Spinach or “Palak” is a dark green leafy vegetable which is native to Southwestern and Central Asia. It is slightly bitter in taste but has infinite benefits. It comes into the category of the healthiest plant. When you talk about a balanced diet or superfood, spinach is the first thing that comes into our mind.
It may be possible because we all are grown up by seeing Popeye the sailor man, getting its strength from spinach. If he can, we too can. Spinach is a green vegetable full of nutrients which can benefit our skin, hair, body, immunity, bones, etc.
We all are well aware of this fact that how important green vegetables like spinach are for our body but have you ever wondered what is it in them that makes them so nutritional?
No problem, we have the solution right here:
SPINACH (1 cup)
- Total Fat: 0.1 g
- · Calories: 7
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium (Na): 24 mg
- Potassium (K): 167 mg
- Total carbs: 1.1 g
- Sugar: 0.1 g
- Protein: 0.9 g
- Dietary fibre: 13 gv
- Vitamin A: 56 %
- Calcium (Ca): 3 %
- Vitamin C: 14 %
- Iron (Fe): 4 %
- Magnesium (Mg): 6 %
We would love to elaborate a few for you-
It is said that a cup of spinach contains 250 mg of calcium that keeps our bones healthy along with teeth. It is also suggested to take Vitamin C rich foods along with spinach to get the best out of it.
Spinach is a rich source of magnesium which can help you-
- To increase metabolism
- Regulate heart rhythm
- Maintain blood pressure
To improve iron absorption, which is very beneficial in keeping our body energetic and effective, you can add some citrus fruits with it.
Spinach is a rich source of Vitamin A and a cup of cooked spinach can provide more vitamin than what is recommended for adult men and women.
1 cup of spinach has approx. 5 oz. of water. This is very beneficial for our skin cells as they are also made up of water. So, consuming plenty of spinach would have amazing effects on our skin.
Not only in cooked spinach but also spinach is used raw in delicious salads and sandwiches. You can also add a handful in your favourite smoothie!
Though this superfood has infinite advantages and benefits, we are stating here a few of them.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF SPINACH
Flavonoids is a phytonutrient with anti-cancer properties and spinach is full of flavonoids. Its work is to slow down the cell division in skin cancer cells. Being a high source of zeaxanthin and carotenoids, It is also observed that eating spinach provides a shield against the occurrence of prostrates cancer, mouth cancer and stomach cancer as it removes the free radicles from your body. As free radicles make your body more likely to get affected with cancer, spinach can prevent it. Spinach is a member of the cruciferous family. It is said that the member of this family also releases indoles, which can fight inflammation and inactivate carcinogens.
2. Aids in Weight loss:
Spinach may suppress hunger, it is shown by many studies. It also is seen that woman eating spinach decreased their urge of eating sweets by 95%. As spinach is low in calories, high in fibre content which will ultimately help in good digestion and preventing constipation. It will also curb overeating by making you feel full. We can now imagine the benefits of spinach for weight loss. You can add spinach to your everyday diet and it will help you in multiple ways.
3. Benefits of spinach for eyes:
Spinach is rich in antioxidants Zeaxanthin and lutein which protects our eyes from cataract and providing functions like light filtering. It is also rich in Vitamin A which is essential for normal eyesight and health of mucus membranes.
4. Lowers blood pressure levels:
By inhibiting the angiotensin 1- converting enzyme, peptides and nitrates in spinach are very useful in lowering blood pressure. Spinach has various other benefits like- In the treatment of hypertension, Reduction in heart diseases, Widen blood vessels and promotes blood flow.
5. Boosts Immunity:
Vitamin A in spinach strengthens our body by protecting respiratory, urinary, mucous and intestinal tracts along with being a component of White blood cells to fight infection. A cup of spinach a day keeps you fit and healthy all day long.
6. Prevents Anaemia:
As spinach is a rich source of Iron, it is very beneficial in preventing anaemia especially for growing children and menstruating woman. It is good in comparison to other sources of Iron as it contains a lot fewer-calories. Iron is a component of haemoglobin and any deficiency in its quantity will lead to reduced supply of oxygen to the cells of our body.
