When it comes to listing green leafy vegetables, there is no way one can forget the benefits of Spinach. This nutritious vegetable is packed with vitamins and minerals that qualify it to be defined as a superfood.
Although bitter, it has become one of the most functional food products because of its antioxidants and anti-cancer properties. The benefits of spinach are endless.
Spinach Nutritional Value
As we mentioned before, a superfood is loaded with nutrients. Some of its prominent ingredients are listed below.
Vitamin A: Spinach is rich in Vitamin A. It is estimated that a cooked cup of Spinach provides approximately 943 mcg of Vitamin A to the human body. That is equivalent to 105% of RDA for men and 135% of RDA for women.
Vitamin C: Known as an antioxidant, Vitamin C helps repair damaged skin and restore its glow. Spinach is also rich in Vitamin C. As the body itself cannot produce vitamin c, Spinach becomes an excellent source for the mineral. A cup of cooked Spinach contains 17.6mg of vitamin C, which is equivalent to 20% of RDA for men and 23% of RDA for women.
Water: Consuming lots of water is suitable for both our health and skin. A cup of cooked Spinach provides 164 grams or approximately 5 oz. of water.
Iron: Iron is a vital component of hemoglobin, which is a protein that supplies oxygen to the red blood cells. A cup of cooked Spinach contains 6 ½ mg of iron which approximately 37% of the RDA for men and 49% of the RDA for women.
Magnesium: A cup of cooked Spinach provides at least 157mg magnesium to the body. This is approximately 37% of the RDA for men and 49% of the RDA for women. Magnesium is essential because of its ability to heal skin wounds and infections quickly.
Other nutrients found in Spinach are Soluble and insoluble fiber, carbohydrates, sugar, sodium, fatty acids, amino acids, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals.
Apart from cooked Spinach, Raw Spinach is also a good source of lutein. Lutein is a carotenoid that is known to block the visible blue light that damage the eyes, thus protecting your vision.
There are many other such benefits of Spinach, which we will look at now.
Health Benefits of Spinach
1) Weight Loss
Spinach just like other green vegetables is low in calories and fats. Hence it helps significantly in losing that excess body fat. Spinach also contains fiber. Fiber is an essential nutrient that makes the body feels content with its food. This is great as Spinach can help prevent excessive eating, which is a significant cause of weight gain.
2) Promotes Eye Health
Raw Spinach is a good source of lutein. Lutein is a carotenoid that is known to block the visible blue light that damages the eyes, thus protecting your vision. It protects the eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration. Spinach also provides vitamin A to the body, which helps build healthy mucus membranes that are essential for normal eyesight.
3) Healthy Bones
Spinach is rich in Vitamin K, a crucial mineral in maintaining bone health. Adequate Vitamin K lowers and controls the over activation of osteoclasts. The osteoclast is the cell that breaks down bone density over time. Vitamin K also helps synthesize the protein osteocalcin, which is essential in maintaining the strength and density of the bone. Spinach is also a great alternative to dairy with its ability to provide calcium to the body, which helps prevent conditions like osteoporosis.
4) Reduced Hypertension
Hypertension, also commonly known as high blood pressure, is notorious for causing kidney diseases, stroke, and other chronic ailments. Spinach plays a crucial role in lowering hypertension in the body with the help of its abundant nutritional value. Spinach can lower the levels of potassium in the body, which is a critical player in causing hypertension.
The Body We need to learn to relax and live a stress-free life. However, it is easier said than done. But, Spinach can do the trick for us. One of its benefits is to keep the body relaxed. It is loaded with ample amounts of Zinc and magnesium which help sleep better. Magnesium also helps your body rejuvenate and restores its lost energy.
Cancer is a deadly disease and can strike anyone of any age at any time. Although doctors haven’t found a definitive cure for it yet, Spinach can help prevent it from ever happening to you. Spinach contains flavonoids, which is a phytonutrient with anti-cancer properties. Spinach has been found to slow down cell division in the human stomach and stopping the multiplication of skin cancer cells.
7) Promotes Gastrointestinal Health
The beta carotene and vitamin C contained in spinach help improve good Gastrointestinal health. It protects the cells present in the colon from harmful radicals. It can also help in preventing DNA damage and mutation of colon cells.
Our skin is made of water cells. Spinach is a good source of water and antioxidants that help in restoring the former glow of our skin. Its benefits on skin are genuinely amazing. It prevents acne, stops premature aging, protects the skin from harmful UV rays of the sun, and improves skin complexion by preventing acne, dark circles, and sunburn.
9) Prevents Anemia
Spinach is a rich source of iron. Iron is responsible for preventing anemia in both children and adults. As we discussed, iron is also a key component of hemoglobin which transfers oxygen to all red blood cells.
10) Boosts Immunity
Spinach is a powerhouse of nutrients, and more than earns its place in a long list of popular superfoods. Its Vitamin A composition helps protect all the entry points in the human body. This includes mucous membranes, respiratory, urinary, and intestinal tracts. This dramatically helps boost the immunity levels of the body and keeps it functioning throughout a busy day.
Spinach is easily available in the market and is part of many cuisines. Many ignore it because of its slightly bitter taste. However, its benefits to human health, hair, and skin cannot be denied. It is a powerhouse of nutrients that can help prevent cancer, strokes, hypertension, and other chronic and benign health conditions.
You can consume cooked Spinach and enjoy its benefits. However, studies have found that heating spinach for more than 2 minutes makes it lose its lutein value. Our advice is not to heat it at all. Include chopped Spinach in your favorite salad, or try making a smoothie out of it with added yogurt, cream or milk.