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The Health Benefits of Spinach

Updated on April 2, 2013

When I was still a kid, the health benefits of spinach intrigue me a lot. I mean how can a frail-looking sailor suddenly develop a buffed bud after eating this vegetable? That was then.

It's surprising however, that today, there are still a few who don't believe that spinach are real vegetables. Apparently, they have been stuck to the idea of spinach being a make-believe power food featured in the make-believe Popeye cartoon.

Know the value of eating spinach, regularly.
Know the value of eating spinach, regularly. | Source

The Truth About Spinach

The truth about spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is that it is indeed a power food. It's packed with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidant contents. It's one of the most gracious green and leafy vegetables around. In fact, the more green and vibrant their colors are, the higher are their nutritional values.

The health benefits of spinach include: Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B9 (Folic acid), Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Manganese, Magnesium, Iron, Calcium, Potassium, Fiber, and Protein. Others nutrients include: Zinc, Choline, Omega-3, Anti-oxidants and Flavonoids.

These health benefits however, may be affected by the vegetable's oxalate content. Oxalates are chemicals present in most plants, nuts and seeds that inhibit the absorption of minerals like calcium and iron. In this case, while the health benefits of spinach from calcium and iron may be generous, its oxalates significantly decrease our ability to absorb them.

Because of this chemical element, eating spinach raw may not provide us as much health of benefits of spinach as we had hoped for. One way of preventing the presence oxalic acids in spinach is by cooking them, particularly boiling in a generous amount of water for about a minute. Also, we may increase our calcium and non-heme iron absorption from spinach by cooking it with other vegetables.

Did you know that Spinach is Good for the Heart?

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Health Benefits of Spinach to Our Bodies

Let's look at the potential health benefits of spinach to our daily lives.

  • Folate, fibers and the rich antioxidant contents of spinach help promote cardiovascular health. Folate helps lower the homocysteine levels of our blood; while fiber aids in controlling our blood sugar level. The antioxidants aid in the prevention of other heart and blood diseases such as stroke and diabetes.
  • Vitamin K, C, E and beta-carotene contents are the health benefits of spinach that promotes bone health. More so, the calcium that we absorb from spinach helps strengthen our bones. You can fight away disease like osteoporosis with regular spinach intake.
  • Vitamin K also promotes brain health and a well-functioning nervous system. The flavonoids present in spinach not only feed the brain cells which helps improve memory retention; they also slow the process of aging.
  • Vitamin A is one of the health benefits of spinach which promotes skin health. It helps maintain our skin fresh and aglow. Spinach helps fight skin problems whether it’s a simple pimple issue or a severe psoriasis condition.
  • The health benefits of spinach also include eye health. Carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are also present in spinach. They help prevent degenerative diseases of the eyes like macular degeneration and cataracts.

Other health benefits of spinach include digestive health and stronger defense systems which help us fight certain cancers such as the lung, breast and prostate cancers.

Health Benefits of Spinach for Weight Watchers

Those who are concerned with their weight more than anything else. The health benefits of spinach may also serve this purpose.

Spinach is a low-calorie food, just like many of the green leafy vegetables you know. A cup of spinach gives you only a consumption of 40 calories while it is packed with fibers and proteins that are essential for a weight management diet. As the fibers help in controlling your usual hunger pangs, the proteins give you loaded up energy which makes you feel fuller longer.

Get the Best from Spinach: Buy Organic or Grow Your Own

Spinach is undoubtedly one of the most versatile and nutritious foods among the vegetable pack. However, they may easily contain harmful pesticide residue and chemicals. To get the most nutrients from them, it's best to go organic; better yet, plant your own.

What does it mean to eat Organic Foods or Organically Grown Foods?

Foods with soft and thin layers of skin are easily exposed to harmful pesticides. Even after washing, these foods may still contain elements that are not safe to eat. Organic foods are produced without synthetic or man-made pesticides and fertilizers. They are safer to eat.

Organic farming promotes a safe environment (e.g. soil, air, water, produce) because natural pesticides and fertilizers are being used in farming. Organic products may however be more expensive than those conventionally grown. If the budget is limited, choose organic fruits, vegetables and dairy products that are more prone to pesticides. Spinach, along with tomatoes, apples and pears are some of the examples of foods that are best bought organic.