7. benefits of spinach on the brain:
It is believed that spinach has anti-stress effects also, due to its ability to lower corticosterone’s level. It is rich in zinc and Magnesium which enables our body to relax and helps you to sleep better at night. Vitamin K also performs functions like slowing down cognitive decline and promoting brain health by facilitating the formation of sphingolipids (fat that makes myelin sheath of nerves). Spinach helps in the smooth functioning of your brain and enable you to think intelligently, especially during old age.
8. Healthy bones:
Vitamin K in spinach helps in maintaining bone health by promoting the synthesis of osteocalcin (the protein that maintains density and strength of bones). Spinach is rich in calcium also and hence prevent osteoporosis. Low calcium intake results in rapid bone loss and high fracture rates. Spinach also helps in the building of muscle tissues and support collagen growth.
9. Prevention of heart attack:
Heart attack is mainly caused because of the hardening of artery walls due to excessive fat deposition. In order to prevent this, you need to eat spinach that will not let that happen and this will ultimately reduce the risk of strokes and atherosclerosis.
10. Anti-inflammatory properties:
Inflammation is mainly regulated by neoxanthin and violaxanthin, which are present in this superfood. Hence it is used to prevent migraine, asthma, headaches, osteoporosis, etc.
11. Aid diabetes treatment:
Spinach is rich in nitrates which helps in preventing insulin resistance. Nitrates also help in relieving inflammation which is one of the reasons for diabetes. As spinach has low carb count compared to other starchy vegetables, it may help in lowering blood sugar level. An individual suffering from Type-2 diabetes is suggested to include spinach in their diet.
12. Benefits of spinach for skin:
Though skin is the main protecting organ of our body, sometimes it gets affected too. We all want healthy, glowing skin and green leafy vegetables are best for this and spinach is no exception. Eating spinach or spinach juice has numerous benefits like:
• Curing Acne:
Applying Spinach mask is best for clearing up acne. For this, you have to blend spinach with little water and apply it for 20 min. This will rejuvenate your skin by removing oil, dirt, etc. To get clear skin, you can also drink spinach juice by blending it with tomatoes, cucumber, carrot, red pepper, celery, cabbage and green onion.
• Protection from the sun:
As spinach is rich in vitamin B and it protects you from harmful UV radiation and skin cancer.
• Anti-ageing benefits:
We know that free-radicles damage our skin and spinach is full of antioxidants that destroy free-radicles. Hence, spinach helps in maintaining the youth of your skin.
• Skin repair:
It is a universal fact that Vitamin A improves skin tone and Vitamin C plays a major role in repairing skin cells. So many nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants present in spinach helps in making your skin look radiant.
13. Benefits of spinach for hair:
• Promotes hair growth: For healthy hair growth, Vitamins B, C, E, Iron, potassium, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, etc are very useful and all of them are present in a rich amount in Spinach and Hence this leafy vegetable promotes hair growth.
•Fights hair fall:
We experience hair loss when Iron in our body lowers down. Spinach on the other hand is rich in Iron and folate, which helps in supplying oxygen to hair follicles and hence help in fighting hair fall.
SPINACH IN THE FORM OF JUICE OR SMOOTHIES
Spinach can also be consumed in a much more likeable way, yes it can also be consumed as juices or smoothies, and can also be mixed with other supplements to enhance the overall health benefits of raw spinach juice.
Let us throw some light on such combinations:
• Spinach and kale smoothie-
For this all you need is some fresh spinach, almond milk, little quantity of peanut butter, a handful of chia seeds if available and few fresh leaves of kale along with a banana.
Health benefits of spinach and kale smoothie- it contains anti-cancerous properties and can be effective against gastric issues.
•Spinach and carrot juice
For this, you will require, fresh leaves of spinach along with few leaves of celery and freshly cut pieces of carrot. Add some water and blend it all together. In the end, you can even add lime as per your taste to make this drink even more desirable.
