Spinach Is a Superfood
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) belongs to the goosefoot family. It has a slightly bitter taste. This annual plant, which is native to southwest Asia, is rich in many essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates.
Spinach Promotes Excellent Health
Spinach is the meatiest of vegetables. We all are aware of a general revulsion that children, and not to forget even adults, have for spinach. It is advisable to include spinach in your diet because this functional food promotes excellent health. Popeye was not a fool to like this tender and crispy green leafy vegetable, which can be used in a variety of cuisines.
Is spinach part of your diet?
Spinach Is Healthy
Spinach Nutrition: Cup (~180 g) of Cooked Spinach Contains:
All of us at some point in our life were probably told, “Eat your spinach!” It turns out, there was good reason for this.— Niki Kubiak, a registered dietitian who specializes in sports dietetics.
Health Benefits of Spinach
Spinach is a versatile leafy vegetable. This healthy and nutrient-rich superfood should definitely be a part of your everyday diet. Here are some spinach benefits.
Good for the Eyes
For many people, eye health is not a conscious priority. A research study in Australia indicates that only 6 percent of people aged between 50 and 64 years rate an eye disease check as their top health priority. This is concerning. It is very important to pay attention to eye health. Spinach is good for your eyes.
Antioxidants in Spinach Keep Your Eyes Healthy
Powerhouse antioxidants beta carotene, xanthene and lutein in the fleshy leaves of spinach keep your eyes healthy. Spinach prevents glaucoma, eye ulcers, eye irritation, itchy eyes, puffiness and dry eyes.
Spinach Prevents Macular Degeneration
A research study conducted in Oak Ridge National Laboratory indicates that spinach prevents age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss in people above the age of 60 years.
Another study indicates that vegetable nitrates in green leafy vegetables like spinach and beetroot can help in reducing risk of early-stage age-related macular degeneration.
Spinach Keeps Your Eyes Healthy
Spinach packs nutrients that work to improve vision.— Bel Marra Health
Fiber, folate, carotenoids, flavonoids and saponins in spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables reduce the risk of various cancers, including the cancers of the larynx, pharynx and mouth. Carotenoids inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
According to American Institute for Cancer Research's second expert report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective, foods containing carotenoids probably protect against pharynx cancer, larynx cancer and mouth cancer.
Spinach Prevents Asthma
Spinach is loaded with asthma preventing nutrients like magnesium, beta carotene, vitamin C, fibre, folate and vitamin E.
A research study involving 68,535 female participants indicates that high intake of this leafy green vegetable is directly correlated with a lowered risk of asthma. This may be because spinach contains vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and magnesium.
Magnesium deficiency is common among people affected by asthma. Emergency intravenous treatments with magnesium have been shown to help halt an asthma attack.
This superfood is also high in potassium, deficiency of which exacerbates asthma symptoms.
Promotes Skin Health
Spinach contains nutrients like vitamin C, which repair skin cells. Vitamin C is critical to the production of collagen, a protein used to make new skin cells. Due to their antioxidant abilities, vitamins C, vitamin E, and vitamin A are very good for the skin. This superfood contains antioxidants that fight against many skin diseases. By consuming spinach, you are cleaning your skin from the inside out.
It's better to get the nutrients for healthy skin from food, not supplements. Salmon, walnuts, blueberries, spinach... lots of my favorite foods happen to be amazing for skin too.— Gail Simmons
Lowers Blood Pressure
Known as hypertension, high blood pressure affects around 1 billion people worldwide. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke and other complications. WHO estimates that it is responsible for at least 51 per cent of deaths from stroke and 45 of those from heart disease.
Hypertension is usually caused by increased levels of dietary sodium. Potassium balances out the effects of salt in the body. It works in the same way as commonly used hypertension drugs.
Spinach is rich in potassium. Surprisingly, it contains more potassium than bananas. When dietary potassium is high, kidneys excrete more salt and water.
Fiber rich spinach is a low calorie food. Folate, potassium and magnesium in spinach prevent hypertension.