Buying organic products and supporting organic farming provide safer food for the family AND a richer environment for the future generation.

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Here's a Quick and Easy Spinach Recipe

This recipe is great for a quick lunch or dinner for two. It goes very well with anything fried.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 2-3 serving


  • Cooking oil
  • Garlic
  • Spinach
  • Sesame seeds
  • Dill tips
  • Oyster sauce
  • Fish sauce

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Saute' the garlic with the spinach stems in oil.
  2. Add water, oyster sauce and fish sauce.
  3. Let the mixture simmer under low heat.
  4. Add the spinach leaves. Mix well.
  5. Sprinkle sesame seeds and the dill.
  6. Remove from pan.
  7. Serve while hot.

Rate This Low-Calorie Recipe If You Enjoyed it.

Cast your vote for Stir-fried Spinach with Sesame Seeds and Dill

Given the health benefits of spinach, it is perhaps right to follow the good habit of our dear old sailor Mr. Popeye. Adding spinach to our diets may indeed make us stronger, fitter and smarter.


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    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 4 years ago from Bangkok

      Sure thing careermommy! I also try to have them always. Good thing they're not that pricey in my place.

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 4 years ago from Bangkok

      Thanks peggy! I love eating spinach too!! Appreciate your visit, always.

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      beingwell, the health benefits of spinach actually does intrigue me. I think this is one of the best vegetables out there. I try to include it in my diet on a regular basis. Thank you for the share.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Love eating spinach! I actually wrote a hub titled: Popeye the Sailor Man Statue ~ Spinach Festival in Crystal City, Texas. We grew up watching Popeye on TV cartoons. Am sure that many kids started eating spinach if they were not already doing so after watching those cartoons. :)) Up and useful votes and will share.

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 4 years ago from Bangkok

      Thanks alocsin! I happen to enjoy them. Thanks Popeye for bringing spinach closer to my heart. haha!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Spinach certainly sounds very healthy. Unfortunately, I'm not a big fan of the taste and try to avoid it when I can. Nevertheless, I'm voting this Up and Useful.

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 4 years ago from Bangkok

      Thanks for the comment Vellur. Yeap, I agree. Good thing it's quite cheap here in Bangkok.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Very useful and informative hub. Everyone should include Spinach in their diets.

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 5 years ago from Bangkok

      I haven't tried spinach on smoothie vespawoolf. My hubby's hard to please when it comes to food.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      We add spinach to our morning smoothie and now I think we should add it to dinner, too! I knew spinach was healthy, but I had no idea all the nutrients that are packed into it. Thank you for sharing!

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 5 years ago from Bangkok

      Thanks dinkan! I enjoy the Popeye show too...hahaha!! Even 'till now. LOL!

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 5 years ago from India

      Spinach is my favorite. I like spinach fresh in salads. Happy to know about it's health benefits. You know my favorite childhood cartoon was Popeye's show. Rated as useful and SHARED!

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 5 years ago from Bangkok

      Thank you for your comments, guys! I love reading them.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      Useful and informative.

      I love spinach, it is not only great to taste but also has many health benefits.

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 5 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Great information about spinach. Thanks for posting it. Voted up!

    • TotalHealth profile image

      TotalHealth 5 years ago from Hermosa Beach, CA

      Nice hub! Very beneficial food to incorporate into a healthy diet. Thanks!!

    • FordeAhern profile image

      FordeAhern 5 years ago from Broadford, Co. Limerick. ireland

      Fab hub, I am not really a fan of spinach but all this information I am going to get my family and I to try it out. Voted up and useful. thank you

    • Faceless39 profile image

      Faceless39 5 years ago from The North Woods, USA

      This hub is full of useful information about spinach, and it was great to learn about oxalates (and that we can cook spinach to minimize them.) Great hub, thank you.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • Eliminate Cancer profile image

      Eliminate Cancer 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great hub! Spinach is one of my favorite foods - nutrient rich, fights cancer and I love the taste!!