Spinach is a treasure of healthy ingredients. Full of vitamins and minerals and a dozen or so different flavonoids, it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Just pure health!
Carotenoids found in spinach (such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) have been linked to reducing the risk of developing such diseases as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. Flavonoids effectively stop the harmful effects of free radicals. That is why spinach is one of those products that help slow down aging. In spinach, we can find large amounts of vitamins A and C, zinc, manganese, and selenium. It also has few calories. Interestingly, spinach is used by many medical systems around the world.
In Ayurveda, it is used to relieve inflammation, increase bone strength, and reduce thyroid activity. It is believed to have a detoxifying and nourishing effect. Eating it is especially recommended in spring.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, spinach has cooling and toning properties. Promotes liver health and protects it against diseases. Although it also contains calcium and iron, they are not well absorbed. Spinach is considered one of the least bioavailable sources of calcium. This is due to the high content of substances that impede absorption, including oxalic acid. Its particles (oxalates) bind to calcium and iron, preventing them from being absorbed.
Benefits of Spinach
- Strengthens Immune System
The high content of vitamins A and C (in spinach) supports the strength of the immune system. Thanks to this, it better defends us against bacteria, viruses, and toxins, as well as other harmful pathogens. Antioxidants also protect the skin and eyes, as well as the mouth against the development of caries and gum disease. Inhibiting the harmful activity of free radicals helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases. In addition, spinach reduces the inflammatory response and cell damage and also has a beneficial effect on digestive health. Thanks to this, nutrients are better absorbed.
- Helps to Detoxify
Carotenoids found in spinach have been shown to reduce inflammation, thus protecting the gastrointestinal and gastric epithelium, thereby reducing the risk of developing autoimmune and digestive disorders, e.g. leaky gut syndrome. Phytonutrients support liver function, preventing bacterial overgrowth in the intestinal microbiome. They support the cleansing and proper functioning of the digestive system. It is also worth mentioning fiber, which facilitates regular defecation, prevents diarrhea and constipation, allowing you to get rid of toxins from the body.
- Helps to regulate Glucose Levels
The spinach contains phytoecdysteroids, which are protective steroids. Studies have shown that they increase glucose metabolism and help maintain stable blood levels. This is very good news not only for diabetics but also for people struggling with other forms of metabolic syndrome. Due to the presence of fiber, it slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, which also helps to maintain its constant level. It has also been shown that some of the compounds found in spinach reduce the risk of diabetic complications such as heart disease, nerve damage, limb numbness or vision loss.
- Contains lots of Magnesium
Spinach is one of the best food sources of magnesium that stays even after cooking. Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for our body and plays a very important role in over 300 different functions. It is necessary for the regulation of calcium, sodium, and potassium. Together, they control neuromuscular signals and muscle spasms.
Unfortunately, it is flushed out of the body for many reasons, ex. as a result of stress. Its deficiency may result in insomnia, mood disorders, headaches, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of diabetes.
Spinach can help ensure that you have adequate magnesium levels in your body. However, people who suffer from its obvious deficiency should support themselves with supplements.
- Helps to maintain good Vision…
Vitamin A which is found in spinach protects the retina, the macula, and the cornea. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the two most important carotenoids for eye health. Research suggests that increasing the number of foods such as spinach in your diet can help reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration. These carotenoids also help filter harmful rays that enter the cornea. Thus, they protect the delicate area of the retina from oxidative stress that can lead to cataracts or blindness.
- … and beautiful skin.
Vitamins A and C help fight damage caused by UV radiation. Thanks to antioxidants, spinach supports the growth of new skin cells and the production of collagen, which is one of the main building blocks of the skin. It is responsible for its flexibility and youthful appearance.
- Takes care of the bones
In spinach, you’ll also find vitamin K, which is needed to maintain healthy bones. Thanks to this, it contributes to the prevention of fractures and osteoporosis. Vitamin K also helps to alleviate inflammation and is needed in the process of blood clotting.
- Protects from heart diseases
Antioxidants relieve inflammation, which is one of the main risk factors for coronary heart disease. Research shows that spinach can protect heart health thanks to nitric acid, which improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, and has a positive effect on blood vessels.
Spinach can help prevent blood vessel problems, such as atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. Its ingredients protect the arteries from the dangerous accumulation of plaques, help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, increase blood flow and maintain healthy, strong blood vessels. Fiber, which lowers cholesterol and slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, works similarly. As a result, the risk of heart attack or stroke is reduced.
- Helps to support Brain activity
Research suggests that spinach may have anti-aging properties and protect the brain against age-related diseases. Surprisingly, it can even reverse existing damage that arose in the cerebral cortex after a stroke. Due to the presence of antioxidants, inflammation and oxidative stress are reduced. As reported by the Journal of Neuroscience, administering spinach supplements to rats effectively reversed signs of aging in the area of cognitive function and improved mobility.
- Helps to protect against Cancer
As studies show, eating green and leafy vegetables (including spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, cress, mustard, turnip or kale) can definitely protect against the development of certain types of cancer, including breast, prostate, and colon. Spinach can slow down the formation of cancer cells as it protects against DNA damage and reduces oxidative stress. This is due to the presence of neoxanthin and violaxanthin – antioxidants. These strong carotenoids protect cells against mutations that could eventually lead to an increase in cancerous changes. It is not the end. Chloroplast and chlorophyll are also found in spinach. Studies have shown that spinach clearly has anti-cancer effects. It captures carcinogens in the body, supports detoxification, reduces inflammation, and inhibits the harmful effects of free radicals.
Source: Ewa Wysocka z longevitas.pl