Eat your spinach. We have all heard before and we all know that spinach is really good for us. Do we know why? Spinach is food that falls into the dark leafy green category. This category of food carries with it many nutritional and health benefits for us.
Plants are nutritionally complex. They are composed of lots of parts called phytochemicals that work together in synergy. Experts in nutrition are beginning to say that it is better to eat these types of nutritionally dense foods than consuming too many vitamins. They suspect that it is the nutrients that work in concert with each other being a part of a whole plant that provide the health benefit. A vitamin isolates these nutrients and therefore may not be as effective in boosting health.
It makes sense though. The same concept can be applied to us as people. None of body parts or organs are at all effective when they have been separated from our body. I know that is a silly analogy, but plants all they have is their nutritional components. So let’s focus on eating a plant-based, whole food diet. Like the plaque hanging in my kitchen says, “Eat Your Vegetables”.
Let me break down for you the leading benefits of spinach. Spinach is easy to come by and it has a mild flavor. This is my favorite green to add to my morning smoothie and my favorite one to make a salad with. This list of health and beauty benefits confirm why.
1. General Health
Spinach is loaded with a nutritional punch. Consuming a cup or more of spinach a day can improve overall energy levels, improve thinking, and improve immunity. It would be impossible to overstate the benefits that could come one’s way when it is consumed often.
2. Skin Care
Spinach is loaded with VItamin A, C and E amongst other minerals. Therefore, eating this dark leafy green regularly can benefit your body’s largest organ: your skin. It helps to keep your skin from getting dry and itchy. It also reduces bruising and will help protect against the radiation of the sun. The fact that spinach is loaded with antioxidants means that it helps to fight free-radicals that cause aging. Basically, spinach helps to keep our complexions clear and radiant.
3. Digestive Health
A serving of spinach contains a high amount of fiber. The fiber helps with process of digestions and keeps the walls of the intestines clean and clear. This means that the nutrients from foods can be easily absorbed. Additionally, it means that eating spinach often helps reduce constipation.
4. Prevention of Cancer
I mentioned all the anti-oxidants spinach has. So, yes, they combat the free-radicals that contribute to aging, but those free-radicals have also been linked to cancer. Spinach has many phytochemicals that have anti-cancer properties.
5. Strong Bones
Spinach is rich in Vitamin K. Vitamin K is a necessary nutrient in growing and maintaining strong bones. Popeye was not joking about his spinach. The Vitamin K that is in spinach controls the activation of osteoclasts which break bone down over time. In addition, spinach is a better alternative to dairy in providing our bodies with calcium and protein. This is important to note for all the vegans reading this.
6. Strong Heart
Spinach contains the antioxidant lutein which is helpful in maintaining arterial health. When the arteries are free from plaque build-up and are able to maintain a high-level of elasticity then the condition and the effectiveness of the heart stays strong. Spinach is low in fat and helps to keep the arteries running clean and clear. It also helps to maintain low blood-pressure, which is another factor to consider with heart health.
7. Good Eyes
In addition to the lutein mentioned above, spinach also contains the antioxidant zeaxanthin. These antioxidants help prevent the eyes from aging. Aging eyes can develop cataracts, macular degeneration. But, the super-hero Vitamin A rich spinach works to prevent these conditions from developing.
8. Less Stress on Body
Ah yes, like a trip to the spa spinach works to help keep your body stress free. It has high amounts of magnesium and zinc. These minerals aid in a restful restorative sleep. Good sleep helps the entire body and mind to function properly and clearly.
9. Improves Blood Quality
OK, so there is something else that spinach has a lot of: IRON. Iron is an essential component for our blood. Iron helps our blood get the oxygen distributed throughout the body. The right amount of iron also helps keep energy levels up. Oh and spinach is a better source of iron than red meat because it is lower in calories, fat and cholesterol free.
10. Strengthen Immunity
A cup of spinach contains over three times the recommended daily dose of Vitamin A. Vitamin A has the job of guarding the places in the body that let in germs: mucous membranes and other openings. It is also a key component of our white blood cells that help fight infection and disease.
This is a brief outline of the health benefits of spinach. Hopefully you can see how eating this dark leafy green vegetable will help to increase your health and happiness, thereby changing your life for the better.