Back in the day, the salads your mum dished up for you probably weren’t to everyone’s taste. A bit of lettuce, some whole tomatoes and chopped cucumbers – fantastic if you like that sort of thing, but not so fun if you’re not the biggest fan of raw veggies.
Nowadays, we’re inundated with a variety of salad foods, so we can build a salad bowl to perfectly suit our tastes. One of the favourite green ingredients to add to a salad today is spinach.
Spinach isn’t only a salad ingredient, either – it’s super versatile, and can be eaten raw, boiled, fried, blended, frozen, and added to pizza, pasta, sandwiches and pies. It’s even now considered the staple of a green smoothie. The obsession with spinach is real – and it’s not only because of its delicious taste.
Spinach is one of the top superfoods out there, favoured for its nutritional profile. It’s bursting with vitamins and minerals, iron, folic acid, magnesium and calcium. It’s also a great plant-based source of protein and fibre, making it a filling low-calorie option for people looking to lose weight or simply follow a healthy diet.
If you don’t know much about spinach, you’re probably wondering if it really is as good as it sounds. The answer is certainly a yes! In this guide, you’ll learn of the 15 best health benefits of spinach, and why it’s worth adding to your diet today.
1. Supports digestion
With one serving of spinach packing around 2.4 grams of fibre – roughly 10 percent of your daily value – spinach is a great high-fibre food to keep your digestive system in working order. It’s a great source of insoluble fibre in particular, which adds bulk to the stool and helps it to move quickly through the intestines and bowels.
Spinach has also been proven to prevent digestive complications like haemorrhoids and diverticulitis, ensuring overall digestive health. Make sure to drink a glass of water after consuming spinach to get the most out of its digestive properties.
2. Promotes healthy skin
According to science, spinach is one of the top five foods of all time for healthy skin. This is because spinach is a nutritional powerhouse – it’s bursting with iron, magnesium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, antioxidants, vitamin A, chlorophyll and fibre.
All of these nutrients combine to help keep skin clear and pimple-free. In particular, spinach’s antioxidants content can help to fight free radicals, preventing early skin aging.
3. Improves immune function
Spinach, as we know, is a great source of vitamin C – it’s not only citrus fruits that are high in this particular vitamin! Vitamin C is known for its antioxidant properties and can support the immune system in fighting infection.
Spinach also contains flavonoids, which have been proven in research to ward off minor illness such as the common cold. In one study, spinach was even found to boost the immune system of a foetus when a pregnant women consumed the veggie, thanks to spinach’s vitamin A content.
4. Encourages blood clotting
A small serving of spinach contains a large amount of vitamin K, a group of fat-soluble vitamins that are needed to regulate blood calcium levels and prevent blood thinning in the body. If you have thinner blood, you need more vitamin K.
Your body may bleed excessively from minor injuries if it’s unable to adequately form blood clots when required.
5. Essential for pregnant women
If you’re a mum, you’ll know the importance of getting enough folate during pregnancy. Spinach is an impressively high source of folate, which is essential for the development of the foetus.
You can take folate supplements during pregnancy, but it’s better to get the mineral from natural food sources. Eating spinach during a pregnancy can prevent brain and spinal defects in infants and reduce the risk of premature birth.
6. Promotes blood oxygenation
Spinach is packed full of iron – that’s what gives it its dark green colour. Iron is needed to support healthy blood cell functioning. Blood cells are needed to carry oxygen around the body, supporting energy production and assisting in DNA synthesis.
Another nutrient in spinach, nitrogen, also plays a role in oxygen delivery around the body. High levels of nitrogen have been linked to a reduced blood thickness, which can prevent unwanted clotting that can be linked to stroke and heart disease.
7. Boosts heart health
Our diet plays a big role in our overall heart health, and consuming a single serving of spinach on a daily basis can help to prevent problems within the cardiovascular system. Spinach is packed full of antioxidants, fibre, omega-3 fatty acids and protein, all of which can help you to maintain normal blood lipid levels.
The folate in spinach is needed for the production of healthy heart cells, maintaining heart health in the long run.
8. Supports nervous system functioning
One of the best foods for supporting the nervous system is spinach. It contains a whole host of essential nutrients that can keep the brain and nervous system at peak health, and has even proven to prevent ageing and improve cognitive function.
