Spinach: Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts
- The spinach plant is one such dietary recommendation and numerous studies have confirmed its positive effects.
- Among the many plant compounds, spinach contains a generous amount of nitrates.
- To avoid any problems, it is wise to consult a specialist when creating your diet plan.
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.
Nutrition Facts of Spinach
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
- Fiber: 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.
Health Benefits of Spinach
For a more detailed understanding, here are a few health benefits of spinach that you should be aware of.
1. 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.Additional Read: High Blood Pressure Vs Low Blood Pressure
2. Aids Skincare and Hair Care
Spinach is quite effective at aiding both skincare 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 with acne. What’s more, vitamin A is also needed to regulate skin cell generation and the growth of bodily tissue. Adding to that, spinach also has vitamin C. This micronutrient is important for building collagen in the body, a protein that gives both hair and skin its structure. Spinach benefits from iron absorption, thus preventing hair loss brought on by iron deficiencies.
3. 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, Spinach benefits also 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.
4. Reduces 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 minimize 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.
5. Asthma PreventionAsthma 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.
6. Promotes bone health
Spinach enhances calcium absorption in your body, which helps with your bone health. It can provide 250 milligrams of calcium per cup of serving, which is required for proper bone development. Spinach can modify the proteins required for your bone matrix formation. It is rich in vitamin C, which promotes the formation of bone cells and increases bone density.
The antioxidizing effect of vitamin C in spinach benefits your bone cells from damage. It has magnesium and zinc that maintain bone health. Magnesium promotes calcium absorption and activates vitamin D in your body. Moreover, zinc in spinach benefits bone formation and maintains the mineral content in your bones. Spinach also contains vitamin K and micronutrients like manganese and iron, which aid in good bone health.
7. Regulates blood glucose levels
Spinach is a non-starchy green vegetable that indicates low carbohydrate content, which helps to regulate blood glucose levels. Consuming spinach, especially for diabetic patients, can be beneficial as it can decrease the post-meal glucose responses. Spinach is the richest source of dietary nitrate, along with magnesium. Both these nutrients help to regulate blood glucose levels.
Spinach's health benefits mainly lie in its antioxidants, such as alpha-lipoic acid, which can reduce blood glucose levels. Its low glycemic content improves insulin sensitivity in your body, which controls sudden rise in blood glucose levels. Spinach’s high fiber content helps you avoid insulin resistance that can fluctuate blood glucose levels.
8. Helps with weight loss
If you are searching for a low-carb diet to reduce your weight, then add spinach to your daily meals. Spinach benefits your body by increasing your metabolic rate, which helps in weight loss. It has a high content of iron, which can influence your thyroid hormones to boost your metabolism. In addition to iron, spinach benefits your metabolic activities with magnesium, which prevents loss of appetite, causing inactivity or low energy in your body.
The high fiber content of spinach also helps with proper digestion and prevents bowel problems. Thus, it boosts your metabolism and helps keep your weight under control. Spinach is low in calories but can satisfy your appetite and make you feel full after a meal.
9. Prevents anemia
Among the other essential micronutrients, spinach is rich in iron, which prevents your body from chronic iron deficiency. Iron deficiency can cause anemia, especially among menstruating women. Spinach contains non-heme iron, the type of iron usually found in plant sources, which has less impact on the hemoglobin. But spinach can improve your hemoglobin levels by increasing the absorption of iron.
Among spinach's benefits for the skin, its vitamin C content restores the iron required for hemoglobin production and boosts your energy with the mineral supply. Spinach carries oxygen to every cell in the body by restoring iron molecules in your blood. This helps you choose it as a healthy addition to your balanced diet.
10. Boosts brain function
Spinach health benefits include improving your brain health by regulating certain hormones in the body. It reduces levels of corticosterone hormone in your blood that show anti-stress effects. It also enhances your cognitive abilities and boosts your brain health through all the micronutrients and vitamins like A, K, and beta carotene present in it.
These compounds are important to counteract the free radicals that can damage brain cells. This function also helps to maintain cognitive abilities in aged individuals. Spinach has lutein, which is an antioxidant that can enhance your memory and boost your brain health. This nutritional content makes spinach a healthy addition to your daily diet.
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 healthcare platform provided by Bajaj Finserv Health, availing of 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 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. Avail these benefits and restart your healthy life!
Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.
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