If you are not a great fan of spinach, these health benefits may turn your opinion around.
Spinach is a leafy, green vegetable originating from Persia. Its benefits became widely known to people in Europe by the 12th century, and the vegetable remains true to its qualities till this day. It belongs to the amaranth family and is closely related to beets, quinoa and chard, all that fall within the umbrella term of nutritional benefits of spinach.
Within 100g of spinach, there are:
Protein: 2.9 grams
Carbs: 3.6 grams
Sugar: 0.4 grams
Fiber: 2.2 grams
Fat: 0.4 grams
In order to understand what these numbers truly mean, one can study the nutrients present that add up to the statistics given. Carbs mainly comprise of healthy, insoluble fiber which boost the digestive system and aid with constipation. Vitamins that are present in spinach include Vitamins A, C, K1, each of which contributes to the immune system individually. It also includes other minerals in the form of folic acid, iron and calcium, that are essential for the formation of body tissues and producing hemoglobin to provide those tissues with the oxygen they need.
The specific and most prominent benefits of spinach are as follows:
1) Strengthens Bones
Since spinach contains a high amount of Vitamin K, the production of Osteocalc is responsible for providing the bones with the calcium they need. In addition to this vitamin, other bone strength boosters include Vitamin C, Vitamin D, potassium and magnesium that are all present in spinach.
2) Benefits Eyesight
Spinach contains zeaxanthin, lutein and chlorophyll, all of which help to improve eyesight and boost immunity system. High quantities of these pigments are stored in the retina in the eye and act as shields from the harsh rays of the sun. In addition to this, the pigments will also help reduce the risk of macular degeneration – one of the primary causes of blindness in people.
3) Blood Pressure and Heart Benefits
The amount of nitrates present in spinach are known to stabilize high or low blood pressures and lower the risk of heart disease. The presence of lutein thickens the wall of our arteries surrounding the heart, in turn reducing the chances of a heart attack.
4) Repels Bad Bacteria
Spinach is high in Vitamin A which keeps the dangerous or bad bacteria away from ones body. Because of this, the risk of gaining a seasonal or bacterial infection effectively falls and one does not have to fear suddenly falling ill. This vitamin is also, additionally, beneficial for the body tissues of hair and skin, keeping the two look fresh and moisturized.
If you are unsure about the way you can cook spinach, check out some of the following recipes below:
· Palak Paneer (Spinach with Cottage Cheese)
· Palak Daal (Spinach with Lentils)
Now that you know the amount of benefits and nutrients spinach carries, head over to the store and start cooking. Make sure you store the leaves in an air-tight container in the fridge so they remain fresh and season your dish with your favourite spices. Happy cooking!