Howdy Freak! In this article (Spinach – Nutritional Value and Health Benefits), we will be giving a crisp definition of spinach, its benefits, the nutritional value of spinach and its uses. Before moving forward, if you would have ever watched ” Popeye – The Sailor Man ” show then you can easily relate what is actually spinach. Remember, how each time he used to have a can of spinach he got instant power. In a similar way, in this article, we will be learning about the potential and strength of spinach. So let’s get started!
Spinach is nothing but a leafy green vegetable. It is very common and is available in every market in abundance. Do you know where it actually originated? – Persia.
It is considered super healthy as it is loaded with several nutrients and antioxidants. You can find the exact reference and proportions in the below chart. Eating spinach on daily basis may benefit eye health, improving bone health, reduce oxidative stress, help prevent cancer, control your diabetic level and may reduce blood pressure levels.
Spinach is generally considered as a superfood. It is fully loaded with tons of nutrients in a low-calorie package. Dark, leafy greens like spinach are important for skin, hair, and bone health. They also provide protein, iron, vitamins, and minerals.
Spinach is available in every market and the best thing is that they are available at a very cheap rate. It is also very easy to prepare. You might get it in a canned package as well.
Spinach is a green leafy vegetable that is high in nutrients and low in calories. Here, is the approximate nutritional value for 50 grams of raw spinach :
Spinach also contains vitamin K, fibre, phosphorus, and thiamine. However, most of the calories in spinach come from protein and carbohydrates.
Spinach is a great source of iron. The energy fuel system of our body is very dependant on our iron content present in our body. So do not forget to include spinach in your diet.
Make sure to combine vitamin-C-rich foods such as citrus fruits with plant iron like spinach to improve absorption in your body.
Spinach contains approximately 250 mg of calcium per cup. However, it is less easily absorbed than calcium obtained from dairy sources. Spinach has a high oxalate content, which binds to calcium. This makes it difficult for our bodies to use.
Most of the carbohydrates in spinach consist of fiber, which is incredibly healthy.
Spinach also contains small amounts of sugar, mostly in the form of glucose and fructose. As you might be well aware of this fact that carbohydrates are your powerhouse for body and hence spinach has these low amount of carbs in the form of fibre present in it.
Spinach is low in carbs but high in insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibres may help in your digestive system and keep your enzymes healthy.
Spinach is also one of the best sources of dietary magnesium. Dietary magnesium is necessary for energy metabolism, maintaining muscle and nerve function, regular heart rhythm, a healthy immune system, maintaining bone health and maintaining blood pressure.
Vitamins and minerals
Spinach is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin A: Spinach is high in carotenoids, which your body can turn into vitamin A.
- Vitamin K1: This vitamin is essential for blood clotting. Notably, one spinach leaf contains over half of your daily needs.
- Vitamin C: This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that promotes skin health and immune function.
- Folic acid: Also known as folate or vitamin B9, this compound is vital for pregnant women and essential for normal cellular function and tissue growth.
- Iron: Spinach is an excellent source of this essential mineral. Iron helps create haemoglobin, which brings oxygen to your body’s tissues.
- Calcium: This mineral is essential for bone health and a crucial signalling molecule for your nervous system, heart, and muscles.
Spinach also contains several other vitamins and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6, B9, and E. Spinach is an extremely nutrient-rich vegetable. It packs high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium.
- Lutein: This compound is linked to improved eye health.
- Kaempferol: This antioxidant may decrease your risk of cancer and chronic diseases.
- Nitrates: Spinach contains high amounts of nitrates, which may promote heart health.
- Quercetin: This antioxidant may ward off infection and inflammation. Spinach is one of the richest dietary sources of quercetin.
- Zeaxanthin: Like lutein, zeaxanthin can also improve eye health.
There are tons of benefits which you can derive from spinach. Few of them are mentioned below:
Spinach is rich in zeaxanthin and lutein, which are the carotenoids responsible for color in some vegetables.
Human eyes also contain high quantities of these pigments, which protect your eyes from the damage caused by sunlight.
Additionally, several studies indicate that zeaxanthin and lutein work to prevent macular degeneration and cataracts, which are major causes of blindness.
Spinach contains high amounts of nitrates, which have been shown to help moderate blood pressure levels and decrease your risk of heart disease
Kidney stones are caused by acid and mineral salt buildup. The most common variety is calcium stones, which consist of calcium oxalate.
Spinach is high in both calcium and oxalates, so people who are at a high risk of developing kidney stones should limit their intake.
Spinach is high in vitamin K1, which serves several functions in your body but is best known for its role in blood clotting.
As such, it could interfere with blood-thinning medication. People who are taking blood thinners, such as warfarin, should consult with their healthcare practitioner before eating large amounts of spinach.
Low intakes of vitamin K have been associated with a higher risk of bone fracture.
Adequate vitamin K consumption is important for good health, as it acts as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, improves calcium absorption, and may reduce the amount of calcium that leaves the body in urine.
Healthy skin and hair
Spinach has large quantities of vitamin A, which moderates the production of oil in the skin pores and hair follicles to moisturize the skin and hair.
Promotes digestive regularity
Spinach is high in fibre and water, both of which help to prevent constipation and promote a healthy digestive tract.
Free radicals are byproducts of metabolism. They can cause oxidative stress, which triggers accelerated ageing and increases your risk of cancer and diabetes.
However, spinach contains antioxidants, which fight oxidative stress and help reduce the damage it causes.
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