Spinach is the chief source of Popeye’s (the popular cartoon character) superhuman strength. Love it or hate it, but spinach contains a glut of health promoting nutrients. Applauded for its high iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C content, this super green, can cure ailments ranging from constipation to cancer. To know more about the amazing health enhancing properties of spinach, which can be eaten either raw (in the form of salads) or lightly cooked, read on.
Here Are 10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Spinach:
Strengthens Immune System
Spinach is loaded with immune boosting antioxidants, which pack a powerful punch when it comes to protecting the immune system. The potent antioxidants which are present in this leafy green, promote the production of white blood corpuscles, or WBC – which protect the body from possible bacterial / viral attack. The numerous enzymes in spinach detect and repair damaged DNA thereby helping the body to rejuvenate itself.
Nourishes The Eyes
Spinach contains powerful carotenoids, including lutein and zeaxanthin which reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases. These potent antioxidants, also delay the onset of age related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataract. Consuming antioxidant rich spinach also protects the eyes against the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays of the sun.
Improves Digestive Health
The high insoluble fiber and water content of spinach helps promote a healthy digestive tract by preventing constipation. Spinach is loaded with health supportive nutrients called glycoglycerolipids. Medical research has indicated that the high glycoglycerlipids protects the delicate lining of the intestinal tract from damage. Spinach has high amounts of vitamin C and beta carotene, which protects the intestinal cells from the dangerous effects of free radicals.
A popular leafy green, spinach helps combat anemia. Spinach is an excellent source of iron. Just one cup of lightly blanched spinach contains nearly 3.2 milligrams of iron. Spinach is also a rich dietary source of vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts the body’s ability to absorb more iron from non-heme dietary sources of this mineral.
Reduces Incidence Of Asthma Attack
Spinach has a host of potent nutrients, including beta carotene, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin E, which help prevent asthma attacks. Spinach is also an excellent dietary source of folate (one cup of raw spinach yields 58 mcg of folate). Experimental studies have indicated that increasing the intake of folate rich foods like spinach can reduce the incidence and intensity of asthma attacks.
For Healthy Skin
Spinach has high amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C. The antioxidant characteristics of vitamin A keeps skin cells healthy, and it also accelerates wound healing. Vitamin A also helps skin to retain vital moisture. Vitamin C assists in the production of the main structural protein of the skin – collagen. Collagen is responsible for giving firmness and elasticity to skin. The high iron content of spinach gives skin an appealing rosy tinge.
Spinach is called a diabetes super food as it helps to keep blood glucose levels under control. The high fiber content of spinach can stop sudden blood sugar spikes. Spinach also has a powerful antioxidant called alpha lipoic acid, which increases insulin sensitivity and lowers blood glucose levels. This antioxidant also prevents oxidative stress stimulated changes in diabetics.
Consuming spinach can drastically reduce an individual’s risk of suffering from different types of cancer especially from skin cancer. Leafy greens like spinach are excellent dietary sources of the powerful antioxidants lutein and beta carotene. In vitro studies have indicated that both lutein and beta carotene can inhibit the growth of cancer causing cells.
Lowers Blood Pressure
This low calorie, high fiber food is packed with numerous essential nutrients including potassium which help to maintain stable blood pressure levels. Eating potassium rich food like spinach can help to expel sodium from the body through urine. Spinach is an excellent dietary source of magnesium (79 mg per 100 gms). Magnesium plays a pivotal role in lowering elevated blood pressure, by relaxing the muscles which control the blood vessels – thereby allowing blood to flow more freely.
Spinach is a powerhouse of vitamin E and carotenoids (violaxanthin and neoxanthin) which are famed for their anti-inflammatory properties. Spinach has abundant amounts of chlorophyll. The anti-inflammatory property of chlorophyll is well researched.