Spinach is one of the most popular green leafy vegetable in the world as it is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Because of its wide range of benefits it is advised to consume spinach on a regular basis.
Spinach is also a very versatile vegetable. It can be eaten raw as part of salads, or it can be sauted or cooked. It also can be added to any soups, stews or you can mix a handful of it in your morning smoothie. Also, spinach is very low in calories and has zero fat.
Regular consumption of spinach can provide you lots of nutritional benefits. Here are 7 top benefits of eating spinach on a regular basis.
1. Rich source of Iron
Spinach is one of the richest source of Iron among the vegetables. Iron is a mineral that serves several important functions, its main being to carry oxygen throughout your body and making red blood cells.
It’s an essential nutrient, meaning you must get it from food. The recommended daily intake (RDI) is 18 mg. A deficiency can occur if your intake is too low to replace the amount you lose every day. Low iron levels may result in a lack of focus, increased irritability, and reduced stamina. Low iron is also known to cause hair fall in most people.
100 grams of cooked spinach contain 3.6 mg of iron, or 20% of the RDI. Since spinach is also rich in vitamin C, it boosts the iron absorption significantly
2. Improves Eye sight
Spinach contains two essential chemicals, Lutein
Spinach is also a rich source of beta-carotene and vitamin A is responsible for keeping the
3. Improve cholesterol levels
Dark leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, contain lutein and other carotenoids, which are linked to a lower risk of heart
Spinach may also help lower cholesterol levels by binding to bile acids and making your body excrete more cholesterol.
4. Improve Bone Mass & Prevent Osteoporosis
Spinach contains a high value of Manganese which helps with your bone health. Manganese, in combination with other minerals, including Calcium, Zinc & Copper, can help reduce bone loss, especially in older women who are more susceptible to bone fractures and weak bones
According to studies, taking manganese along with other bone-supporting nutrients like calcium, Vitamin D, magnesium (which is also found in a great amount in spinach) , zinc, copper can improve bone mass in women with weak bones, which is useful to naturally treat osteoporosis
5. Rich source of magnesium
Magnesium is necessary for numerous biochemical reactions in your body, some of it being energy creation, protein formation, muscle movements and nervous system regulation. Magnesium is also known in maintaining the mood levels and helps prevent depression.
1 cup of spinach will contributes to 37% of your daily intake of magnesium.
6. High levels of Folate
Folate, also known as Vitamin B9 is necessary for health and optimal functioning of your body. Spinach has high levels of folate present in it, with 1 cup of spinach providing you 66% of your daily recommended intake of folate
Folate is especially very important during pregnancy. During early pregnancy
7. Reduce Premenstrual symptoms (PMS)
Spinach has a high level of magnesium in it, with each cup providing about 37% of your daily recommended intake. Having a diet rich with magnesium, combined with vitamin B6, may help relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, such as bloating, insomnia , leg swelling and weight gain.
Selecting, storing and consuming
The fresher the spinach the better, because spinach starts losing its nutritional benefits within a few days after it has been harvested. Avoid spinach with excessive moisture. Always choose dark green leaves and stay away from leaves that are brown, yellow, or wilted.
Do not wash the spinach before you store it. Try not to purchase more than you will eat within three to five days. If you wait longer to eat the spinach than that, it may taste bitter and the nutritional value and health benefits can diminish.
Spinach has a high content of oxalic acid, which makes it hard to digest. Hence the best way to make its nutrients more digestible is by slightly sautéing it or steaming it. This reduces the oxalate content in spinach. However boiling it too much can reduce the nutrients.
Vitamin C is already present in a good amount in Spinach. But you can add in some additional ingredient with vitamin C to better help absorb the benefits of spinach. Calcium however can slow down iron absorption, so try to avoid having Calcium with a spinach meal.
Check out our spinach rich recipes here