Health Benefits of Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)

Health Benefits of Spinach (Spinacia oleracea)

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a leafy green vegetable that originated in Persia. It belongs to the amaranth family and is related to beets and quinoa. What’s more, it’s considered very healthy, as it’s loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.

Eating spinach may benefit eye health, reduce oxidative stress, help prevent cancer, and reduce blood pressure levels.

There are many ways to prepare spinach. You can buy it canned or fresh and eat it cooked or raw. It’s delicious either on its own or in other dishes.

This article tells you everything you need to know about spinach.

Spinach which is thought to have originated in ancient Persia with the cultivation spread to Nepal, and by the seventh century, to China, where it’s still called “Persian Greens.”

The Moors introduced it to Spain around the 11th century. Spinach is known to thrive better in cooler than warmer climates,

According to the USDA, Americans consume nearly 2½ pounds of spinach per year per capital. Spinach fresh from the garden is often used for salads and in place of lettuce on sandwiches.

Health Benefits of Spinach

Nutrition facts

The nutrition facts for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw spinach are:

  • Calories: 23
  • Water: 91%
  • Protein: 2.9 grams
  • Carbs: 3.6 grams
  • Sugar: 0.4 grams
  • Fiber: 2.2 grams
  • Fat: 0.4 grams

Spinach has the following nutrient compositions:

  • It is Low in fat
  • Spinach is even lower in cholesterol
  • Spinach is high in niacin
  • Spinach id high zinc
  • Spinach is high in protein
  • Spinach is high in fiber
  • Spinach is high in vitamins A
  • Spinach is high in vitamin C
  • Spinach is high in vitamin E
  • Spinach is high in vitamin K
  • Spinach is high in thiamin
  • Spinach is high in vitamin B6
  • Spinach is high in folate
  • Spinach is high in calcium
  • Spinach is high in iron
  • Spinach is high in magnesium
  • Spinach is high in phosphorus
  • Spinach is high in potassium
  • Spinach is high in copper
  • Spinach is high in manganese

In other word, spinach is fully loaded with good things for every part of your body!

Abundant flavonoids in spinach act as antioxidants to keep cholesterol from oxidizing and protect your body from free radicals, particularly in the colon.

The folate in spinach is good for your healthy cardiovascular system, and magnesium helps lower high blood pressure.

Studies also have shown that spinach helps maintain your vigorous brain function, memory and mental clarity.

In order to retain the rich iron content of spinach while cooking it is advisable to lightly add lemon juice or vinegar.

Read Also: How to Grow Spinach – Step by Step Guide

Spinach Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 3.5 ounces (100 grams), raw
 

Amt. Per
Serving

% Daily
Value*
Calories 23  
Calories from Fat 3  
Total Fat 0 g 1%
Saturated Fat 0 g 0%
Trans Fat    
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 79 mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 4 g 1%
Dietary Fiber 2 g 9%
Sugar 0 g  
Protein 3 g  
Vitamin A 188% Vitamin C 47%
Calcium 10% Iron 15%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie

According to the studies done on spinach, it has been observed that because of the potentially high incidence of DDT (Dichlorodiphenyltri-chloroethane) contamination; only buy organic varieties of this vegetable, as much as possible.

A known cause of cancer, birth defects and reproductive damage, DDT, while banned in U.S. in 1972, continues to be manufactured and exported to developing nations, most often to fight mosquito-borne malaria.

Still widely used on crops imported to the U.S., significant amounts of DDT have been detected. Worse, it can stay in the soil for years. In fact, spinach grown in the U.S. and sprayed with DDT before 1972 has been found to contain traces of DDT.

Spinach Healthy Recipes

Creamed Spinach

Ingredients:

¾ cup raw whole milk ¼ cup water 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon butter 1½ tablespoons arrowroot 2 pounds spinach, steamed – or
2 pounds chard, steamed, drained
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Procedures:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, water and garlic. Heat slowly until very hot and steamy. Let stand, covered, for five to 10 minutes. This allows the garlic to soften.
  2. Melt butter in another medium saucepan over medium high heat.
  3. Whisk in arrowroot, then add hot milk mixture, whisking until smooth. Stir in spinach or chard, and cook until sauce is thick and bubbly and the spinach is tender but still green, about six minutes.
  4. Stir in cheese and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Five Amazing Health Benefits of Eating Spinach Regularly as a Part of your Daily Diet: 


1. Strengthens your Bones

Spinach is a rich source of Vitamin K which helps in promoting a the production of a protein called Osteocalc in that is responsible for stabilizing calcium in the bones.

In addition to being rich in vitamin K, spinach is also a great source of calcium and vitamin D, dietary fibre, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C, all of which are important nutrients that are good for bone health. 


Health Benefits of Spinach

  Spinach strengthens your bones.

 
2. Strengthens your Eyesight and Immune system

Spinach contains beta carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein and chlorophyll – all of which are responsible for improving your eyesight and boosting your immune system.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are stored in the macula, which is a part of the retina that acts as a natural sunblock, shielding your eye from damaging light. This will also help lower the risk of macular degeneration; which is why most people are advised to eat more and more greens. 

Health Benefits of Spinach              
Spinach improves your eye sight; Image Credit : iStock
 

3. Repels Bacteria and Viruses 

Spinach is high in vitamin A which helps our skin and mucous membranes to repel various kinds of bacteria and viruses effectively. Moreover, this vitamin is necessary for sebum production to keep hair moisturised.

Vitamin A is good for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair. So load up on more greens to reduce the risk of hair loss and infections. 
 

Health Benefits of Spinach
Spinach repels bacteria and other harmful viruses from our body

Read Also: The Food Rating System Chart of Cabbage

4. Promotes Heart Health

Vitamin C in spinach is known to have the ability to prevent wrinkles and protect us from eye diseases, prenatal health problems and cardiovascular diseases.

It is also the presence of lutein content that prevents thickening of walls of arteries, thus reducing the risk of heart attacks. Moreover, it contains nitrite that not only helps in preventing the occurrence of heart attack but also cures the heart diseases associated with fat deposition.  


Health Benefits of Spinach                    Spinach improves heart health.


5. Keeps you Energized

Spinach provides you with the required levels of magnesium in your body which helps you to generate energy for your day to day chores. Spinach is also a great source of folate, a nutrient that helps your body turn food into usable energy. Moreover, making your body more alkalised can help you keep energised through the day and spinach is one veggie that is alkaline in nature. 
 

Health Benefits of SpinachSpinach helps the body convert energy into a usable form; Image Credit : iStock


Now that you are aware about the several health benefits of spinach, try your hand at some of our best spinach recipes.

1.   Spanish Artichoke and Spinach Dip

Who said that if it is green, it’s boring? Spice things up on a weekend get together with freshly baked tortillas and this amazing variation of spinach in a dip.
 

Health Benefits of SpinachThe healthy spinach dip.


2.   Spiced Spinach Soup with Cottage Cheese Croutons

This is your classic spinach soup served with mouth watering cottage cheese croutons.

spinach soup 625
Spinach Soup with Croutons
 

3. Baked Spinach with Mushroom and Cheese Sauce

A lovely recipe for dinner with layers of spinach, mushroom, cheese and all good things.

Spinach is not restricted to these recipes and you can always add your own personal twist. Take this as an inspiration and bring out the Popeye in you!

Reference

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