There are foods, then there are superfoods and then there’s spinach. This leafy green is packed so full of vitamins and minerals that it’s almost unfair to the other plants in the vegetable aisle. People from all walks of life can incorporate spinach into their diet for amazing health benefits, and everyone has reason to rejoice about spinach’s cancer-fighting and brain-preserving benefits. Just please don’t overcook the spinach if you choose to sauté it. No one wants to eat soggy bitter spinach.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of spinach:
- Digestive Health: Glycoglycerolipids are the primary fat-related molecules found in plants and are a healthy nutrient that is abundant in spinach. Glycoglycerolipids protect the digestive tract lining from inflammation-related damage. Spinach is also high in fiber, which helps break down food and keeps your digestive system moving.
- Blood Circulation: Spinach has an absolutely astounding 987% of your vitamin K DRI, which promotes healthy blood and circulation. Vitamin K is also useful for protein modification and plays an important role in protecting bones from osteoporosis.
- Improves Vision: One cup of spinach is all you need to get a full day’s requirement of vitamin A. That’s good news for your tired eyes. Beta-carotene is the form of Vitamin A found in plants like spinach and it fosters cell growth and good vision. The phytochemicals in spinach also help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Prevents Cancer: Spinach contains over a dozen different flavonoid compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties and anti-cancer causing components. Spinach extract has been used to successfully slow division of human stomach cancer cells and reduce skin cancers. Inflammation is a factor in all diseases, so spinach’s anti-inflammatory properties are a win across the board.
- Rich in Iron: Although the amount of iron in spinach has been exaggerated, the plant still contains a decent amount of the mineral. That’s why vegetarians and anemics are encouraged to eat lots of spinach for healthy blood and proper red blood cell production.
- Energizing: Spinach pumped Popeye up, and it can help you get over your midday slump. The leafy green is rich in magnesium and potassium, two nutrients that combine to produce energy and regulate nerve and muscle function. Keep a small salad of spinach with feta cheese, sunflower seeds and fruit in the fridge to help you get through the afternoon without feeling tired.
- Brain Food: Eating leafy vegetables like spinach slow age-related decline in brain function. One study even found that eating spinach once a day halted mental decline by up to 11 years and helped stave off dementia.
- Boosts Muscle Strength: Spinach is a staple of the weight-lifter’s diet, and recent research conducted by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute confirms that it should stay that way. The researchers discovered that nitrates found in spinach boosts protein production in muscles, making them stronger and more efficient.
- Weight Loss: Spinach is packed with nutrients and low in calories, making it an ideal way to lose weight while staying healthy. What’s even better is spinach tricks your body into feeling full, helping with portion control and reducing your temptation to snack after meals.
- Prevents Asthma: If you are prone to asthma attacks or have difficulty breathing, include spinach in your diet. The beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium and magnesium in spinach all have anti-asthmatic properties.