Health benefits of spinach and carrot juice- it is beneficial for our vision along due to the combination of various vitamins and minerals found in both spinach as well as carrot.
• Spinach and orange juice
For this you will be needing some fresh leaves of baby spinach along with the sliced banana. Then pour some fresh citrus juice from oranges and add them in a blender. Mix them all together with some or few ice cubes as per taste and enjoy this healthy drink.
Health benefits of spinach and orange juice-
it acts as a rich source of vitamin C because both the parent ingredients that is spinach along with orange have an abundance of vitamin C in them and cure several health-related issues.
• Spinach and celery juice
For this you require some fresh leaves of spinach along with some few leaves of celery. But the together in a blender along with water and add a few drops of lemon in it and you are all set to go.
Health benefits of spinach and celery juice-
This combination provides you with a new flavour of spinach along with the goodness of celery. And both of them together can give you a different height of wellness.
FAQs (Frequently asked questions)
Q: 1. Raw or cooked spinach, which one should be preferred?
Ans. Spinach is a rich source of iron and can be consumed in both forms. Though by cooking we boost up the antioxidant content present in it, the slight difference in the two occurs during the process of steaming in case of cooked spinach.
Along with iron content, raw spinach also contains oxalic acid (oxalate), which can bind with several minerals and can hinder their process of absorption, as it does in the case of calcium and about 75% of kidney stones are made of calcium oxalate.
Thus, the benefits of eating raw spinach are less than the health benefits of cooked spinach. it is advised to consume spinach in cooked form, it not only reduces the oxalate content by 53% but also boosts up the antioxidant content in it, which in return aids for better health.
Q: 2. Effects of spinach on skin whitening?
Ans. Suffering from skin-related disorders, eating spinach might be the tonic You are looking for. Spinach contains beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant and helps to repair the damaged cells present in the skin and also opposes the growth of cancerous cells.
Along with antioxidant properties, spinach is a food rich in vitamins too and vitamins such as Vitamin k can be an aid for dry skin, acne problems, stretch marks and proliferation of dead cells.
All these properties together won’t be enough to make a sudden transformation of your skin, but these factors can surely provide a healthy, glowing, better looking and most importantly problem-free skin for a long time.
Q: 3. What are the benefits of red spinach?
Ans. Red spinach, as the name suggests is heavily loaded with iron content, apart from that it has various health-related benefits, some of them are listed below:
- Rich in vitamin c, Natural antioxidants.
- Provide aid for better digestion- This property is due to the presence of an increased level of dietary fibres in them which can improve our digestion.
- Boosting up your immune system – Due to the presence of all the minerals and vitamins at one place, it can definitely boost up our immune system.
- As an antidote- A smooth paste of red spinach can act as an effective antidote for some snake bites.
- For thick hairs, apply the paste of red spinach. Effective results can be observed after regular use.
- Enhanced vision- This property is due to the abundance of vitamin c and iron present in red spinach, it can strengthen our optic nerve which aids for a better vision.
- Resolving kidney-Related disorders– Red spinach helps to keep the organs clean, thus keeping ourselves away from kidney-related disorders.
- Regulating blood pressure levels-Red spinach also helps to control BP as spinach contains a high amount of potassium with traces of sodium thus making it suitable for hypertension patients.
- Can narrow down dark circles.
- RSpinach for pregnancy-R It is observed that by eating red spinach regularly, it can reduce the risk of iron deficiency in mothers effectively. Thus contributing to benefits of eating spinach during pregnancy.
I am sure after reading about the benefits and nutritional value of spinach, you can’t resist yourself from adding it in your day to day life as it not only boosts immunity, makes your skin and hair healthy but also helps in preventing cancer and many other chronic and acute diseases. Spinach should be consumed by everyone from a child to elderly on regular basis, as it is full of nutrients, vitamins and anti-oxidants that will keep you energised all day long.
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