Spinach is a treasure mine of vitamins and minerals that are essential to our body. This leafy green originating from Persia is excellent in providing a high amount of nutrients our body needs to be healthy inside out. Keep on reading this blog to find out why you need to make this green gold a staple food in your home.
Here are the 22 benefits of spinach:
1. Aids eye health.
Spinach is high in antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are essential for aiding our eye health. The best part is just a small portion of spinach can give us these benefits as it is highly concentrated in these compounds. Apart from this, spinach also contains carotenoids, which our body turns into vitamin A, a vitamin needed to maintain good eye health.
2. Treats iron deficiency/anemia.
A hundred grams of spinach contains 2.7 milligrams of iron. Spinach also contains vitamin C in large concentrations, which would increase the absorption level of iron, thus making spinach one of the best foods to treat anemia caused by iron deficiency.
3. Manages smooth digestion.
Spinach is extremely low in carbs but very high in insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber does not get dissolved in water and thus passes through the digestive tract along with other foods and waste, contributing to good digestion and excretion.
4. Sharpens memory.
Vitamin E, K, and folic acid in spinach help to slow down cognitive decline. Cognitive decline may range from slight impairment to severe dementia. Eating spinach has been proven to slow down these diseases and prevent forgetfulness.
5. Prevents cancer.
A study published in 2012 by Texas A&M University states that taking spinach orally can prevent colon cancer by reducing the polyps (cancer-causing cells). The antioxidants in spinach also help block the free radicals which may cause cancer.
6. Protects against heart diseases.
Cardiologists would agree that vitamin K1 aids heart health. A 23-year-long study by the Danish Cancer Society Research Center collected data from roughly 57,000 participants and concluded that those who had the most vitamin K intake were less likely to get cardiovascular diseases. And this hero ingredient is abundant in spinach. Just 100 grams of spinach contains about 400 micrograms of vitamin K1.
7. Drains toxins off the brain.
Spinach contains lutein, a naturally occurring carotenoid. It helps to flush the toxins off the brain. Lutein is also known to manage retinal health.
8. Calms down arthritis.
Free radicals in our body would lead to damage in cells and create inflammation, and they are related to rheumatoid arthritis. Intake of dark leafy vegetables like spinach would reduce the inflammation and thus prevent the subsequent pain due to arthritis as they are rich in antioxidants that stop inflammation.
9. Helps lose weight.
The high fiber in spinach keeps us full, while the low and almost absent fat prevents any weight gain from eating it. Apart from this, spinach also contains thylakoids, a green leaf membrane that influences our brain hormone called leptin, which tells us to stop eating once we are full. The National Library of Medicine has published an article that concludes that 5 grams of thylakoid consumption per day has reduced 1.5 kilograms of weight after three months of consumption.
10. Reduces stress.
Rich in magnesium (half a cup of cooked spinach gives 35% of manganese needed for the day), a compound that can block stress-inducing nervous activity and increase serotonin, a chemical that is needed for a peaceful mind and good sleep.
11. Minimizes the risk of uterine fibroids.
Uterine fibroids, which are non-cancerous growth inside the uterus, are extremely common and likely to occur in menstruating people who are in the childbearing stage. They often show no symptoms but later develop many problems, such as unbearable pain during periods, heavy bleeding, backaches, and bowel problems.
Adding leafy vegetables like spinach to the diet would get rid of the toxins in the uterus. They also have the ability to lower excess estrogen levels, which provokes extra growth like fibroids and cancer inside the uterus.
12. Makes periods pain-free.
Spinach is not something one would crave during periods, but its magnesium content would reduce menstrual cramps. Those who have heavier blood flow may experience iron depletion during periods. Taking spinach during that time may balance the iron content.
13. Promotes hair growth.
Studies suggest that spinach is one of the superfoods that promote hair growth. Spinach helps hair loss due to iron and vitamin A deficiencies by boosting the iron and vitamin A content in our blood, which would then aid in a healthy functioning metabolism and healthy hair growth cycle. Folate or folic acid in spinach is also known to prevent premature greying of hair.
14. Wards off acne.
There are different types of acne, ranging from a seasonal dot to cystic acne, which implies poor inner health. Acute skin problems, especially acne and breakouts, are a direct result of a poor diet of junk and oily food. As opposed to that, eating fiber-rich spinach clears the digestive tract of any toxins and enriches our bloodstream with anti-inflammatory properties, which, in turn, prevents or cures acne.
15. Slows down aging.
Wrinkles, dark circles, and greying of hair are some of the common physical symptoms of aging. High water content and the ability to induce collagen production in spinach prevent wrinkles. When our body gains enough vitamin K, which is rich in spinach, it eases up dark circles by regulating blood flow under the eyes.
16. Helps reduce blood pressure.
For people suffering from high blood pressure, spinach is a superfood. Spinach is rich in nitrate, which helps lower blood pressure by dilating blood vessels. Study shows that 240 milliliters of spinach juice contain approx. 14% of potassium, which also regulates blood pressure.
17. May prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
A study that was published in a neurology journal suggests that consuming flavonoids might help fight the advancement of Alzheimer’s disease. Spinach and kale contain flavonoids. Another study shows that adults who consume flavonoids have a 48 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
18. Makes bones strong.
Children, as well as adults, need to take spinach to develop and maintain strong bones.
Vitamin K and calcium in spinach aid bone strength. It is important to eat spinach blanched or cooked to maximize calcium absorption, as the oxalate content in raw spinach prevents calcium from absorption.
19. Gives skin a refreshing glow.
Our skin is representative of what we eat. Lots of times, skin problems are associated with poor diet and/or intaking (junk) foods that we might be allergic to. In these cases, spinach comes to the rescue to detox our body and skin and add that healthy glow to our exterior with its folic acid.
Fresh spinach juice provides an adequate amount of vitamins A and C that is needed for the day. These vitamins keep skin youthful and prevent inflammation.
20. Promotes overall immunity and maintains good health.
Spinach is packed with many minerals and vitamins that are essential for our bodies. Vitamin C in spinach promotes healthy and youthful skin and immune function. Vitamin B9 or Folic acid is vital for pregnant women as well as for everyone to maintain the function of cells and tissues. It also contains calcium which is essential for a healthy bone structure. These are just a few of the many good things spinach does to our body overall.
21. Good for senior citizens.
Spinach is often focused on the diet of children to help their cognitive and physical development. But it is equally good for senior citizens’ health too. It helps to moderate blood pressure and prevent osteoporosis.
22. Spinach and mental health.
You feel good after eating spinach not only because you get the satisfaction of eating healthy but also because of spinach’s anti-stress and anti-depressant properties. They are known to reduce induced stress and depression in scientific experiments. So, eat spinach not only for your body but also for a sound and good mind.
All being said, a smart eater is one who knows when and what to take according to their body’s needs and conditions. Spinach is certainly a prime choice for smart eaters, as this green plant can be taken in many creative ways and still be beneficial.