Spinach is a beautifully light leafy green vegetable made famous by Popeye’s exploding biceps and knock-out punch. While many would laugh it off as a simple salad ingredient with no real power, they couldn’t be more wrong! Spinach is one of nature’s most powerful sources of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, offering a heap of health benefits in every fistful. Here’s a list of health kicks that you can expect every time you eat it:
- IT’S HIGH IN POTASSIUM
Cup per cup, spinach offers 30% more potassium than bananas, which helps your body to maintain muscle mass, preserve bone density and keep your liver and kidneys in peak state. Potassium also contributes to improved blood flow to the brain, boosting overall brain health and increasing memory, concentration and neural ability.
- IT’S A GREAT SOURCE OF IRON
There are few plant based foods that can compete with animal based iron sources, but spinach contains such a rich source of iron that it serves as the perfect substitute on veggie-based days. Having sufficient iron in your diet also reduces fatigue as it helps to transport oxygen throughout your body. It also increases your red cell blood count, which are the blood cells responsible for carrying life giving oxygen to your vital organs and throughout your body.
- IT REDUCES THE RISK OF DEVELOPING CANCER
While many foods are claimed to reduce the risk of cancer, spinach truly deserves the credit, as it contains unique phytonutrients and antioxidants that literally fight cancer! It also contains excellent doses of carotenoids and natural inflammatory properties, which further reduce the risk of developing various types of cancer. The chlorophyll in spinach also alkalizes your body significantly, which makes your body an environment in which cancer cells find it impossible to thrive. Just two cups a day could make all the difference.
- IT’S FULL OF PROTEIN
All proteins, whether found in meat or vegetables can be reduced to amino acid value, as this is what’s responsible for toning and building muscle strength. Spinach is loaded with amino acids, making it a high protein food that can be added to almost any meal. The added benefit is that this pure, green protein contains zero fat, zero cholesterol and zero negative consequences, offering you the opportunity to completely indulge on it.
- IT MAKES YOUR BONES STRONGER
Not only does the alkaline effect of spinach maintain the calcium levels in your bones, but it also contains Vitamin K, which further assists in maintaining bone density. It also contains minerals such as copper, manganese, zinc and magnesium which help to build up bone strength, and thereby reduces the symptoms of osteoporosis, arthritis and calcification.
- IT’S A GREAT SOURCE OF FOLIC ACID
Pregnant women know all about the importance of folic acid because it prevents neural tube defects and promotes red blood cell growth. One cup of cooked spinach provides over 60% of your daily folic acid needs, which aids in reducing nausea, dizziness and stress. Folic acid is a B vitamin that is important for blood health and iron absorption, which means that the whole family can benefit from it, as well as any growing addition.
- IT BOOSTS YOUR EYESIGHT
Spinach is loaded with beta-carotene and Vitamin A, which are excellent for eyesight. While carrots are usually solely associated with improving eyesight, spinach contains equal amounts of eye health benefits, including reducing cataracts and preventing age related eye dysfunctions. The natural anti-inflammatory properties also contribute to reducing redness, puffiness and irritation in the eyes.
- IT IMPROVES DIGESTION AND LOWERS CHOLESTEROL
Spinach is full of fiber, which increases the feeling of satiation, but at the same time gently cleanses your colon during digestion. The abundance of flavonoids protects your colon from free radicals, and lowers cholesterol, giving your metabolism the energy boost that it needs to function optimally. The beta-carotene and high levels of Vitamin C also contribute to colon health, and having spinach just a few times a week can significantly improve digestive function.
- IT REDUCES ASTHMA SYMPTOMS
Being a rich source of beta-carotene makes spinach is an official anti-asthmatic food source, preventing and alleviating symptoms such as chest tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath. It also contains magnesium, potassium, Vitamins A, C, E and K, which all work together to soothe asthma symptoms without any negative side effects.
- IT PREVENTS DIABETES
Spinach contains a powerful antioxidant known as alpha lipoic acid, which is often a supplement taken by those who suffer from irregular blood sugar. By eating more spinach, not only will you be keeping your blood sugar levels balanced, but you will also be reducing and preventing insulin sensitivity, low blood sugar and the sensation of numbness in your hands and feet.