The bright, lively green spinach leaves are not only visually appealing but also very nutritious. Many nutritional experts rank spinach among the best vegetables when it comes to nutritional value. Studies show that spinach leaves are rich in vitamins and nutrients that can definitely boost your health. Aside from vitamins and minerals, vegetables like spinach are high in health-promoting benefits and phytonutrients such as flavonoids and carotenoids that have amazing antioxidant properties.
Why add spinach to your diet? Read through these health facts and ask yourself why you wouldn’t:
As mentioned above, spinach is rich in phytonutrients (flavonoids) that can help slow down the growth of cancer cells, particularly skin and stomach cancers. Furthermore, this vegetable has shown significant protection against aggressive forms of prostate cancer.
Spinach is a good source of manganese, selenium, zinc, and vitamins A and E, which are all powerful antioxidants and has some other health benefits of vegetables. These vitamins and nutrients help prevent the onset of high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and atherosclerosis.
Two types of epoxyxanthophylls are found in unusual amounts in spinach: neoxanthin and violaxathin. These compounds play a crucial role in the regulation of inflammatory processes.
Antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are plentiful in spinach. These antioxidants help maintain the macula of the eye and prevent cataracts.
Spinach has proven anti-hypertensive properties. It contains peptides that inhibit the conversion of angiotensin I, which effectively lower blood pressure.
Boost skin integrity
Spinach is high in vitamin A that helps promote healthy skin. Vitamin A promotes proper moisture retention in the outermost layer of the skin. This prevents keratinization, psoriasis, acne, and even slows skin aging.
More than protecting your skin, vitamin A supplied by spinach boosts the immune system by aiding in the production of white blood cells. It strengthens the body’s first line of defense, such as mucus membranes, urinary, respiratory and intestinal tracts.
A cup of boiled spinach can provide as much as 1000 percent of the body’s daily requirements for vitamin K. This vitamin helps regulate and even slow down the breakdown of bones. In addition, spinach promotes bone growth and ensures stonger, denser bones.
Prevention of cardiovascular diseases
Vitamin K plays a role in the carboxylation process, which effectively prevents calcium from forming in tissue. Adding a cup of spinach in your regular diet can help fight off cardiovascular diseases (stroke, atherosclerosis) and their many complications.
Better brain and nervous function
The health benefits of vitamin K found in spinach extend to the brain function and nervous system. This vitamin contributes in the production of sphingolipids – the fatty substance that protects the spinal cord and nerves.
Eating one cup of spinach can provide nearly 20 percent of the person’s dietary fiber needs. Increasing fiber intake ensures healthy digestion, prevents constipation, curbs overeating, and maintains low blood sugar.
You can enjoy the nutritional benefits of spinach by adding it in your regular diet. Spinach is one nutritional powerhouse that you should not miss!
For more information please visit: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/vegetables-and-fruits/ and http://www.thejuicingrecipes.com/category/health-benefits/vegetables/