Benefits of Spinach: All Reasons To Add Palak To Your Daily Diet
Apart from regulating blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, spinach also gives a bright glow and vibrancy to your skin. Read more benefits of spinach here.
Spinach, the green leafy vegetable, is one of the healthiest vegetables in the world today. It is a part of the amaranth family and its origins can be traced to Persia. Spinach can be eaten in many forms. It is packed with many types of nutrients that are important for your overall well-being. For those of you who are wondering what’s so special about the simple spinach, here is a list of spinach benefits that will surprise you. At the end of the article, you will understand why spinach is rated very highly by people across the globe.
Benefits of Spinach
1. Powerhouse of nutrients
The first and foremost benefit of spinach is that it is a powerhouse of nutrients. A bunch of spinach leaves may look very simple, but they are blessed with incredible healthy nutrients that you cannot afford to miss. Here is a brief list of nutrients that you can find in spinach:
In every 100 grams of spinach leaves, you will find 91% water, 3.6 grams of carbohydrates, 2.9 grams of protein and 2.2 grams of fiber. You will also find very little quantities of sugar and fat in spinach. The vitamins and minerals found in spinach include Vitamins A, C K1, B6 & B9, calcium, iron, folic acid, potassium, and magnesium.
2. Rich source of antioxidants
Spinach is replete with active plant compounds known as antioxidants that contribute to one’s overall health and the normal functioning of the vital organs. Some of the important antioxidants that are found in plenty in spinach are:
- Lutein – Very important for nourishing eyes and preventing issues such as muscle degeneration in the retina and cataract related issues
- Kaempferol – Studies have proved that this reduces the risk to cancers and serious diseases
- Nitrates – Very important for the normal and healthy functioning of the heart
- Quercetin – Found in plenty in spinach; a powerful antioxidant that reduces the risk to inflammation and infection caused by injuries or other reasons
- Zeaxanthin – Important for the healthy functioning of the eyes
The main job of these antioxidants is to prevent your body from any kind of damage to the cells that may arise from oxidative stress, toxins or free radicals. As a result, you are less prone to problems such as premature aging, some types of cancers, chronic diseases and cardiac ailments.
Studies conducted on humans have proved that the high- antioxidant content of spinach helps in reducing the risk of oxidative stress and reduction in the root cause of these problems.
3. Keeps blood pressure regulated
One of the important ingredients in spinach is nitrates. Nitrates are known for stabilizing the blood pressure levels in your body. When your blood pressure is regulated, you are less prone to cardiac ailments. A study was conducted to verify this fact. Around 27 people participated in this test. They reported a sharp decrease in their blood pressure levels after consuming spinach. Some other studies also established that consuming spinach regularly helped to improve one’s cardiac health.
4. Improves the quality of your skin
The antioxidants in spinach help to keep your skin bright and young. It reduces the risk of cell damage due to oxidative stress and improves the skin’s potential to produce collagen. As a result, your skin is tight, soft and supple. The blood vessels in your skin are strengthened to improve your overall skin tone & texture.
You can see a visible reduction in all the symptoms related to skin aging when you consume spinach. These antioxidants act well on the wrinkles, fine lines, blackheads, acne, and other blemishes to make your skin bring & young again.
5. Helps in weight loss
Spinach extract, powder from the concentrated thylakoids of spinach leaves, is known to aid in weight loss by suppressing the functioning of lipase. As a result, you digest the fats way slower than you would usually do, making you feel full for a long time. Since the fats aren’t digested quickly, you will notice a visible reduction in your appetite.
Many human-based studies have been conducted to prove that spinach helps to suppress the hunger-producing hormone of ghrelin. A group of people was given 5 grams of spinach extract every day for about 3 months. At the end of the third month, their weights were checked to analyze the results. The people who consumed spinach extract showed 44% more weight loss than the people who tried exercises to lose weight.
6. Reduces your risk to constipation
All leafy green vegetables such as spinach act as natural laxatives on your bowel. As a result, it helps you pass stools easily, without any pain or hassles. The high fiber and magnesium content found in spinach help in smooth water flow to the intestine to push out the stools easily. It is highly recommended to include one cup of spinach in your meal every day. Apart from an apple a day, one cup of spinach a day also helps to keep the doctor away!
7. Helps in coagulation
Spinach is a rich source of Vitamin K, which helps in coagulation or blood clotting. Coagulation prevents your body from bleeding too much. The Vitamin K content in spinach helps the body to naturally improve the blood clotting process. A cup of spinach, both raw and cooked, contains enough Vitamin K for one day, to help in blood clotting. You can find 444micrograms of Vitamin K in half a cup of cooked spinach!
Points to note about spinach
Though spinach is considered as one of the healthiest vegetables on earth, you still have to be cautious before consuming it because of these two reasons.
- Do you have a history of kidney stones?
If yes, it is highly recommended that you limit your spinach intake. This is because the calcium and other minerals found in plenty in spinach can lead to the accumulation of salt in your body. This may lead to the formation of calcium stones. If you have an existing history of kidney stones or are prone to kidney-related ailments, consuming spinach regularly is not the right for you.
- Are you on blood-thinning medication?
If you are currently consuming blood-thinning medication such as Aspirin, Warfarin, or anything else, you should be very careful about including spinach in your meal. As we explained in an earlier section, the Vitamin K content in spinach helps in the blood clotting process. This can hinder the performance of the blood-thinner. So, please speak to your doctor first before you include spinach in your regular meal.
Spinach is one of the best and healthiest leafy greens that you can find in any part of the world today. It comes loaded with nutrients and can be cooked in different forms. Ensure that you consume one cup of cooked or raw spinach daily to see a visible improvement in your overall health. Unless you are prone to kidney stones or taking blood-thinning medications, you will not experience any side effects when you consume spinach in large quantities regularly.
Apart from regulating blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, spinach also gives a bright glow and vibrancy to your skin. Since it helps you stay healthy internally and externally, need we emphasize that spinach should become part and parcel of your diet plan every day?