Health Benefits of Spinach
Spinach has a variety of health benefits. The antioxidants in spinach help support healthy vision and combat against macular degeneration. The antioxidants also help protect against osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis. The fiber in spinach (one cup contains 20% of your recommended daily value) helps to keep your digestive system in order and stabilizes your blood sugar levels to help prevent cravings. The vitamins and minerals found in spinach help play a critical role in keeping your skin, bones, central nervous system, and immune system healthy and strong. The flavonoids found in spinach are also thought to have anti-cancer benefits, particularly in slowing down the growth of skin and stomach cancer. Two chemicals, neoxanthin and violaxanthinare found in abnormally high amounts in spinach. These produce an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, which is particularly helpful for those with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
Spinach: Nutritional Profile
One cup of raw spinach contains only seven calories. You will also get 56% of your daily recommended value of vitamin A, 14% of your daily recommended value of vitamin C, 3% of your daily recommended value of calcium, and 5% of your daily recommended value of iron, based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Spinach is a good source of niacin, zinc, vitamin E, vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. It is also high in dietary fiber.
The Various Ways to Prepare Spinach
One of the greatest things about spinach is you can eat it several different ways. This enables you to include it as a regular part of your diet without getting tired of it so easily. You can find it fresh, frozen, or canned, but we recommend fresh or frozen. You can:
- eat it raw in a salad
- eat it creamed
- steam it
- sauté it
- include it in baked goods