Spinach Health Benefits

Spinach is perhaps the most amazing green vegetable. It's jam packed with vitamins and minerals and is a powerful weapon to protect your eyesight, your bones and prevent you from having cancer. Medical science is still discovering new benefits of eating spinach. Find out the healthy spinach recipes to best include this nutritional powerhouse into your diet.

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Nutritional Facts of Spinach

Nutrients

Amount per Cup (180g) (%Daily Value)

Vitamin K

1110.6%

Vitamin A

377.3%

Manganese

84%

Folate

65.7%

Magnesium

39.1%

Iron

35.7%

Vitamin C

29.4%

Vitamin B2

24.7%

Calcium

24.4%

Potassium

23.9%

Vitamin B6

22%

Tryptophan

21.8%

Vitamin E

18.7%

Fiber

17.2%

Copper

15.5%

Vitamin B1

11.3%

Protein

10.7%

Phosphorus

10%

Zinc

9.1%

Choline

8.3%

Omega-3 fatty acids

7%

Vitamin B3

4.4%

Selenium

3.8%

Calories

2% (41 calories)

Benefits of Spinach

1. Anti-inflammation and Anti-cancer

There are more than a dozen different flavonoid compounds in spinach and these are powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer fighting agents. In fact, researchers have created specialized spinach extract to use in controlled laboratory studies. Medical studies show that spinach intake can potentially decrease the incidence of breast cancer in women. The science of nutria-genomics and epigenetics points more and more to the impressive value of spinach. Furthermore, inflammation plays a detrimental role in causing a variety of disease processes. The flavonoid and carotenoid content have anti-inflammatory substances and are plentiful in the leaves of the spinach plant.

2. Antioxidant

Lutein and zeaxanthin are potent antioxidants and have a vital role in protecting the macula and the retina in general. Research suggests that spinach can play a vital role in prevention of age related eye problems such as macular degeneration. Spinach is an excellent source of many other antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese. Medical science knows that oxidative stress is a key contributor to numerous health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and an overall decrease in longevity.

3. Bone Health

Vitamin K is important for maintaining bone health. Fortunately, spinach contains 200 percent of the daily value in just one cup of fresh spinach leaves. One cup of boiled spinach contains over 1000% of the daily value. Other nutrients such as calcium and magnesium found spinach play an important role in supporting bone strength.

4. Gastrointestinal Health

The antioxidant affects to help minimize DNA damage and lessen the risk of colon cancer. The presence of folate and vitamin C along with beta-carotene make this green gem a powerful weapon in guarding our gastrointestinal health.

5. Other Benefits

  • Blood Pressure. Proteins and spinach have been shown to inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme. This aids in decreasing blood pressure.
  • Vision. Zeaxanthin and lutein are protective against age related vision deterioration. Macular degeneration is the best study and most likely to benefit from spinach consumption.
  • Immunity. Vitamin A is of paramount importance in protecting mucous membranes including the respiratory, urinary and intestinal tract. White blood cells called lymphocytes rely on Vitamin A to help fight infection. One cup of spinach contains over 337% of the RDA of Vitamin A.
  • Skin. High concentrations of Vitamin A help the skin stay healthy, retain moisture and fight acne, thickening and wrinkles.
  • Calcification. Calcium buildup in blood vessels is a contributing factor to heart disease and stroke. Vitamin K found in spinach helps prevent calcium from depositing in tissues and blood vessels.
  • Brain Function. The protective sheath around our nerves relies on vitamin K to help synthesize this vital protective covering. Vitamin K found in spinach is essential for the overall health of our nervous system.

How to Select Store and Prepare Spinach

1. How to Select and Store

Choose the darkest green leaves you can find. Avoid any stems that appear yellow as this indicates aging. Avoid wilted or bruised leaves as well as those that have a slimy coating or film. Do not wash spinach before you put it in the refrigerator. Simply wrap the spinach tightly in a bag and squeeze out as much excess air as possible. You can store fresh spinach for up to five days. Do not store cook spinaches as it doesn’t keep very well and it loses its’ taste and nutritional value.

2. Tips for Preparation and Cooking

Start by trimming out the roots and separate the leaves into a bowl with water. Gently swish the leaves around to remove dirt and debris. Repeat this process once or twice until the water appears clear, but do not leave the leaves soaking in the water. Prolonged submersion can cause vital nutrients to leach out your spinach leaves. Most of the time store-bought or pre-bagged spinach has already been washed. If you want to make sure, try using a salad spinner or colander for a quick way to freshen it up.

3. Videos for Spinach Recipes

  • Garlic Spinach Sauté Recipe
  • Spinach Pie

 
 
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