Spinach Benefits and Recipes: Why and what you need to be eating!
June 20, 2022
June 20, 2022
Spinach, a popular green leafy vegetable, is loaded with many nutrients. It is full of iron and has various vitamins and minerals. This cruciferous vegetable is scientifically known as Spinacia oleracea, and it originated in Persia. However, nowadays, it is available globally. The USA and China are the leading producers of spinach.
This anti-cancerous veggie is commonly known as ‘Palak’ in India. It is known to fight cancer cells, regulate blood pressure levels and improve vision. So let’s dive deep into it to explore the benefits and healthy recipes to include in our daily diet.
Did you know about 90% of spinach is composed of water? At the same time, the remaining 10% constitutes carbohydrates and proteins. One hundred grams of this veggie provides only 23 calories making it a low-calorie food.
Spinach is a storehouse of nutrients. As a result, it has a protective action against certain life-threatening diseases such as cancer, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, nutritionists regard it as a functional food due to its antioxidant properties. In addition, it has metabolism promoting activities and promotes the secretion of satiety hormones. These hormones help us keep our tummy full for longer.
Kaempferol, a potent antioxidant, reduces the risk of cancer. As per studies, spinach may help prevent prostate and breast cancer. In addition, it slows down tumour growth, thus suppressing tumour formation.
As per studies, an increase in nitrate intake can augment circulating nitrite and nitric oxide. It may lead to lower blood pressure and improved vascular function. Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, are rich sources of nitrate. It, in turn, helps prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Another study suggests that the potential use of un-concentrated dietary nitrate found in vegetables like spinach can effectively aid the maintenance of cardiovascular health. Dietary nitrates decrease arterial stiffness and central BP. In healthy individuals, it may be more accurate prognostic indicators of cardiovascular health than brachial BP.
Spinach is a rich source of dietary nitrates. Therefore, adding spinach to your diet may help you prevent cardiovascular diseases and improve heart health.
Insufficient intake of specific vitamins, particularly A and D, and other nutrients, such as calcium, may affect bone health. It even involves the time and degree of bone healing in case of fracture. Spinach contains a significant amount of calcium, tremendous for bone health. In addition, it helps in replenishing the daily calcium losses.
You need to consume fewer calories to lose weight. One hundred grams of spinach contain only 23 calories. In addition, spinach is full of nutrients, including insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre keeps you full for longer and prevents the body from absorbing calories. You can add spinach to your daily diet and see the difference in a few days.
As per studies, spinach extract containing thylakoids increases satiety over two hours than placebo. In addition, thylakoid consumption may influence gender-specific food cravings. Finally, it curbs hunger by releasing satiety hormones. Thus, it keeps you full for longer and prevents binge eating.
So, if you want to lose weight, add spinach to your daily diet. It will aid weight loss and benefit you in many ways.
Our eyes are major sensory organs that require special care. Numerous studies suggest that lutein and zeaxanthin are essential components for eye health. Spinach is high in lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids, the precursor vitamin A. These carotenoids play a significant role in improving vision. In addition, they prevent macular degeneration and cataracts, thus improving eye health.
Quercetin is one of the plant compounds present in spinach. It helps ward off infections and performs an anti-inflammatory role. In addition, research shows that vitamin K-rich leafy greens like spinach help reduce inflammation.
Spinach is a rich source of vitamin K. The vitamin K contents of spinach provide many health benefits. For example, it protects the bones from osteoporosis and helps to prevent inflammatory diseases.
Various studies suggest that spinach protects the brain from oxidative stress. Hence, it helps prevent the negative aspects of ageing. On the other hand, premature ageing plays a massive role in declining cognitive abilities. Therefore, spinach also plays a role in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Research study suggests that consuming spinach has a positive effect on reducing the free radicals in the body. Our body produces these free radicals during metabolic reactions. Therefore, the consumption of spinach improves the antioxidant status of the body.
You can consume this versatile vegetable in countless ways. Eating it raw as a salad or blending it into a smoothie for its folate content is an excellent way to extract its health-boosting potential. However, the raw form of spinach contains oxalic acid, which can interfere with absorbing specific nutrients like iron and calcium. Additionally, oxalic acid also attaches itself to other vital nutrients. Therefore, the long-term consumption of food rich in this organic compound can lead to a large-scale deficiency of nutrients.
Raw spinach has many essential nutrients in higher portions than the cooked version. However, there are some adverse effects too.
It is a well-known fact that cooking alters the nutritional value of vegetables whether we perform blanching, steaming, boiling or microwaving. But, using the dry cooking method will help limit nutrient loss.
Including the dark green leafy vegetable in your diet can provide you with several health benefits. While spinach may not be a favourite, preparing it the right way can make it a lot more enjoyable. We have put together a few lip-smacking recipes that will make your mouth water.
Serve hot, with tomato salad.
Try these delicious recipes to experience the benefits of this nutrient-rich vegetable truly, and let us know what you think of them in the comments.
Spinach is excellent for your health. But, for medical purposes, there are some restrictions like:
People suffering from thyroid issues and kidney stones should avoid eating spinach in its raw form as it is rich in calcium and oxalate, which increases kidney stones’ formation.
Overeating spinach every day may lead to poor absorption of minerals. It is due to the formation of oxalates and purines.
Spinach is dietary fibre. So it takes a lot of time to digest. Slowed metabolism may lead to gas, bloating and cramps.
People eating anticoagulant medicines like warfarin must avoid eating spinach. It is rich in vitamin K, which may lead to a reaction between the drug and spinach. As a result, you may experience hampered action of medications.
Excess consumption of spinach may lead to low blood pressure, tremors or convulsions, vomiting and weak pulse.
Spinach is a great low-calorie superfood rich in various vitamins and minerals. It may help prevent chronic diseases. In addition, the health-boosting properties of spinach make it an easy food to add to your diet. However, you need to be careful about the usage. Wash them properly before use. In addition, you should also be cautious of its side effects. However, if you use it correctly and in adequate quantities, spinach may benefit your body in so many ways. So, add spinach to your diet and enjoy delicious recipes made of spinach with all the health benefits.
A. Spinach is great for eye health, bone density, prevents cancer and premature ageing, weight loss and heart health.
A. Yes, there is no problem with eating spinach every day. But an excess of it may lead to bloating, gas and kidney stones formation.
A. Spinach has purine content. Eating excess spinach may aggravate gout or gouty arthritis and result in joint pain, swelling, and inflammation.
A. Spinach contains many nutrients like vitamins A, E and minerals, plant compounds like quercetin, lutein and xanthine. These compounds are beneficial for overall health.
A. You can eat spinach in the form of salad or cooked in the form of a sandwich or many other dishes.
A. Spinach curbs hunger by releasing satiety hormones. Thus, it keeps you full for longer and prevents binge eating.
A. People having thyroid and kidney stones related issues shouldn’t eat spinach.
A. Spinach is rich in nutrients. However, if you eat cooked spinach, your body can absorb more calcium and iron.
A. Spinach is rich in calcium and iron. It also has many phytonutrients like lutein and xanthine, beta-carotene, protein and zinc.
A. 100 grams of fresh spinach contains 23 calories, 91% water, Protein, Carbs, Sugar, Fiber and Fat.
A. 200gm of spinach contains 58gm proteins.
A. There is approximately 2.1-2.7mg/100g of raw spinach.
A. 100g of spinach contains 23 calories. However, spinach is a low-calorie and nutrient-dense veggie.