Spinach, a green leafy vegetable, is considered a superfood because of its richness of vitamins and minerals. It is used in a lot of dishes and has a characteristic bitter salty taste. In this article, we will discuss the ten proven health benefits of spinach.
Spinach is a great source of Macronutrients. Carbohydrates, proteins (including essential amino acids), fats (including essential fatty acids), macrominerals, and water are macronutrients.
However, Macronutrients are relatively less in spinach but contain a considerable amount of fiber and micronutrients such as; Iron, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Magnesium, Potassium, Folic Acid, Vitamin B complex, Calcium, Vitamin E, and Manganese. Now, let’s look at some of the awesome health benefits of spinach.
Table of Contents
Proven Health Benefits of Spinach:
1. Hypertension Control
Studies have proven that the consumption of spinach will helps to lower blood pressure naturally. Spinach has lower sodium concentration but higher potassium concentration which makes it an amazing diet for hypertensive patients.
This vegetable is very good at controlling high blood pressure because of its potassium and folate content (1).
In addition to the potassium, nitrates are abundant in the spinach as well. Nitrates help in controlling the blood pressure in hypertensive patients (2).
2. Depresses Hemophilia
Because of the vitamin K content, spinach is considered a very good food for promoting clotting. In hemophiliac patients, spinach can reduce symptoms and improve the quality of life.
3. Reduces Oxidative Stress
This leafy anti-aging food is loaded with tons of antioxidants that neutralize free radicals in our bodies. Free radicles form as a by-product of metabolism, and these are harmful substances. They induce and may even promote the process of aging and wearing of the body.
Many studies have shown that oxidative stress can be decreased by the consumption of antioxidants. Spinach contains antioxidants like quercetin which can effectively reduce oxidative stress and slows down the aging process of the body (3).
4. Cure Anemia
Spinach, because of its high iron content, is extremely good in curing and preventing anemia. A person having spinach in his diet has reduced the need to consume iron supplements.
Women of reproductive age should have spinach now and then because they are more prone to develop iron deficiency anemia.
5. Makes Eye Healthy
Sunlight exposure may damage the eyes and the retinal pigments are the protective substances against this damage. Many research results also proved this health benefits of spinach.
Lutein and zeaxanthin in the spinach have the ability to promote eye health and prevent macular degeneration and cataract (4, 5).
6. Cancer Prevention
Spinach contains some complex lipids like MGDG and SQDG. These complex lipids are very effective against cancerous cells and are seen to reduce the size of tumors (6). Spinach helps in preventing prostate, breast, and cervical cancer because of its anti-cancer compounds (7, 8).
7. Strengthens Bones
Vitamin K in spinach promotes bone mineralization by helping the bones retain more calcium (9).
Elements like magnesium, manganese, etc. are also present in the spinach which are essential in bone mineralization makes them strong. Osteoporosis can be prevented by adding spinach to one’s diet. This will also strengthen teeth.
8. No More Ulcers
A research study has shown that spinach promotes the health of the stomach mucus and prevents gastric ulcers from happening (10).
This makes it an excellent diet for people with poor stomach health and ulcers. The glycolipids in the spinach reduce inflammation in the gut and promote the health of the digestive tract.
9. Atherosclerosis Reducer
Spinach has a role in lowering the occurrence of atherosclerosis. This happens because of the lutein and some other proteins present in the spinach (11). Atherosclerosis reduction will make heart and vessels healthy.
10. Good in Pregnancy
The human fetus requires a large amount of folate during early developmental stages and that is why an increased amount of folic acid is needed during pregnancy.
If not provided, deformities like spina bifida and cleft palate may arise (12). Adding spinach in the diet of pregnant women prevents folic acid deficiency in the mother and hence the deformities in the fetus.
Considering all the beneficial effects of spinach, one should always use it in his diet. In addition to all the benefits, spinach provides an incredible amount of fiber to the diet. This fiber will help in the digestion and in keeping the bowel healthy.
One can consume it raw or cooked, either way, it is healthy and delicious. If someone is planning on losing weight and eat healthily, he should consume spinach more often. Because spinach including kale, collards, swiss chards, and a few other leafy greens are very effective as natural foods for weight loss.