Health Benefits Of Spinach

By:    Published: February 1, 2012

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When you want a salad or you just want a little green added to your sandwich, consider going for spinach rather than the traditional lettuce. These vibrantly green leaves prove to be much more of a healthy addition to your diet than many other types of greens, and they are delicious to boot. As more health experts discover the benefits associated with spinach, more and more restaurants have started adding this delicious vegetable to their menus. Read this article to find out how much spinach can benefit your health, even to the point of helping you to avoid unnecessary health problems and diseases.

Vitamins and Nutrients

Spinach is widely recognized as one of the healthiest vegetables that you can eat. These leafy greens are packed with vital nutrients, protein, iron, beta-carotene, carotenoids, flavonoid compounds and other important substances. Vitamins A and C, folic acid and dietary fiber can also be found in significant amounts in spinach. Minerals like manganese, zinc, calcium, potassium and carotenoids are also found in this healthy vegetable.

In addition to being rich in a variety of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, spinach is also a healthy choice due to the fact that it contains no fat or cholesterol. A single cup of spinach also has just seven calories, providing even more reasons for why this vegetable is so widely recommended as part of a person's diet.

Preventing Disease and Sickness

Spinach has some of the best nutrients and vitamins needed to help fight off disease and sickness. For example, the many flavonoid compounds in spinach are powerful antioxidants that can help neutralize free radicals found in the body. This effectively helps to prevent cancer by getting rid of these dangerous invaders. Some of the types of cancer which may be prevented by eating spinach include breast cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer. Similarly, carotenoids in spinach may prevent prostate and ovarian cancer.

Spinach has also been linked to improved cardiovascular health. That's because the antioxidants in spinach help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, which is very dangerous to the arteries and the heart. Additionally, the magnesium in spinach also helps keep blood pressure levels regulated. Studies have shown that eating a salad-sized portion of spinach can lower blood pressure within just a few hours. Spinach also contains folate, which can help to prevent strokes by neutralizing harmful chemicals in the body.

In addition to regulating blood pressure, spinach can also help regulate blood sugar levels, making it a great food for diabetics to add to their diet. Spinach gets its ability to regulate blood sugar from the magnesium it contains.

Other Health Benefits

Spinach has been linked to many other health benefits that aren't related to the prevention of disease. For instance, the antioxidants in spinach do more than just prevent cancer. They also help strength and restore skin and prevent wrinkles. Additionally, some of the pigments and phytonutrients in spinach can help protect the skin from harmful UV rays from the sun. This makes spinach a great food to eat if you want to combat the effects of aging on your skin.

Spinach is also rich in iron, a nutrient which helps to build red blood cells and carry blood to different parts of the body. This gets more oxygen to the body, which helps to alleviate fatigue and even gives people who eat spinach added energy.

Beta-carotenes have long been associated with eye health, which is why spinach is a great thing to eat if you want better eyesight or want to avoid itchy, dry eyes.

Many people also like to use spinach to boost their diet without gaining weight. Because spinach is low in calories and high in fiber, it keeps you feeling full without having to pack on the pounds. Meanwhile, you're getting all the great health benefits described above, so it's a win-win situation.

Final Thought

Keep in mind that there are some health conditions which may not fit with a diet rich in spinach. Because spinach contains oxalic acid, it may actually be unhealthy for people who suffer from gallbladder or kidney problems. If you suffer from either of these conditions, ask your doctor before adding spinach to your diet. If you don't have problems with your gallbladder or kidneys, spinach is certainly a healthy food you should consider eating more of. However, remember that spinach alone shouldn't be used as a treatment for any of the conditions listed in this article.

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