lSpinach is a green leafy vegetable rich in nutrients. So, let’s discuss the health benefits of spinach in this article.
We will mention in the following article the many health benefits of spinach.
What is spinach?
Spinach (scientific name: Spinacia oleracea L), which belongs to the Chenopodiaceae family, dates back to Central Asia, especially in Iran, and it is one of the essential seasonal leafy plants that have broad, curly, and soft leaves, and it is available in fresh or frozen form or canned. (1)
Health Benefits Of Spinach
Due to the high value of spinach and its adequate quantities of vitamins and nutrients, it returns to the body with a set of health benefits, which we will mention in the following:
1. Spinach prevents cancer
2. Spinach supports the immune system
One of the health benefits of spinach is that it helps strengthen the immune system in general. And it also helps fight infections, as it contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin E, which are robust antioxidants that help fight free radicals. (5, 6, 7, 8)
3. Spinach regulates blood pressure
Spinach helps regulate blood pressure because it contains high amounts of potassium, which regulates sodium levels in the blood, thus maintaining blood pressure levels. Some spinach proteins have a crucial role in preventing arterial narrowing. (9)
4. Spinach maintains the health of the circulatory system
5. Spinach improves digestion
6. Spinach prevents of anemia
Due to the high amounts of iron and folate in spinach, it is an excellent food to prevent and treat anemia. Iron and folate are also essential for the production of red blood cells. Spinach also contains vitamin C, which is necessary for iron absorption. (15, 16)
7. Spinach maintains bone health
Spinach helps fight and prevent osteoporosis, as spinach is a rich source of calcium, phosphorous, and vitamin K, all of which are necessary elements to strengthen the bones and maintain their density and reduce the chance of fractures. (13, 14)
8. Spinach helps in losing weight
9. Spinach maintains healthy skin and hair
One of the most health benefits of spinach is to improve skin and hair health because it contains high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron, which help preserve skin moisture, reduce acne, accelerate wound healing, and prevent hair loss. (19, 20, 21, 22, 23)
10. Spinach maintains healthy eyes
Spinach contains flavonoids that are essential to improve eye health and prevent the occurrence of serious diseases, such as cataract disease. Besides, spinach contains vitamin A and vitamin C, which are essential to improve vision.
11. Benefits of spinach for hair
The lack of iron is one of the most causes of hair loss in women, but eating enough iron-rich foods such as spinach helps strengthen hair and prevent hair loss. So, spinach is an excellent source of iron, especially for vegetarians. (22, 23)
12. Benefits of spinach for the skin
The accumulation of oils inside the skin causes acne. The high levels of vitamin A in spinach help regulate the production of oils within the skin pores to moisturize them. So, vitamin A is necessary for the growth of all body tissues, including the skin. (19, 24, 20, 25)
13. Benefits of spinach for pregnant women
Spinach is a food source rich in folate (folic acid or vitamin B9). Folate is one of the essential vitamins during pregnancy because it contributes to nervous system development and prevents the fetus from developing congenital anomalies known as neural tube defects. Spina bifida is one of the most common congenital anomalies among babies, occurs in the first weeks of pregnancy during the formation of the brain and spinal cord. Eating adequate amounts of folate before pregnancy helps reduce the risk of infection. (27, 28, 29)
A pregnant woman needs 600 micrograms of folate per day. So, one cup or 30 grams of fresh spinach contains 58.2 micrograms of folate, which is 15% of the recommended daily intake. Other sources include green leafy vegetables, beans, chickpeas, nuts, and fruits rich in folates such as oranges, lemons, bananas, melons, and strawberries.
The name folic acid is the synthetic form of folate found naturally in foods, nutritional supplements, and fortified foods used by pregnant women, such as cereals and pasta, contain folic acid in its synthetic form, not folate.
The nutritional value
Spinach is a dark green leafy vegetable, its color indicates that it is a rich source of several nutrients, including potassium, manganese, copper, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron, as well as its high content of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, vitamin k, and powerful antioxidants such as flavonoids, with almost no fat.
All of these nutrients contribute to the various health benefits of spinach. So, here are the most prominent nutritional values in 100 grams of raw spinach: (30)
Protein: 2.9 grams
Vitamin A: 9376 IU, which is 188% of the recommended daily value
Vitamin C: 28.1 mg, which is 47% of the recommended daily value
Folate: 194 mcg, which is 49% of the recommended daily value
Vitamin E: 2 mg
Vitamin K: 483 mcg, which is 604% of the recommended daily value
Thiamin: 0.1 mg
Riboflavin: 0.2 mg
Niacin: 0.7 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg
Pantothenic Acid: 0.1 mg
Choline 18 mg
Betaine: 550 mg
Calcium: 99 mg
Iron: 2.7 mg
Magnesium: 79 mg
Phosphorus: 49 mg
Potassium: 558 mg
Sodium: 79 mg
Zinc: 0.5 mg
Copper: 0.1 mg
Manganese: 0.9 mg
Selenium: 1 mcg
Carbohydrates: 3.6 g
Fiber: 2.2 g
Fats: 0.4 g
Omega-3 fatty acids: 138 mg
Omega-6 fatty acids: 26 mg
Energy: 23 calories
Water: 91.4 g
Sugar: 0.4 grams
Tips for consuming spinach
After learning about the many health benefits of spinach and its essential nutrients, so here are the most tips for making use of this superfood:
It is better to pay attention to the shape of spinach when buying it, as it is better to consume spinach with a dark green color and dark stems, and it is also advised not to buy it in a large bundle to avoid the presence of little parts of it.
It is better to store it in the refrigerator without washing it to preserve the spinach for longer while placing it in an airtight and airtight bag, as the spinach will keep its health benefits for several days.
Most people eat spinach cooked, steamed, or grilled, but eating spinach fresh provides the most health benefits. So, you can add spinach to salads, drink it as a juice, or iced beverage with other ingredients.
Hypertensive patients who take some types of anticoagulant drugs should know that spinach may reduce the effectiveness of these medicines because it contains high amounts of vitamin K, and it may affect the level of potassium if consumed in excess.