Eat spinach and keep your health in the green. Here’s how
Dr. Sneha Ganatra
November 23, 2020
Adding greens to a diet or meal plan has always been a solid way to go about healthy eating. Such advice is also quite common as most of these vegetables are packed with nutrients and minerals that are great for the body. The spinach plant is one such dietary recommendation and numerous studies have confirmed its positive effects when consumed. Moreover, spinach nutrition value charts indicate that it is an excellent source of numerous minerals and nutrients, which clearly highlights why it should be a part of most diets.
To shed some light on this, here are key spinach nutrition facts to note:
- Calories: 23
- Sugar: 0.4g
- Water: 91%
- Protein: 2.9g
- Fat: 0.4g
- Carbohydrates: 3.6g
- Fibre: 2.2g
These values are what you can expect from spinach, nutrition of 100g, and as you’ll notice, the vegetable has a high concentration of the essential macronutrients. To add to that, it also has vitamins A, C, K1, B6, E, and B9, along with calcium and iron. There are also several plant compounds present in spinach, all of which play an essential role in maintaining optimal function in the different systems of the body.
For a more detailed understanding, here are few health benefits of spinach that you should be aware of.
Helps lower blood pressure
Among the many plant compounds, spinach contains a generous amount of nitrates. Studies have found that these nitrates are great at regulating blood pressure and decrease the risk of you developing heart disease. Thus, eating spinach is a way to promote heart health while working towards lowering blood pressure.
Spinach is also rich in dietary magnesium, which is also needed for maintaining healthy blood pressure. Lastly, the body needs potassium to control the effects of sodium in the body, one of which can be high blood pressure. Spinach is rich in potassium and works towards maintaining good blood pressure by ensuring you get enough potassium in your diet.
Aids skincare and hair care
Spinach is quite effective at aiding both skin care and hair care mainly due to the presence of vitamin A. This micronutrient is known to inhibit the production of oil in hair follicles and skin, which can often lead to problems of acne. What’s more, vitamin A is also needed to regulate skin cell generation and the growth of bodily tissue. To add to that, spinach also has vitamin C. This micronutrient is important for building collagen in the body, a protein which gives both hair and skin its structure. It also helps with iron absorption, thus preventing hair loss brought on by iron deficiencies.
Improves eye health
The two compounds, zeaxanthin and lutein, have been linked to improved eye health. Studies have found that these antioxidants reduce cataracts and progressive vision loss. What’s more, they also help reduce macular degeneration, which is a major cause of blindness. There are some studies that also suggest that spinach may also be able to reverse pre-existing damage to the eyes. In addition to that, vitamin A from spinach juice may also improve eye health. This is because vitamin A deficiency can cause night blindness or dry eyes and consuming 240mL of juice provides for over 60% of the daily value needed by the body.
Reduces the risk of cancer cell growth
There are several factors of spinach nutrition that come into play to prevent or reduce cancer cell growth. The Kaempferol plant compound may reduce the risk of cancer and it is one that is present in spinach. Moreover, oxidative stress caused by free radicals is fought off by the antioxidants in spinach, thus minimising the risk of developing cancer and early aging too.
Another study found that the chlorophyll in spinach is effective at protecting the body against the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines. These are produced when grilling food at very high temperatures and are known to contribute to cancer development. Lastly, both MGDG and SQDG compounds in spinach may inhibit cancer growth and a study also found that MGDG was particularly effective at aiding radiation therapy kill pancreatic cancer cells.
Plays a role in asthma prevention
Asthma is a quite an uncomfortable condition that can affect people at almost any age. Numerous children and adults are affected by it over the world and while treatment can help, trying to prevent the development of asthma should be a priority. Thankfully, studies have found that a high intake of certain nutrients reduces the risk of developing asthma. Specifically, a study confirmed that people with a higher intake of beta-carotene showed lower risk of developing asthma and a good way to get this nutrient by eating spinach. It is a rich source of beta-carotene and one that can go a long way in protecting you against asthma.
While all these spinach benefits make the case for why you should be adding it to you diet, you may also want to consider the fact that it has potential side effects. For instance, as per the spinach nutrition facts, it is rich in vitamin K1. While this vitamin has its benefits, it also plays a key role in the clotting of blood. As such, it counteracts blood thinning and can negatively affect those on medication for the same. Secondly, spinach is also not recommended for those prone to developing kidney stones as it is rich in both calcium and oxalates. These minerals make up calcium stones and so, spinach isn’t for everyone. To avoid such problems, it is wise to consult a specialist when creating your diet plan. With the Bajaj Finserv Health app, availing such healthcare is easy.
With it, you can find the best doctors around you, book appointments online and virtually consult with doctors via video. This makes remote healthcare easily accessible, especially when seeking care from dieticians as, here, a physical visit isn’t necessary. What’s more, with the app’s Health Vault feature, you can track your vitals, maintain digital patient records, and share all this information with doctors digitally. This allows doctors to administer the best care possible with up to date information. To get all these benefits in full, download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play for free.