What are the health and nutritional benefits of Spinach?

Spinach is a dark leafy vegetable that contains several nutrients. It is easily available all year round, but the actual season for spinach is between March to May, and also runs from September to October. At these times, the freshest and most flavorful spinach is available. Spinach is known to have several health benefits and is very effective in protecting the body against various diseases. Spinach, like other dark and leafy vegetables, is rich in folic acid, calcium, iron and vitamin K, which is important for the proper coagulation of blood. It also contains high levels of fiber, vitamin C and carotenoids, which help in fighting cancer. It is also loaded with vitamin A, fiber, magnesium and other important nutrients that restrict cancers of the lung, breast and colon. It also contains inositol and choline, both of which play a role in the prevention of the atherosclerosis, which is a thickening of the arteries. As such heart disease can also be prevented by the consumption of spinach. Blood sugar levels are regulated by the intake of spinach.

Spinach is also rich in flavonoids that work as antioxidants and also prevent memory loss that occurs with age. It is good for strengthening the bones due to its calcium content. Lutein is also present in spinach, which makes it very effective in preventing cataracts and macular degeneration that take place with increasing age. Age related macular degeneration is one of the main causes of blindness in elderly people. Spinach also helps in the prevention of constipation, anemia, tumors, obesity, nerve inflammation, bronchitis and dyspepsia. Conditions such as bladder, kidney and liver infections and disorders are also improved by the intake of spinach. Spinach is low in sodium content and high in potassium, and as such it is recommended for those suffering from high blood pressure. It also possesses the ability to fight stomach ulcers as it protects the membranes of the stomach. Spinach also aids the proper growth and development of the fetus and prevents birth defects.

One can consume spinach either raw or in cooked form. When cooked, it takes very little time to prepare. Spinach also makes for a tasty dish when sauteed with garlic and olive oil. It can also be used for salad dressings or in soups. One can experiment a lot with spinach by adding it to pasta, lasagna, omelets or sandwiches. It also makes for a healthy snack in the form of spinach dips which can be had with whole wheat bread or carrots and cucumbers.

answered by G M

Spinach has numerous health benefits, including an ability to prevent many diseases. Among all the vegetables, spinach is considered as one of the top choices due to its nutritional properties. Spinach and other green leafy veggies are rich in calcium, vitamin K, and folic acid. Spinach is particularly rich in iron, but it is important to note that this iron is not absorbed unless the spinach is eaten with plenty of vitamin C. Besides, spinach also contains high volumes of vitamin C, carotenoids, and fiber, all of which are essential for healthy bodily functions. The calcium content of spinach is also very good for strengthening your bones. In addition vitamin A, magnesium and other nutrients help prevent cancer, especially of the lung and breast. In general, spinach protects us against heart diseases and is equally effective for your mind as well. The flaveonoids in spinach are thought to help protect us from memory loss related to age. Another vital ingredient of spinach is lutein; this is thought to prevent the formation of cataracts, as well as age related macular degeneration, which eventually leads to preventable blindness in the elderly.

Spinach also contains certain useful nutrients like choline and inositol, which help in preventing the thickening and hardening of arteries that lead to various heart problems. Regular intake of spinach thus ensures that the arteries remain healthy. Spinach can be very useful for people suffering for diabetes as well. Regular consumption of spinach stabilizes your blood sugar and prevents it from fluctuating too much. Here is one traditional remedy that is thought to take advantage of this fact: take a handful of spinach, add 2-3 cups of water and heat it on a low flame for about an hour till it boils. Strain and cool the mixture, and then have about half a cup everyday. Spinach is also known as the anti-aging vegetable that slows down age related degeneration and prevents premature aging.

Spinach can be eaten raw as well as cooked. It cooks really fast and does not require the extra water. You just need to place it in a pan, cover it and leave it for about five minutes until it starts to wilt. The leaves can also be steamed or sauteed in olive oil with garlic for better taste. Its baby leaves are also great for salad dressing. One of the best things about spinach is that it is readily available anywhere in the world, in all seasons, and is very affordable.

answered by G M

Information on Spinach

Spinach is a green leafy vegetable rich in antioxidants. Spinach belongs to the family of Amaranthaceae. The fibre content of spinach is twice that of other green leaves. It is a good source of beta carotene and lipoic acid. The latter helps in regenerating vitamins C and E. They are equally potent antioxidants. These vitamins aids in preventing degenerative disorders, namely cataract, stroke and cardiac disease. Spinach is rich in ascorbic acid and calcium. The calcium is in the bound state with oxalates. This decreases the bioavailability of calcium. Lutein, a phytochemical present in spinach helps in reducing the risk of macular degeneration. The potassium and iron in spinach helps in maintenance of cardiac health. Lung, colon and breast cancer risks are reduced. Homocysteine, that damages arteries are reduced by the folic acid in spinach. Most of the nutrients are retained, when spinach is steamed. Boiling them is not recommended, as it reduces the folate levels. About 60 grams of spinach provides 1.9 mg of iron. Opioid peptides are also seen in spinach. Keeping them refrigerated, helps in retaining its freshness. Cooking immediately after purchase is preferred. 

answered by Dr C

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