One can say that spinach definitely deserves the ‘superfood’ title after taking a look at its impressive nutritional content. Armed with a variety of vitamins and minerals, here are some of the health benefits the vegetable can offer.
Better energy levels
Are you a constant victim to the dreadful afternoon slump? Try adding a bit of green to your lunch and see if it helps. Just one cup of cooked spinach can offer 157 milligrams of magnesium, which is nearly 40 percent of your recommended daily intake.
This mineral is needed by our bodies for the energy process according to Valerie Goldstein, M.S., R.D., director of nutrition at the Center for Balanced Health.
Cooking the spinach can also improve the absorption of iron, another nutrient which can improve energy levels as it helps with transporting oxygen via the red blood cells.
Including more of this leafy vegetable on your plate may help reduce your risk of age-related vision problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Spinach is considered to be one of the best natural food sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which have important antioxidant functions.
As noted by the Scripps Research Institute, there have been studies where the consumption of three servings of spinach per week was linked to a 43 percent lower risk of developing macular degeneration.
Healthier skin and hair
“Spinach is high in vitamin A, a nutrient required for sebum production to keep hair moisturised,” said Megan Ware, a registered dietitian nutritionist based in Orlando, Florida. “Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair.”
And if that was not enough, the vegetable also offers a good dose of vitamin C, a nutrient which can provide numerous beauty benefits such as stronger hair, nail growth, fewer wrinkles, reduced skin dryness, and more.
Boost bone density
Spinach is a good source of calcium and vitamin K – two nutrients that play important roles in bone health. They can increase bone density and reduce the risk of fractures, making them valuable components in an osteoporosis diet.
However, keep in mind that spinach also contains oxalic acid, which might reduce how much of these nutrients are absorbed by your body. So, rather than depending solely on spinach, make sure to combine it with soya beans, dairy products, fortified foods, and other sources.
Reduced risk of cancer
Although more research is needed to know the extent of this benefit, the presence of antioxidants is believed to have protective effects against the risk of cancer. The likes of beta-carotene and vitamin C help block free radicals and cancer-causing substances before they can do damage.
More specifically, consuming spinach could help protect against cancer of the mouth, oesophagus, and stomach, WebMD suggests. Furthermore, the foliate and fibre content in this vegetable could also have beneficial effects, researchers say.
Source: Medical Daily