Health Benefits of Spinach
Latest research from a team of international researchers suggests that a chemical extract from spinach plants can be used to boost the performance of competitive athletes.
Popeye knew to eat his spinach and you should, too, for it is absolutely laden with life-enhancing and life-saving nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, beta-carotene, carotenoids, fibre, flavonoids, folate, glycoglycerolipids, iron, lutein, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, protein, selenium, thiamin, zeaxanthin and zinc.
This delicate and delicious leafy green has a wealth of exceptional health benefits including but not limited to the prevention and treatment of the following:
Arthritis Vitamin C fights against the free radicals that often cause inflammation in those suffering from osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Glycoglycerolipids have anti-inflammatory capabilities.
Asthma Beta-carotene can reduce your risk of developing asthma. Vitamin C can reduce wheezing.
Bone Health / Teeth health Vitamin C is a must-have for healthy gums. Potassium preserves calcium in the bones and increases their density, strength and longevity.
Cancer prevention The chlorophyll in spinach can block carcinogens from wrecking havoc on the body. Carotenoids are particularly effective when it comes to aggressive prostate cancer. Flavonoids have been shown to slow down cell division in stomach cancer cells and in some cases, breast and skin cancer cells.
Depression Beta-carotene can lessen the potency of depression and its symptoms.
Digestive health Proper consumption of this leafy green can protect the mucus lining in the stomach and prevent ulcers. Its wealth of fibre flushes out the body and puts the colon in less contact with harmful cancer-causing toxins. Eating spinach can ease constipation.
Eye health Vitamin A maintains healthy eye tissue, promotes higher visual acuity and protects the eyes against cataracts. Lutein and zeaxanthin are eye-nourishing anti-oxidants, which strengthen the retina and macular regions of the eyes and prevent age-related macular degeneration.
Heart health Vitamin C can fight off atherosclerosis. Vitamin K ensures proper blood coagulation. Potassium decreases the effects of sodium on the body and can thus lower blood pressure. Magnesium also normalizes blood pressure. Special proteins present in spinach called peptides also lower blood pressure.
Immune system health Vitamin A, Vitamin C and carotenoids all boost your immune system and can stave or reduce the symptoms off a slew of diseases ranging from the common cold to the flu to HIV.
Pregnancy Folate is strongly recommended by obstetricians for expectant mothers in order to prevent neural tube birth defects.
Anti-oxidant properties Anti-oxidants Vitamin A, C and E, as well as beta-carotene, all combat against cell-damaging free radicals, prevent the signs of premature aging and result in more elastic skin, a glowing complexion, shiny hair and strong, resilient nails.
Skin health Eating spinach can actually relieve itchy and dry skin.
Nutritional intake Spinach has only a scant 27 calories per 250 ml serving. In that same portion, you will ingest a fair amount of protein and fibre, both of which will keep you feeling full, energetic and strong throughout your day.
Always choose spinach leaves that are bright green in color, as they tend to have more nutrients. Something surprising about spinach is that unlike most other veggies, cooking spinach actually increases its health benefits! When spinach is raw, the body cannot completely break down the nutrients for proper use.
A scrumptious side dish that will have you swilling your tongue around the bowl is this healthy creamed goats cheese spinach. Add a patty of butter to a saucepan on medium to medium-high heat. Let melt, add your bunch of washed spinach . Add 100 ml of buttermilk, 100 mls of goats cheese and a healthy pinch of nutmeg .
Serve hot in a pretty bowl with a smattering of freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese and enjoy!
Simply steam it lightly, sprinkle sea salt, toasted pumpkin and sesame seeds & serve.
Blend the steamed leaves in with your favourite pesto, a great way to extend it, lessen calories without taste, serve as a dip, dressing or stir through option.
Lightly poach in coconut milk add a little curry paste for a light flavour.
Simply roast with your favourite nuts, baby veggies and drizzle with some healthy cold pressed oil, tahini paste and lemon juice
In medieval times, artists extracted the green pigment from spinach to use as paint