Spinach is an incredibly nutritious and delicious food.
They are rich in numerous vitamins and minerals and have a high content of antioxidants, which makes them a very healthy vegetable.
Its main virtue is to protect the sight from diseases such as cataracts, but that is only the tip of the iceberg.
What is Spinach?
Spinach, or Spinacia oleracea according to its scientific name, is a green leafy vegetable belonging to the amaranth family.
Spinach is sold fresh, canned, or frozen, and the leaves, which are the edible part of the plant, can be eaten raw, cooked, fried, or in stews.
There are various varieties depending on the time of year in which it is grown or the structure of its leaves, and all of them are healthy.
- Winter or summer spinach.
- Spinach with smooth or curly leaves.
They have a slightly acidic taste, but at the same time pleasant and attractive that makes them the star ingredient of many dishes and recipes.
Nutritional Facts of Spinach
In terms of calories, spinach is composed of a high percentage of carbohydrates, most of them in the form of fiber, protein, and very little fat.
In terms of nutrients, one cup of raw spinach (30 g) contains:
- Vitamin K: 181 % of the RDA (recommended daily allowance).
- Vitamin A: 56 % of the RDA.
- Folate: 15 % of the RDA.
- Vitamin C: 14 % of the RDA.
- Manganese: 13 % of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 6 % of the RDA.
- Iron and potassium: 5 % of the RDA.
- Protein: 0,9 g.
- Fiber: 0,7 g.
- Calories: 7.
What Are The Benefits of The Spinach Components?
The Vitamin essential for blood clotting and the bone system.
The carotenoids in spinach are converted to vitamin A in the human body, which is important for development and growth, immune system function and vision.
Also known as folic acid or vitamin B9, this nutrient is involved in the creation of new cells and is essential during pregnancy, as it can prevent birth defects in the baby.
Also known as ascorbic acid, this vitamin is a major antioxidant for the maintenance of bone, muscle and skin.
Spinach also has a variety of plant compounds that are also full of healthful properties:
Flavonoid antioxidant associated with the prevention of infection and inflammation.
Lutein and zeaxanthin:
These antioxidants are powerful protectors against eye diseases.
Antioxidant related to a lower risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
They improve endothelial function and prevent and reduce cardiovascular disease.
4 Healthy Facts of Spinach
1. Prevent eye diseases
The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin present in large quantities in spinach protect the eyes from diseases mainly associated with age.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are pigments responsible for the colouring of many foods, both plant and animal, and are also found in certain parts of the human eye.
They are also found in certain parts of the human eye. Their function is to protect the eyes from possible damage caused by sunlight and, according to numerous studies, they can prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.
It has even been shown that these antioxidants can reverse existing eye damage.
2. They regulate blood pressure
Nitrates have always been one of the fundamental bases of the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, since it has been confirmed that they help to regulate blood pressure.
In fact, there are several studies that have confirmed that regular consumption of spinach helps to regulate blood pressure.
A recent study published by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, has shown that the inorganic nitrates in spinach produce nitric oxide, which helps to dilate the arteries and keep the blood pressure level stable.
Eating spinach contributes to a healthier heart and prevents heart disease.
3. Reduce oxidative stress
Oxidative stress is a consequence of the imbalance between oxidant and antioxidant species in the body leading to cell deterioration and death.
Stress is associated with aging and various chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.
Spinach is a vegetable rich in antioxidant compounds and its consumption has been proven to significantly reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
4. Protects against cancer
Several studies have found evidence that eating spinach may reduce the risk of breast or prostate cancer.
Other research has also found that compounds in spinach decrease tumor development and size and may even reverse cancer formation.
Finally, it should be noted that the high amount of antioxidants in spinach, as explained above, also plays an important role in preventing and protecting the body against cancer.
Does Spinach Have Any Negative Effect on Health?
Spinach is generally a safe food, but in certain cases, it can have unwanted effects on some people.
For example, the consumption of spinach is not recommended for people who are undergoing anticoagulation treatment because of its high content of vitamin K, a natural coagulant.
People with kidney stones or who are prone to developing them should also avoid eating spinach, as it is rich in calcium and oxalates, which are major components in the formation of kidney stones.