Spinach is one of the healthiest foods on this planet and known even to children due to the cartoon “Popeye the sailor man”. This is because of its amazing nutritional value. It can benefit the human body on a large scale as it can protect the body against various diseases and problems. There are many possible health benefits of spinach as research is still going on to see the further benefits that it may have on the body.
The spinach plant is one foot tall and it mostly found in the central and southwestern parts of Asia. It is readily available throughout the year but it is best during the winter season from the months of March through May.
25 Health Benefits Of Spinach
1. Nutritional Value Of Spinach
One cup of raw spinach contains 27 calories, 30 mg calcium, 0.81 g iron, 24 mg magnesium, 167 mg potassium, 58 ug folate, 0.86 mg protein and 2813 IU vitamin A. It also contains Vitamin K, phosphorus, fiber and thiamine in a lesser extent.
2. Improves Eye Health
Spinach contains lutein and zeaxanthin in good amounts that are good antioxidants. They help in protecting the eyes from age related macular degeneration as well as cataracts. Vitamin A that is also present in good amounts in spinach helps in maintaining the mucus membranes that is crucial for good eyesight. Whereas zeaxanthin which is a dietary carotenoid is helpful in light filtering functions. Spinach also helps in protecting the eyes from dry eyes, itchy eyes and eye ulcers. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing the puffiness around the eyes and irritation occurring in the eyes.
3. Improves Muscle Strength
Spinach contains a factor Co-Q10 which is an antioxidant that plays a vital role in strengthening the muscles especially heart muscles, which pumps blood throughout the body. Studies have shown that Co-Q10 prevent and also treats many cardiovascular diseases like coronary heart disease, hyperlipidemia, etc.
4. Improves Bone Health
The vitamins in spinach like Vitamin K is helpful in strengthening the bones. It lowers and controls the activation of osteoclasts which are responsible for breaking down the bone structure in the body. Vitamin K also helps in promoting the synthesis of osteocalcin which helps in promoting bone density and prevents the onset of osteoporosis. It is also an alternative to dairy products that provides calcium. It also promotes the collagen growth in muscles tissues. This is one of the good health benefits of spinach.
5. Prevents Atherosclerosis
The hardening of arteries is the condition called as atherosclerosis. Spinach has an antioxidant known as lutein present which helps in preventing the hardening of arteries and thereby, preventing atherosclerosis. It is also helpful in preventing heart attacks and other conditions.
6. Prevents Strokes
Spinach vitamins are good for the heart as it prevents many problems that lead to heart conditions. Lutein present in spinach helps in reducing cholesterol in the blood vessels that is a major cause of strokes and heart attacks. Thus, spinach can help prevent the occurrence of strokes.
7. Improves Fetal Growth
One of the health benefits of spinach is that pregnant women can benefit from it. This is due to the fact that spinach contains good amounts of folate that leads to the better development of the fetus. The improper neural tube formation leads to deformities like spina bifida and cleft palate. To prevent this, folate is necessary in the diet of pregnant women.
8. Reduces Stress
One of the spinach health benefits is that it helps in reducing stress in people. It can provide workaholics with the necessary minerals like zinc and magnesium that replenish the body with energy as well as relaxes your tired eyes.
9. Prevents Anemia
The rich nutritional value of spinach helps in providing the body with necessary vitamins and minerals for the proper maintenance of the body. Spinach is an excellent source of iron and is useful for maintaining the red blood cell count in the blood. It is also important in women during menstruation as well as people suffering from anemia as it increases the hemoglobin levels in the blood.
10. Prevents Ulcers
Spinach helps in improving the intestinal health as it plays a role in preventing the occurrence of gastric ulcers. It provides the body with glycerolipids that boosts the gastro intestinal immunity and prevents inflammation and other diseases from occurring. This is one of the important health benefits of spinach.
11. Aids In Weight Loss
Spinach is low in calories and fat and thus, it helps in maintaining cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It is further beneficial as it is rich in dietary fibers that helps in weight loss and gives a feeling of satiety. It also prevents constipation and prevents overeating. Thus, it is considered as an appropriate food while trying to lose weight.
12. Treats Acne
One of the health benefits of spinach is that it is rich in antioxidants. These powerful antioxidants help in killing off bacteria that cause acne. It also contains anti inflammatory properties that prevent inflammation on the skin to occur and thus, promotes healthy looking skin. It can also be used as a natural face masks to remove excess oil, dirt and pimples from the skin.
13. Immunity Booster
Spinach is rich in vitamin A that helps in fighting against infections that cause urinary tract infections, intestinal, respiratory and mucus membrane infections. It also boosts the production of white blood cells that fight against pathogens and thereby, increase protection to the body. This spinach nutrition helps to improve the overall health of the body.
14. Natural Sunscreen
Spinach is good source of vitamin B which helps in protecting the skin from the harmful ultra violet rays of the sun. Consuming spinach frequently will help to protect your skin from diseases that may occur due to the harm caused by the sun. It also keeps your skin looks young, healthy and also slows down the aging process.