Vegetables contain dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals which can lower blood pressure and may reduce atherosclerosis - a build-up of plaque in the arteries. Research suggests that a significantly lower risk of heart disease was seen with every additional 7g of fibre consumed per day. As a nation we are not very good at hitting our recommended daily fibre intake of 18g a day but the recent hype of kale, spinach and other green leafy veg is certainly helping us reach this goal.— Lilia Malcolm, dietician and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association
Good for the Heart
Spinach prevents heart disease. It may also provide a novel way to repair a damaged heart, as described in the May 2017 issue of Biomaterials.
A team of researchers used detergent to dissolve the cells inside a spinach leaf, leaving only the scaffolding of the leaf veins. Then they seeded the veins with human heart stem cells. After five days these cells spontaneously began to contract — and continued to beat for three weeks.
If a number of leaves were stacked up, some of the vascular networks could serve as arteries, with others serving as veins, the authors explain. The idea is to create a piece of heart tissue that could be used to repair the damage caused by a heart attack.
Even though that possibility is still a long way in the future, these new findings hold hope. If successful, the spinach model offers the added advantage of being a truly "green" technology.
Spinach is super nutritious, potentially anti-inflammatory, and good for heart health.— Dawn Jackson Blatner, registered dietitian in Chicago and the author of The Flexitarian Diet
Spinach is rich in lutein, folate, and beta-carotene, which prevent dementia. Some neurologists recommend eating spinach at least three times a week. Antioxidants and phytochemicals in this super nutritious green leafy vegetable improves blood flow and reduce inflammation. Good blood flow is critical to brain function.
Studies also have shown that spinach helps maintain your vigorous brain function, memory and mental clarity.— Dr Joseph Michael Mercola
Thylakoid, a compound in spinach, reduces food cravings between meals and prevents obesity. This is as per a study conducted on a test group of 15 people. Also spinach is loaded with chlorophyll.
Replacing high-calorie drinks with a cup of spinach juice everyday can help you cut belly fat and achieve your weight loss goals.
Spinach Benefits for Hair
Iron deficiency is one of the main causes of hair fall. Vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and protein in spinach keep your hair strong, healthy and luscious. This amazing dark green leafy vegetable contains sebum, which is a natural conditioner.
Promotes Healthy Fetal Development
Spinach contains folate, which growing fetus needs for proper development of its nervous system. Vitamin A in spinach is important for your baby's embryonic growth, including the development of organs like heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, and bones, as well as the circulatory, respiratory, and central nervous systems. Vitamin A can be transferred during breastfeeding, so the vegetable’s consumption should be continued after birth as well.
Good for Your Toddler
Toddlers need plenty of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber for their growth. Spinach is loaded with many nutrients that are difficult to find in other foods. This green leafy vegetable contains iron, zinc, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Magnesium helps regulation of blood sugar. One cup of spinach contains 40 percent of recommended daily serving of magnesium. Alpha-lipoic acid in spinach is an antioxidant that reduces glucose levels and increases insulin sensitivity.
Superfood for Diabetes
American Diabetes Association denotes spinach as a superfood for type-1 and type-2 diabetes.
Keeps Your Bones Strong and Healthy
Spinach contains Vitamin K, which promotes a the production of a protein known as Osteocalcin. This protein is responsible for stabilizing calcium in the bones.
Spinach prevents osteoarthritis, which is the most common type of arthritis in the United Kingdom, according to scientists at the University of Surrey.
"The importance of a good diet and regular exercise should never be underestimated,” said researcher Margaret Rayman.
“Not only does it keep us fit and healthy, but as we have learned from this study, it can also lessen painful symptoms of osteoarthritis.
“We are what we eat, and it is important that we have the right amount of nutrients from our food to ensure that our body systems work as they should.”
B vitamins and iron in spinach juice boosts your metabolism. It is easy to prepare spinach juice. Get a fresh bundle of spinach. Clean the leaves thoroughly. Chop them and put them in a blender. You may add some ginger juliennes and celery stalks to enhance the taste and nutritional value of the juice. Squeeze a bit of lemon in the blender and blend all the ingredients well. Once this is done, strain the juice and drink it.
Do you like spinach?
- Spinach is a low GI food.
- Spinach prevents dry eyes.
- Spinach inhibits growth of cancer cells.
- Spinach keeps your skin and hair healthy.
- Spinach prevents asthma.
Popeye was right about spinach: dark green, leafy vegetables are the healthiest food on the planet. As whole foods go, they offer the most nutrition per calorie.— Michael Greger
© 2017 Srikanth R