HomeBlogSuperfoods: Spinach

Superfoods: Spinach

Popeye’s Favourite Can Be Yours Too!

For many of us Spinach is Popeye’s favourite energy food. He gobbles down a can of spinach when he needs instant boost to give him muscles and super strength. Popeye has a point though. The benefits of spinach are many. Leafy greens like spinach provide more nutrients than any other food, when compared calorie for calorie. Here are some of this vegetable’s plus points:

Heart healthy

Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C (the former notably through its concentration of beta-carotene) – antioxidants that help reduce free radical amounts in the body. These antioxidants work to keep cholesterol from oxidising (oxidised cholesterol easily sticks to the walls of blood vessels). Spinach also contains choline and inositol, the substances that help to prevent atherosclerosis or thickening and hardening of arteries

Combats prostate cancer

A carotenoid called neoxanthin found in spinach fights human prostate cancer two different ways. Neoxanthin, not only induces prostate cancer cells to self-destruct, but is converted in the intestines into additional compounds, called neochromes, which put prostate cancer cells into a state of stasis, thus preventing their replication

Iron for energy

Menstruating women who are more at risk for anemia, growing children and adolescents can rely on cooked spinach for source of iron. Compared to red meat, a well-known source of iron, spinach provides iron for a lot less calories and is totally cholesterol and fat-free. Iron, being a component of hemoglobin, is crucial in supplying oxygen to all body cells

Protect against skin cancer

Spinach is a good source of folic acid, vitamins A, C and E, the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, and other components which may help boost the skin’s natural defense against damage caused by UV rays

Reduce migraine attacks

Spinach is a rich source of magnesium and riboflavin, two nutrients that may help to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks

Regain mental function

Mental performance normally declines with age, but studies suggest that eating just 3 servings of green leafy, yellow and cruciferous vegetables like spinach each day could slow the age-related decline in brain function by 40%

High nutrient-dense food

This leafy green is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6. It’s also a very good source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, dietary fiber, copper, selenium, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids

Better vision

Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin A that is so critical for healthy vision, particularly night vision. Besides this, its high content of lutein, a carotenoid, protects against eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and cataract, most common among older folks

Firms the bones

A cup of fresh spinach leaves provides almost 200% of the Daily Value of vitamin K. Vitamin K1 helps prevent excessive activation of osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone. A rich source of calcium and other minerals like manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus – all important nutrients to build strong bones

Prevent diabetes complications

The magnesium contained in spinach helps to prevent complications that occur following diabetes. Regular consumption of spinach stabilises your blood sugar and prevents it from fluctuating too much

Promotes gastrointestinal health

The high vitamin C and beta-carotene found in spinach help protect the colon cells from the free radicals’ ravaging effects. On top of that folate found in spinach can prevent DNA damage and mutation in colon cells, even when they are exposed to cancer-causing chemicals

Reduces blood pressure

Spinach is rich in potassium and low in sodium. The balanced quantities of these minerals are highly beneficial for high blood pressure patients as potassium lowers and sodium raises the blood pressure. Spinach also contains folate, which is good for a healthy cardiovascular system, as well as magnesium, a mineral that helps to lower high blood pressure

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

Leave a comment