Health Benefits of Spinach
Being a dark leafy vegetable that provides a range of health benefits for most parts of a human body including bone, skin, hair, heart, and digestive system, spinach is no wonder considered as a super food which prevents us from numerous common health diseases like blood pressure, anaemia, cancer diabetes, asthma, and more.
Spinach can prevent us from a range of diseases like:
Cancer: Enjoying grilled food is the trend today but preparation of grilled food requires us to heat the food at a high temperature. This exposure to high temperatures leads to generation of a carcinogenic chemical from food that can cause cancer. With spinach included in the food, chlorophyll is released which can reduce this carcinogenic impact of cooking thereby preventing us from getting cancer.
Asthma: Risk of getting asthma can be greatly reduced with high intake of spinach in routine. A study conducted on 68,535 females revealed that lower risk of asthma can be correlated with higher intake of spinach. This is due to the fact that spinach contains magnesium in high quantity, a substance that has been proven to prevent asthma attacks. Potassium, another substance whose deficiency can increase problems of asthma, is present in high quantities in spinach and thus, spinach can surely help asthma patients to a great extent.
Diabetes: American Diabetes Association has identified spinach as the top food that can prevent type 1 and 2 diabetes because of presence of high vitamin, low calorie, and other nutrients like magnesium. Around 40% of the magnesium requirement of a human body can be satisfied with spinach alone.
Heart Diseases: One n 4 deaths in UK are caused by cardiovascular disease. Researchers have shown that heart patients consuming food like spinach that contain nitrite were 33% more likely to survive a heart attack. There are a number of nutrients and substances that are present in spinach and can help us prevent heart attacks such as intake of folate, a substance important for health of the human heart, and vitamin C and beta-carotene that prevent building up of cholesterol in blood vessels,
Besides preventing common health disease, Spinach has some positive effects on human health such that it helps us:
Keep a healthy eye sight: Macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of loss of eye sight with age, starts with blurring of vision and can lead to a complete blindness in people of age beyond 60. This degeneration is caused by oxidation of macular region caused by excessive exposure to light. It is normally prevented by pigments like Lutein and Zeaxanthin that are present in significant quantity in Spinach. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study has proven that presence of these anti-oxidants can lower risk of AMD in humans by 35%.
Making skin radiant: Because of presence of a number of vitamins and minerals, spinach reduces dryness and itchiness of skin, making it look more radiant. Consumption of fresh organic spinach juice is recommended to improve the skin health.
Keep digestive system strong: Spinach can help us ease constipation as well as protect the mucus lining inside our stomach keeping us away from diseases like ulcers. Spinach can release toxins outside from your body thereby improving your digestive system.
Spinach is no doubt a super food with a range of health benefits for us. However, while buying or preparing food using spinach, some precautions may be taken such as:
• Do not use frozen spinach for cooking as freezing can reduce its health effects
• Oxalic acid, a substance present in Spinach can inhibit calcium and iron absorption but if it is consumed with Vitamin C containing food like Oranges, this effect can be reduced. A 2 minute of boiling can also help reduce the quantity of oxalic acid in spinach.
• It is one food that is consumed better after it is cooked as our body does not have the capacity to break down the nutrients that are inside raw spinach.
• Do not store spinach in darkness, but keep it in light as it can make spinach absorb more nutrients making it healthier to consume.
• Never wash spinach before you send it to your storage as the moisture would spoil the food fast
• Spinach may not be a very healthy food for those suffering from kidney stone diseases as it has high oxalate content which can cause kidney stones to increase in size. Thus, a person suffering from kidney stones or have a history of the same should consume spinach in limited quantities.