15. Prevents Asthma
Spinach is an excellent source of beta carotene which plays an important role in preventing the occurrence of asthma. This is one of the health benefits of spinach. Thus, consuming spinach, broccoli, pumpkin and others can lower the risk of asthma as they are rich in beta-carotenes.
16. Lowers Blood Pressure
Spinach is an excellent source of potassium. A low potassium and a high sodium diet leads to high blood pressure. Consuming high potassium and a low sodium diet helps in reducing blood pressure in people that are at risk of high blood pressure problems.
17. Prevents Constipation
Spinach is rich in dietary fibers as well as water content, which help in regular bowel movements. It also protects the colon against inflammation and damage. Thus, it acts as a natural laxative and promotes bowel health.
18. Slows Down Skin Aging
Premature skin aging is caused mainly due to unhealthy diet as well as skin problems. The powerful antioxidants present in spinach help in fighting against free radicals that damage the skin. It also helps in replenishing lost nutrients from the skin as well as restores moisture and promotes new skin cells formation. Thus, spinach helps to rejuvenate the skin and slows down the ageing of the skin.
19. Improves Complexion
One of the health benefits of spinach is that it provides the body with vitamin A, K and folate which helps in clearing the complexion of the skin. Vitamin A helps in stimulation skin repair and skin cell formation while vitamin K and folate helps in treating acne and minimizing dark circles. Thus, adding spinach to the diet will help do wonders for the skin.
20. Improves Brain Function
Spinach is rich in vitamin K which stimulates the production of sphingolipids that forms the myelin sheath around the nerves. While folate, vitamin K and C help in modulating the hormone production of the nervous system. This thereby, helps in improving the overall brain signaling and promotes memory and brain function. Thus, it can help in protecting against behavioral as well as cognitive problems.
21. Manages Diabetes
Spinach proves beneficial to diabetics as it contains an antioxidant known as alpha lipoic acid. Studies have shown where alpha lipoic acid helps in decreasing peripheral neuropathy and autonomic neuropathy in diabetics. It is also plays an important role in reducing glucose levels, increasing insulin sensitivity as well as preventing oxidative stress in people suffering from diabetes. Thus, baby spinach or regular spinach can be immensely beneficial for diabetics.
22. Prevents Cancer
Spinach acts as a natural anti-cancer agent as it is rich in flavonoids. Studies have shown it to slow down the proliferation of cancerous cells and also prevent to occurrence of prostate cancer. Spinach as well as other green vegetables contains chlorophyll that blocks the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines that are generated when food is grilled at high temperatures. Thus, it acts as a natural protector against cancer. This is one of the important health benefits of spinach.
23. Protects Against Arthritis
Spinach contains neoxanthin and violaxanthin which are the anti inflammatory properties in this green vegetable. They effectively reduce and even prevent the inflammation that is caused by arthritis. They are also effective against other inflammations caused by migraines, osteoporosis and asthma.
24. Repairs Skin
Spinach is useful to providing the body with radiant skin as it contains vitamin C and A that helps in improving the skin tone, promoting cell formation and repair. It also helps in promoting skin complexion, removes pigmentation and brightens the skin.
25. Promotes Hair Growth
The spinach nutrition rich vegetable provides the body with vitamins like B, C, E and minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron. It also gives the body omega-3 fatty acids. These vitamins and minerals promote the overall hair growth and also promote better blood circulation to the scalp which in turn increases the formation of hair follicles.
Spinach is rich in iron that helps in promoting the formation of hair follicles. Folate and iron helps in promoting hair growth as well as promotes the strengthening of the hair and providing nourishment to the hair.
Spinach Juice Benefits
- Spinach is alkaline in nature and helps in providing relief against rheumatoid arthritis.
- Spinach juice also helps in balancing the alkalinity levels of the blood.
- Spinach juice benefits the body as it contains high levels of vitamin A that prevent the body from cataracts and other vision problems.
- It also helps in treating anemia by providing the body with iron.
- It lowers the homocysteine levels in the body and reduces the risk of atherosclerosis.
- Spinach also helps in curing bleeding gums problem.
- It also increases the production of milk in lactating mothers.
- It prevents the risk of high blood pressure.
- It improves digestion.
- It promotes strong bones and can be used as an alternative to calcium from dairy products.
Types Of Spinach
- Savoy: This type of spinach is wrinkly with curly leaves. It is widely available in the US and is resistant to bolting.
- Semi Savoy: It is a hybrid with slightly wrinkly leaves. It is similar to the savoy type but can be cleansed easier as compared to savoy.
- Flat or smooth leaf spinach: It has broad and smooth leaves and can be easily cleaned. It can be used in preparing soups and can be easily canned.
Thus, there are quite a few varieties of spinach and due to their high nutritional value can be added to your diet.