8 Health benefits of spinach
Spinach is a dark leafy green crop with an impressive nutrient profile. Rich with a multitude of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, spinach is a well-known low-calorie ingredient used in many different types of diets. Spinach is also loaded with antioxidants, iron, calcium, and more that make it essential for improving the body inside and out.
- Nutrition to the body: Spinach contains minerals such as potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc, and manganese. These help the body regulate body fluids, cell functions, heart rate, and blood pressure. Spinach is particularly beneficial in treating iron deficiency (anemia) because it is rich in this micronutrient. Besides correcting anemia, iron also helps in the activity of several enzymes. 100 grams of spinach contains around 25% of the daily requirement of iron. These vitamins and minerals in spinach come at less than 50 calories a serving.
- Antioxidants: Spinach is regarded as a superfood because of its abundance of healthy antioxidants (substances that prevent damage due to free radicals in the body). Its fresh leaves are a great source of vital antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidant flavonoids such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta carotene. Vitamin C is great for the body’s immune system, helping to develop resistance against infections and fight off free radicals. 100 grams of fresh spinach has a whopping 47% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Vitamin A is also considered an antioxidant, fighting off toxins, bacteria, viruses, and any other nasty little invaders seeking to destroy your cells and cause illnesses and disease.
- Vitamin K: Because of its high levels of vitamin K and magnesium, it is considered for better bone health. Vitamin K is being recognized as one of the most essential nutrients for bone health. Vitamin K could reduce the risk of fracture and can work in tandem with vitamin D to increase your bone density and help the body’s calcium balance to benefit the bones. A stronger bone means a stronger body. Vitamin K is also needed for blood clotting.
- Reducing cancer risk: As per studies, flavonoids and apigenin in spinach reduces the risk of ovarian cancer. Researchers also found a correlation between lowered breast cancer risk and diets high in beta carotene and vitamin A, which is found commonly in spinach.
- Blood pressure and heart: Spinach has positive effects on heart health and prevents heart disease. Spinach contains both high amounts of potassium and nitrates that work to lower blood pressure to healthy levels. Eating spinach is great because it increases cardiovascular health and helps in maintaining an overall healthier lifestyle.
- Blood sugar: Spinach contains protective steroids called phytoecdysteroids. This steroid increases glucose (sugar) metabolism and helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. This is extremely beneficial for people with pre-diabetes, diabetes, or other forms of the metabolic syndrome because it minimizes the requirement for the critical metabolism-regulating hormone, which is insulin. Spinach nutrition also contains a good amount of fiber in each serving, which can help slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream to keep blood sugar levels steady. Several other specific compounds found in spinach have also been found to reduce the risk for complications that can arise as a result of diabetes.
- Vision: Spinach nutrition contains vitamin A in the form of carotenoids, which benefit eyesight by preserving the health of the retina (the light-sensitive layer in the eye), macula (an oval area near the center of the retina), and cornea (the transparent layer in the front of the eye). Spinach’s carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin are some of the primary antioxidants needed for eye health, especially with advanced age. Some research suggests that upping the intake of spinach could help reduce the risk of age-related eye disorders such as macular degeneration thanks to the presence of these important carotenoids. These carotenoids help filter out harmful light rays from entering the cornea and protect vulnerable tissues of the retinal area from oxidative stress that can result in blindness, cataracts, and other complications.
- Keeps skin glowing: Vitamins C and A found in spinach nutrition can help to fight off ultraviolet (UV) light damage that may lead to skin cancer. Frequently eating foods such as spinach that contain antioxidants can help foster new skin cell growth and support the production of collagen, one of the main building blocks of the skin that is responsible for its elasticity and youthful appearance.
What happens when you eat spinach in excess everyday?
Although it is safe for most people to eat a bowl of spinach per day, people should be careful while eating excessive spinach every day. Disadvantages of eating spinach in excess everyday:
- It may interfere with the ability of the body to absorb minerals and increase the risk of kidney stones. Excessive spinach intake may also aggravate gouty arthritis and lead to joint pain, swelling, and inflammation.
- Patients on anti-coagulating medicines (blood thinners) such as warfarin must not take spinach because they are very high in vitamin K, and this nutrient may react with the anticoagulant drug and significantly affect its activities and other coagulating factors.
- Eating too much spinach may lead to an excessive buildup of gas, bloating, and cramps, which may further lead to diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sometimes fever.
- Spinach may sometimes trigger an allergic-like reaction in some people.
- Other possible complications may include low blood pressure, tremors or convulsions, vomiting, and a weak pulse.
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