Spinach or Spinacia oleracea, is one of the most popular green, leafy vegetables because it is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and pigments. Spinach is a member of the Amaranthaceae family. It is advisable to eat spinach on a daily basis because of its range of benefits.
There are various ways to prepare spinach. You can buy it fresh or canned, and then eat it raw or cooked. It is delicious on its own or added in other dishes.
Health Benefits of Spinach:
1. Asthma Prevention
In a study of 433 children with asthma whose age ranges from 6-18 years, and 537 children without, reported that the risks for developing asthma are lower in individuals who have a high intake of certain nutrients.
One of these known nutrients is beta-carotene. Spinach is a great source of beta-carotene.
2. Bone Health
Low intake of vitamin K have been associated with a higher risk of bone fracture.
Adequate vitamin K consumption is essential for good health, because it improves calcium absorption, acts as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, and may reduce the amount of calcium that leaves your body in urine.
3. Cancer Prevention
Spinach contains two components, SQDG and MGDG, which may help slow down cancer growth.
Various human studies have associated spinach consumption to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Also, consuming spinach may help prevent breast cancer.
Another animal study supports this claim. Its findings reported that spinach might help in suppressing cancer formation.
Also, spinach contains high amounts of antioxidants, which may also help in cancer prevention.
4. Diabetes Management
Spinach contains an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid, which has been reported to lower glucose levels, prevent oxidative stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes and increase insulin sensitivity.
Studies on alpha-lipoic acid have also reported autonomic neuropathy in diabetics and decreases in peripheral neuropathy.
But, most studies have used intravenous alpha-lipoic acid, and it is uncertain whether oral supplementation would get the same benefits.
5. Eye Health
Helen M. Rasmussen, a researcher from Cambridge University, in her 2013 report that was published in the Clinical Interventions in Aging revealed that spinach is a rich source of beta-carotene, xanthene and lutein, all of which are beneficial for your eyesight.
Beta-carotene, in cooked spinach, can help in boosting eye health. Also, it can prevent itching eyes, vitamin A deficiencies, dry eyes and eye ulcers. Also, the anti-inflammatory properties of these greens can reduce the irritation or puffiness in the eyes.
6. Hemophilia Treatment
Vitamin K-rich spinach helps in the blood clotting by producing prothrombin, thereby treating hemophilia. It keeps the liver functioning by stimulating the production of glycogen and is great for controlling excessive bleeding.
7. Lowering Blood Pressure
Spinach has a low sodium content and very high potassium content. This composition of minerals is very beneficial for high blood pressure patients as potassium lowers and sodium raises the blood pressure.
Also, folate which is present in spinach relaxes blood vessels, while contributing to the reduction of hypertension and maintaining proper blood flow.
By relaxing the tension of arteries, vessels and reducing blood pressure, you can reduce stress on the cardiovascular system, thereby increasing oxygenation to the body’s organ systems for optimal functionality.
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