Spinach is one of the world’s healthiest foods, because it offers a multitude of amazing nutritional benefits when consumed regularly. Whether you prefer to have your spinach in salads, smoothies, or as a side dish, you can get a considerable dose of essential micronutrients, phytonutrients and antioxidants. Here are some of the many reasons why this wonderful leafy green vegetable has been research proven to be very beneficial to your health.
Exerts powerful antioxidant effects
Just a half of a cup of cooked spinach provides nearly 200 percent of the daily recommended intake of the potent antioxidant vitamin A (beta-carotene). It is also a great source of the water-soluble antioxidant vitamin C, the fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin E, and the powerful trace mineral antioxidant copper. This cocktail of antioxidants can naturally boost immunity and ward off disease by countering free radical production in the body. Build up of free radicals can cause excessive damage to cells, tissues, and organs leading to chronic inflammation and ultimately disease.
Helps reduce the risk and spread of cancer
Spinach contains powerful phytonutrients called flavonoids, which have powerful anticancer effects. It specifically contains a flavonoid called apigenin that has been linked to a decreased risk of various forms of cancer, including breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers. Spinach also contains other cancer-fighting compounds that have been shown to reduce the spread of cancer cells and suppress tumor growth.
Supports heart and blood vessel health
Free radical damage to arterial walls can contribute to blockages in the blood vessels themselves causing heart attack and stroke. Due to its high content of antioxidants, regular consumption of spinach can naturally lower your risk of diseases linked to such free radical damage including heart disease (atherosclerosis) and high blood pressure (hypertension). Spinach also houses exceptionally large amounts of vitamin K, which is an extremely important yet underrated fat-soluble vitamin that naturally helps prevent heart attack and stroke by blocking calcium buildup in the arteries.
An incredible bone friendly food
Spinach contains sizeable amounts of calcium, which is important for building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth. Although it’s a good source of calcium, the rich content of vitamin K in spinach is actually what makes it especially beneficial for bone health. When calcium is absorbed, vitamin K moves it out of the arteries and into the bones where it is needed. Spinach also contains substantial amounts of phosphorous and magnesium, which are also essential for bone health. Phosphorous plays a critical role in normal bone growth and maintenance while vitamin magnesium supports the body’s bone-building cells.
Promotes eye and skin health
While spinach is rarely touted as a beneficial food for the eyes and skin it truly is, primarily due to it’s content of two specific carotenoids: lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids protect against eye damage and vision loss by reducing the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Lutein and zeaxanthin can also inhibit premature aging of the skin by reducing free radical damage associated with excessive sun exposure.
Wonder food for weight loss
Spinach is a staple food for people who are trying to lose weight or even maintain a weight loss. Like most vegetables, spinach is naturally low in calories and fat making it an excellent food source for weight management. It’s also high in dietary fiber, which helps it to digest and absorb slowly making you feel fuller and reducing an urge to overeat.
You can reap significant health and nutritional benefits from spinach by consuming as little as a single cup raw or a half of a cup cooked every day. Since conventionally grown spinach may contain substantial amounts of pesticide residue, opt for organic spinach whenever possible to reduce your exposure.