Spinach, known for amazing nutrients is scientifically known as Spinacia oleracea,. This visually appealing leafy vegetable shares same type of taste as that of some other vegetables of its family- bitterness in beet greens and mild salty taste of Swiss chard.
Spinach is known for its strong anti-inflammatory properties, anti-oxidant elements and has been beneficial for overall health of our body.
Health Benefits of Spinach
Recent study has manifested that green spinach leaves are pregnant with higher concentrations of vitamin C than pale and light colored spinach leaves. In addition, it is also rich in carbohydrates, sodium, soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamins, sugar, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and host of others. Some great health benefits of spinach may include:
Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Cancer benefits of spinach : Although all vegetables are rich in good variety of phytonutrients, spinach holds a specific place in vegetables as it is good source of phytonutrient content. It has been discovered by researchers that nearly a dozen of different flavonoid elements are found in spinach that combats inflammatory and cancerous agents found in the body. The spinach diminishes the division of cancer cells in stomach and it also cuts down skin cancers risks. Reduced risk of prostate cancer is considered to be one of the health benefits of spinach intake.
Antioxidant benefits of spinach : Number of carotenoid and flavonoid nutrients present in spinach has been instrumental in offering anti-inflammatory protection to the body and antioxidant elements also. Spinach is rich in vitamin C, E, manganese and beta-carotene along with zinc and antioxidant selenium. Considering spinach a fusion of all these nutrients, it can ward off several health issues which may unearth due to oxidative stress. Peptides are tiny parts of protein, and it has been established through clinical research that many peptides in spinach actually help reduce the blood pressure by eliminating an enzyme termed as angiotensin I-converting enzyme.
Spinach helps in bone build-up : The vitamin K found in spinach is necessary for bone strength. Vitamin K1 inhibits excessive formation of osteoclasts, the cells responsible for weakening of bones. In addition, the friendly bacteria found in our intestines changes vitamin K1 to vitamin K2, which generates osteocalcin, the prominent non-collagen protein found in bone. Osteocalcin produces calcium molecules within the bones. Spinach is also a rich supply of some other bone-promoting nutrients like magnesium and calcium.
Good Eyesight – Great Health Benefits of Spinach : It is a great source of lutein, beta carotene and xanthene, which are important for perfect vision. Cooked spinach is good source of beta carotene. Good supply of beta carotene can inhibit vitamin A deficiency and other related diseases like itching eyes, dry eyes and eye ulcers etc.
Beneficial for Age-related Macula Degeneration (AMD) : Retinitis pigmentosa is liable for eye blindness, which is due to decline of lutein and xanthenes- forming the central part of the retina. It has been proved through research by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, that intake of spinach can lead to reinforcement of the two elements and inhibit AMD effectively.
Strengthens Muscles : Spinach is equipped with C0-Q10, which is considered to be a great anti-oxidant and is important in consolidating muscles particularly heart muscle which supplies blood to each part of the body. If the findings of Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing are to be believed, C0-Q10 can ward off and treat several cardiovascular disorders like heat failure, hyperlipidemia, coronary heart ailments and hypertension etc.
Protects from Atherosclerosis and Heart Attack : Solidification of arteries is the cause of atherosclerosis. A pigment found in spinach – lutein – has been discovered to cut down the generation of atherosclerosis, heart stroke and attack also. This is because of the health benefits of spinach which is equipped with proteins that reduces the cholesterol and other fat repositories in the blood vessels.
Neurological Benefits : Several components of spinach for instance, potassium, antioxidants and folate are great in offering neurological advantages. As per the neurology, folate can cut down the risk of development of Alzheimer's disease and it can also be treated by spinach.
Anti-Ulcerative Effect : It is also proved and accepted that spinach and a few other vegetables are capable enough to reduce the risk of developing gastric ulcers by protecting the mucous membrane found in stomach.
Protects Skin : Health benefits of spinach also include various phytonutrients and pigments which combat with UV rays of sun from causing any damage to the skin. Spinach not only protects but it is also helpful in repairing the damaged genes to a considerable extent and thus prevents the body from any kind of skin cancer due to exposure to sun rays.
Beneficial for Foetus Development : Folate which is available in spinach is necessary for the growth of foetus and right development of nervous system. Lack of this nutrient may lead to defects like spina bifida or cleft palate. Because of this reason expected mothers are advised to consume food rich in vitamin A like spinach in great quantity. Vitamin A is also needed in the development of lung of foetus.
Spinach Improves Brain Function, Protects Against Aging : This dark green colored leaf spinach can inhibit the situation of premature aging of your brain which can adversely affect your mental potential. Spinach prevents the adverse effects of oxidation that can lead your brain to age prematurely. Those people who are not consuming sufficient quantity of green leafy vegetables, experience rapid loss of accurate brain functioning. Always remember – the darker (greener) the leaf, the better your health.
How to Select and Store Spinach
Choose vibrant and fresh bright dark color green leaves of spinach and stems without any yellow sign of graying. The leaves must be tender and fresh and it should not be bruised or wilted.
Awesome Creamed Spinach Recipe !
It is suggested not to wash spinach before keeping it in refrigerator as moisture may spoil it. Keep it in a cool and dry plastic bag and wrap it tightly. It can be stored fresh for as many as 5 days. Don’t store cooked spinach it cannot remain edible for long time.
Precautions while Using Spinach
Spinach is rich in oxalic acid, an element if fused with calcium and iron may lead to weaken the capacity of absorbion of these necessary nutrients. A common side effect of consuming spinach could be feeling slimy or gritty teeth. This situation is harmless and can be removed by brushing the teeth. You may experience bloating, gas or camping if you eat excess amount of spinach.
Safe Spinach Dosage Per Day
There is lack of any clinical evidence to establish the right therapeutic dosage recommended for spinach. The dose of spinach should be based on various factors like age, health and medical conditions of the user. Ensure that you follow directions mentioned on the product labels and take advice of your physician.
Eating green leafy vegetables should be a part of your regular diet and Spinach is one of the best among all! Spinach health benefits are numerous and it is great source of healthy nutrients essential for the overall health of your body. So, include spinach in your daily routine and enjoy the health benefits of spinach to the optimum.