Spinach is a great source of calcium, which has been found in research to effectively regulate the nervous system’s response to injury. Almost every cell in the body requires calcium in some way or another, and it’s essential for nerve impulse transmission and hormone production.
9. Improves overall eye health
Two antioxidants in spinach, lutein and zeaxanthin, play an important role in eye health. With that in mind, research has found that a diet plentiful in spinach may be linked to improved vision and maintained eye health in the long run.
In one recent study, it was even noted that veggies like spinach may be important in reducing the risk of glaucoma, a degenerative eye condition that effects the nerve connecting the brain and the eye, leading to loss of sight and blindness.
10. Reduces cancer risk
We already know that spinach’s antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, can help to maintain eye health, but their benefits don’t stop there. These antioxidants have also been found to be effective at reducing the risk of certain cancers. They can fight free radicals, unstable molecules that can cause harm to the body.
Some of the worst damage caused by free radicals affects the cells, and may lead to cancer. Making sure they’re unable to cause harm in the body, therefore, is the best way to stay free of the disease.
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11. Rights inflammation and infection
Inflammation is a normal reaction produced by the body in response to infection or injury. But if inflammation becomes chronic, you may experience all manner of unpleasant symptoms on a daily basis. Luckily, there are many inflammation-fighting foods, with spinach being one of them. Spinach can prevent chronic inflammation thanks to its antioxidant content.
In one study of people with cardiovascular disease, Lutein was found that reduce levels of inflammation in the blood. Spinach was also found to reduce temporary inflammation at the site of an injury or infection, such as pain, itching, and swelling.
12. Promotes healthy hair growth
Spinach is once again at the top of the list of the best foods for hair growth. It’s a great source of folate, vitamin C, iron, and vitamin E, which combine to promote scalp health and encourage hair growth. The iron in spinach is particularly beneficial for hair growth, thanks to its ability to support red blood cells in carrying oxygen to the scalp, which can boost the hair growth phase and minimize hair shedding.
13. Maintains bone health
We all know that we can get calcium from dairy products, but foods like spinach are also a fantastic source of this mineral. Spinach has been proven to help build and protect the bones and maintain a health bone density.
What does this mean for long-term bone health? Getting enough calcium can prevent diseases like osteoporosis, a degenerative bone condition that results in weak, brittle bones. As always, while you can take calcium supplements to support bone health, it’s best to get your calcium from healthy food sources like spinach.
14. Supports diabetes management
Thanks to its high fibre content, spinach can reduce blood glucose levels and help people with type 2 diabetes to manage their symptoms. Spinach also has a low glycaemic content and is low in calories, making it one of the healthiest diabetes-friendly foods for supporting weight loss, which helps to keep the disease under control.
Aside from eating leafy green veggies like spinach, you should also aim to regularly exercise, get plenty of shut-eye and reduce stress if you’re looking to reverse type 2 diabetes.
15. It prevents asthma
Who knew that your diet could be linked to your breathing? It is, however, true – studies have found that certain foods to your diet can prevent respiratory problems and even treat conditions like asthma.
Spinach is particularly effective at helping to control asthma symptoms, thanks to its folate content. One study found that children were deficient in folate were eight times more likely to experience severe asthma attacks than children who got enough of the nutrient in their daily diets.
Spinach: A Word of Warning
If you have a history of history of oxalate kidney stones, it’s unwise to add high amounts of spinach to your daily diet. Spinach is known to be high in oxalate, so it may pose a problem for you if you eat too much of it. You can lower spinach’s oxalate content, however – you just need to lightly cook your spinach until it becomes wilted.
There are so many different ways to prepare and eat spinach, and it’s affordable and widely available at most supermarkets and spinach extract online here , so there’s no need to miss out on this delicious leafy green veggie. Organic spinach is best, and it’s tastiest when eaten fresh, so make sure you plan to eat it soon after buying it. Try adding spinach to a salad, blending it to make a green curry or a healthy pesto, or baking it in a Greek pastry for something a little different. Your options are endless!
If you’re keen to add more spinach to your diet rom this moment on, don’t hesitate to give it a go. It’s nutritious, affordable, and delicious – so it’s safe to say it ticks all the boxes!