10 Amazing health benefits of spinach
Spinach is an edible flowering plant native to central and western Asia; it is an amazing, nutrient rich vegetable that can supply you with a whole range of vitamins and minerals in concentrations far higher than you would find in many other vegetables. While it won’t give you instant muscles in the way that it did for Popeye in the cartoons, it will supply you with iron, niacin, zinc, protein, folate, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, calcium and vitamins A, B6, C, E and K. You can eat spinach in salads, you can make green smoothies with it, and you can eat it as a vegetable, so there are more than enough ways that you can add spinach to your diet. If you do eat more of this vibrant-looking, green plant, here are ten of the amazing health benefits of spinach that you will gain.
1. It boosts your muscles
The Popeye cartoons weren’t totally wrong about spinach, because it does provide a boost to your muscles. In a study that was published in a journal called Cell Metabolism, researchers found that some of the nitrates in spinach boost the energy to such a degree that muscles needed less oxygen to power the muscles.
2. It reduces inflammation
Another one of fabulous health benefits of spinach is that it contains some powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients, including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and other flavonoids and carotenoids that fight inflammation in the body. This can help to protect you against cancer and it can also ease the pain of conditions, such as arthritis.
3. It protects your eyes
Next one of great health benefits of spinach is that it protects your eyes. Spinach contains powerful phytochemicals, one of which is called lutein, which helps to protect the eyes from age related macular degeneration. It is also a good source of beta-carotene that is known to play a very important role in protecting against the development of cataracts in the eyes.
4. It slows the ageing of your skin
Health benefits of spinach also include anti-ageing. The Vitamin A that is found in spinach is used by the body to maintain the moisture levels in your skin. This helps to keep your skin healthy, it combats skin conditions, such as acne and psoriasis, and it also helps to prevent wrinkles forming by keeping the skin elastic and soft.
5. It is good for your heart
Research has suggested that eating spinach can help to protect you against heart disease and other cardiovascular problems too. Spinach contains antioxidants, which fight the damage that can be caused by free radicals, and it also contains folic acid, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are also good for the heart. The combination of these ingredients works to keep the blood flowing freely and avoid the build-up of cholesterol in the arteries.
6. It helps prevent cancer
Another one of fabulous health benefits of spinach is that it contains many of the ingredients that are nature’s own way of protecting us against cancer, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, carotenoids and antioxidants. It also contains a flavonoid, called kaempferol. In a study, which was published in the Journal of Cancer, researchers suggested that a diet that was rich in kaempferol could decrease the risk of developing ovarian cancer by as much as 40%.
7. It is a great source of iron
Spinach is packed full of iron, which is a vital component of the haemoglobin in the blood that carries the oxygen around your body. A lack of iron in the diet can cause fatigue and affect the proper functioning of many parts of the body, including the brain and the immune system. We also need iron to maintain the health of cells in the body and, a lack of iron, or anaemia, can also affect the health of the hair, skin and nails.
8. It helps to detox the body
Body detox is another one of impressive health benefits of spinach. The chlorophyll in spinach, which is what gives spinach leaves their dark green colour, helps your colon and your liver remove toxins from your body and it also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. A green smoothie a day, made with spinach, will help flush out all the unnatural toxins from your body that you get from pollution in the air and from additives and pesticides that are in our food.
9. It keeps your mind sharp
Numerous studies have also proven that a diet that is high in green leafy vegetables, like spinach, can also keep the brain healthy and it may slow the decline in brain functions as we get older. This could help to combat diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. This is believed to be another important role that antioxidants, like those found in spinach, have to play in protecting our bodies from disease.
10. It helps to control blood sugar levels
People who suffer from diabetes also can enjoy fabulous health benefits of spinach, because of its very low glycaemic index. Spinach is also very high in fibre, so it helps to stabilise the blood sugar levels in the body and it improves the blood flow.
Now, let us share with you amazingly delicious green smoothie recipe with fresh spinach:
- 250 gr of fresh spinach
- 2 frozen bananas
- 2 cups of watermelon sliced (or 1,5 cups of water if you don’t have watermelon at hand)
- 1 tablespoon of honey (or 4 dates)
Blend well all the ingredients and enjoy tasty and vitamin-rich green smoothie!
Do you know other health benefits of spinach?
Stay happy and healthy!