It may safely be said that the leafy green spinach provides more nutrients than most other foods. Pretty soon you will know why Popeye often indulged in a big gulp of spinach before attempting anything heroic!
Green, leafy vegetables like spinach are filled with some of the most beneficial nutrients that the body needs. That is why doctors recommends the intake of such foods.
Health benefits of Spinach
Spinach truly is a powerhouse of nutrients. It contains Vitamins K, A, C, B1, B2, B3 and E. Besides these, it contains iron, magnesium, protein, folate, manganese, calcium, potassium, tryptophan, phosphorous, zinc selenium and Omega 3 fatty acids. Add to this the fact that spinach is rich in dietary fiber and there is no denying the fact that this is one food that must find a place on your plate.
Spinach contains flavonoids that help to protect the body from skin cancer and colon cancer. Spinach is rich in carotenoids that combat prostrate cancer. Women too have much to benefit by eating this vegetable since it can help prevent ovarian cancer.
Spinach is rich in Vitamin K. A cup of fresh leaves provides almost 200% of the body’s daily requirement. You can also get a lot of Vitamin A and Vitamin C by eating this vegetable. One cup of spinach leaves provides 294% of the daily value for Vitamin A and 29.4% for Vitamin C. These are powerful anti-oxidants that destroy free radicals. In addition, Vitamin C has water-soluble properties while the beta-carotene in Vitamin A has the ability to act as a fat-soluble antioxidant. Thus, these antioxidants prevent the build up of cholesterol in the arteries, thus enhancing cardiovascular health.
A cup of spinach leaves provides about 65% of the daily value for folate and 39% for magnesium. The high levels of folate in spinach act to diminish the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Magnesium too lowers blood pressure levels and defends the body from heart attacks.
The wealth of nutrients in spinach curbs inflammation in the body. Thus, it is effective in alleviating the symptoms of asthma, osteoporosis and various kinds of arthritis. It is believed that the riboflavin in spinach could reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.
Spinach has a beneficial effect on the brain. It slows down memory loss and prevents the age related loss of cognitive skills.
Spinach contains lutein which makes it one of the best defenses against age-related macular deterioration. This component protects the eye from cataracts.
Cooked spinach brims with iron. By adding a dash of lime juice to cooked spinach, it is possible to maximize the absorption of iron into the body. Thus, spinach is an excellent source of iron for people suffering from anemia and menstruating women.
How to eat
Spinach tastes better after it is boiled for a minute. Steamed spinach may be added to lasagna. You can create a tasty healthy salad by tossing steamed spinach with chopped garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.
NOTE: Taking in too much spinach could lead to stomach discomfort.
Although spinach cannot make you super-strong within moments of eating – like it did Popeye – it is definitely one of the best power foods available to us. That is why it is beneficial to add spinach to you meal on a regular basis.