important for development and repairing of body tissues including hairs and skin. They also guard the skin cells. Vitamin B in spinach guards skin from the harmful UV rays that can cause skin damage and cancer.
3. Prevents Constipation
Spinach has great amount of fiber and water content, which avoid constipation maintaining healthy digestive tract.
4. Boosts Bone health
Spinach is a good source of Vitamin K, which helps to retain calcium in the bone matrix, thus leading to mineralization of bones. Moreover, other minerals like manganese, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc also help in building up of strong bones, healthy teeth and nails. These also helps to prevent osteoporosis of the bones.
5. Maintains Blood Pressure
Green leafy vegetables are low in calories and rich in fiber and spinach is one of them. It is full of healthy nutrients like potassium and magnesium that help to lower high blood pressure. Spinach has balanced level of potassium and sodium which are beneficial for the patients with high blood pressure. It also contains folate that help body vessels to relax maintaining proper blood flow.
6. Prevents Neurological disorders
The deficiency of Vitamin B12 or folate increase the risk of Dementia. Spinach contains these two essentials, reason why it is very helpful to prevent neurological disorders. The leaves of spinach are excellent source of Vitamin K. spinach has given positive results for patients suffering from dementia and also prevents any neuron injury.
7. Promotes Healthy Pregnancy
Green leafy vegetables are best during pregnancy but raw spinach is greatest of them. It is considered as the super-food during pregnancy as it contains all vitamin and mineral necessary for the unborn baby. Spinach contains great amount of folate. The acceptable amounts of folate lowers risk of birth defects, preterm labor and is important for the unborn baby.
8. Maintains Healthy Gastrointestinal tract
The fiber content in spinach has nutritional effect on gastrointestinal tract. The beta-carotene and vitamin C prevent colon cells from the injurious free radicals. Folate content in spinach also helps avoid the DNA damage and transformations in intestinal cells.
9. Helpful in Managing diabetes
Spinach is great for patients suffering from diabetes. It contains antioxidant, alpha-lipoic acid, which act by increasing insulin sensitivity and prevent oxidative stress. The magnesium in spinach also helps to avoid the complications occurring after diabetes.
10. Helps in Healthy Weight loss
Spinach is known as one of the healthy-weight loss foods as it is low in calories and rich in nutrients. It contains great amount of iron which builds the metabolism. It is enriched with vitamins and minerals which are good for weight loss. It also increase the amount of oxygen that flows through the body that helps to burn fat and leads to losing weight.
11. Cures Anemia
Spinach contains plenty of calcium, vitamin A, B9 and iron which make it a super food for anemia. The iron helps in reproducing the red blood cells which carries oxygen to every part of the body. This also maintains a healthy immune system.
12. Prevent heart attack
The deposition of fat causes thickening of artery wall that result in the heart attack. The hardening of artery walls leads to heart attacks. Spinach contains lutein which helps prevent thickening of artery walls and decreases the chances of heart attack. Spinach also include nitrite that helps in preventing the risk of heart attack.
13. Boosts Immune System
Vitamin A protects and strengthens the human body by guarding respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts which are the attack points. Vitamin C along with protection of human body also fights off infections. Well, folate in spinach is also an immune-booster.
14. Anti- ulcerative
Spinach has anti-ulcerative properties meaning tendency to prevent or heal ulcers. The gylcoglycerolipids in spinach work by increasing the strength of lining of the digestive tract and prevent inflammation in that part of body. It is also observed that spinach also prevents the slippery skin of stomach and this decreases gastric ulcers.
Spinach has more than a dozen, anti-inflammatory compounds in it. It is one of the powerful vegetables used for reducing of inflammation in the body. It along with protecting from heart disease also protects from the pain of arthritis and gout. The high alkaline properties in it make it a perfect food for people suffering from inflammation.
Vitamin A, C, fiber, folic acid and other 13 flavonoids found in spinach are very helpful in fighting against cancer cells particularly breast, stomach, ovarian, cervical and skin cancer. Different constituents present in spinach like tocopherol, folate and chlorophyll function by different mechanisms to treat and protect patients suffering from cancer.
17. Protein source for infant
Do you remember Popeye cartoon? He used to eat spinach and got strong muscles. Just like that to make infants strong and strengthen their bones, spinach is very important. Spinach is rich in protein, minerals, and vitamins which all help in the development in vital growing stages.
Spinach is a great medicine of anti-aging as it prevents premature aging. Consuming fresh leaves of spinach which are great source of vitamin A, C and lutein together protect from free radicals harmful for skin.
19. Improves Brain function
Spinach is quite helpful for people in old age. It help sustains the proper functioning of brain making it strong and active and also enables it to think intelligently. Folate, vitamin K and vitamin C helps in controlling the hormone production of nervous system.
20. Strengthen muscles
This is something unique which goes with spinach. A component found in spinach, factor C0-Q10, an antioxidant, function to strengthen muscles, especially heart muscles which continuously pump blood to all parts of the body. C0-Q10 can be used to prevent and treat many cardiovascular diseases like heart failure, hyperlipidemia, hypertension and coronary heart disease.
Quick tips for Eating Spinach
Wash the leaves properly in cold water and dry them properly before using them.
- Smoothies- spinach can be added to number of smoothie combinations to make a super food breakfast. You can try it with mango, berries, or orange and pineapple juice. You can also try avocados, coconut milk, yoghurt, or even add a handful of nuts to make your beverage thicker. There are plenty of options you can make your spinach smoothie with.
- Salads– they are an evergreen option. Add a small amount of baby with other salad greens, fresh veggies, nuts and fruits. It adds texture and flavor to the mix.
- Boiled- boiled spinach maximizes health benefits and makes it easy to in pastas, on top of potatoes. You can try spinach and tomato sauce, it is one of the most delicious dish.
- In curries- Dahl, most famous Indian dish can be made yummier with some spinach added in. moreover, lentils, spinach, and brown rice are also a perfect nutritious, and high in protein, vegan meal option.
- Don’t consume spinach if you are having problem with the functioning of kidneys.
- Never eat spinach all alone because it is high in oxalic acid and binds with iron and calcium that can cause body absorb less nutrients.
- If you are allergic to some leafy vegetables, then don’t try spinach.
- Wash your teeth properly after eating spinach. It might stick in your teeth and give bad effect.