Health Benefits of Spinach
Health benefits of spinach include good eyesight, blood pressure, strengthens muscles, prevention of age-related macula degeneration (AMD), cataract, atherosclerosis and heart attack, neurological benefits, bone mineralization, anti-ulcerative, anti-cancerous property, skin protection, foetus development, protein rich for infant’s proper growth etc.
Spinach is a green vegetable that is cheap and affordable by all. It is a rich source of minerals, vitamins, pigments and phytonutrients. All these together make spinach very beneficial to a number of vital processes especially for our eyes, nervous system, cardiovascular disorders, skin, bones, anti-cancerous, foetus and infants. Keeping in view the vast range of benefits from the vegetable, it is advisable to consume spinach regularly.
Nutritional value of spinach
The various health benefits of spinach are due to presence of minerals, vitamins, pigments and phytonutrient and minerals like minerals like potassium, manganese, zinc, magnesium, iron and calcium. Spinach is a green vegetable which is wide in distribution. It can be grown as a back yard crop or bought from market at affordable rates. It is a source of vitamins like folate, niacin, vitamin A, B6, C and traces of rest of the vitamins. Other important elements, including thiamine and riboflavin, that are used in various reactions in our body are also found in spinach. Spinach is rich in pigments like beta carotene, lutein and xanthene and chlorophyllin etc. The best part is that it has low fat content and less amount of fatty content. Spinach offers a wide range of benefits to most of our physiological processes, whether taken raw or cooked.
Health benefits of spinach
Spinach has many important roles to play in maintaining a healthy body and various health benefits of spinach include:
Good Eyesight: Spinach is a rich source of beta carotene, lutein and xanthene, all of which are beneficial for eyesight. Beta carotene is supplied to the eyes by cooked spinach. It can prevent one from vitamin A deficiency disease, itching eyes, eye ulcers and dry eyes.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): AMD or Retinitis pigmentosa is responsible for causing blindness. It is due to the degeneration of lutein and xanthene which form central part of the retina. According to research conducted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, consumption of spinach can result in regaining of the two pigments and preventing AMD effectively.
Maintains blood Pressure: Spinach has high content of potassium and low content of sodium. This composition of minerals is very beneficial for high blood pressure patients as potassium lowers and sodium raises the blood pressure. Folate present in spinach contributes in reducing hypertension and relaxes blood vessels, maintaining proper blood flow.
Strengthens muscles: A component of spinach, factor C0-Q10 which is an anti-oxidant, plays important role in strengthening muscles especially heart muscle which continuously pumps blood to all parts of the body. As per the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, C0-Q10 can be used to prevent and treat many cardiovascular diseases like hyperlipidemia, heart failure, hypertension and coronary heart diseases.
Reduced risk of cataract: Lutein and zeaxanthin present in spinach act as strong antioxidants thus preventing the eyes from harsh effects of UV rays that lead to cataract.
Prevents atherosclerosis and strokes: Atherosclerosis is caused due to hardening of arteries. A pigment named lutein found in spinach has been shown to reduce the occurrence atherosclerosis, heart attack as well as stroke. This is due to the fact that spinach proteins tend to reduce the cholesterol and other fat deposits in the blood vessels.
Neurological benefits: Several components of spinach like potassium, folate, and various antioxidants are known to provide neurological benefits. According to Neurology, folate which reduces due to occurrence of Alzheimer's disease can be revived by spinach.
Bone mineralization: Spinach is a good source of Viatmin K, which functions in retaining calcium in the bone matrix thereby leading to bone mineralization. Apart from this, other minerals like manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus also help in building up of strong bones. This in turn can prevent an individual from osteoporosis of bones.
Anti-ulcerative: It has been found that spinach and some other vegetables have the ability to protect the mucous membrane of stomach thereby decreasing the occurrence of gastric ulcers.
Anti-cancer properties: Spinach made up of various important constituents has been found to be promising in various kinds of cancer. These include bladder, prostate, liver and lung cancer. Different constituents in spinach like folate, tocopherol, chlorophyllin act via different mechanisms to treat and protect patients suffering from cancer.
Skin protection: Different phytonutrients and pigments have been shown to protect the skin from harmful rays of sun including the UV rays. These not only protect but also repair the damaged genes to some extent thereby preventing skin cancer in long run.
Foetus development: Folate found in spinach is needed by the growing foetus for proper development of new nervous system. Defects like cleft palate or spina bifida may occur due to deficiency of folate. Vitamin A offered by spinach is advised to be consumed in more quantities by the mother. Vitamin A is required in lung development of foetus as well as during breast feeding.
Protein source for infant’s growth: ‘Popeye’, the sailor man is known for his obsession for spinach. The cartoon was deliberately shown to eat spinach and get strong. Infants are advised to be fed with spinach which is a rich in protein, vitamins minerals and phytonutrients. These will result in proportionate development in there growing stages.