Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is considered one of the nutrient-dense foods on the planet because it’s loaded with tons of antioxidants and nutrients. This leafy green vegetable originated in Persia and then it spread across different parts of the world and became a desirable leafy green known for its health-promoting properties.
1. Improves heart health
Spinach contains a good amount of nitrates, which improves blood circulation, reduces blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart disease . A 2016 study showed that the presence of various vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and bioactive compounds can help improve heart health.
2. Maintains healthy eyes
Spinach is loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, the two carotenoids which have been linked to improving eye health. These two carotenoids are present in our eyes, which protects the eyes from the harmful rays coming from the sun . In addition, increasing the intake of lutein and zeaxanthin has been shown to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts .
3. Protects against oxidative stress
Free radicals cause oxidative stress in the body that is responsible for cells, proteins and DNA damage which can contribute to faster ageing and increased risk of diabetes and cancer. Studies have shown that spinach possesses antioxidants that protect you from diseases by fighting oxidative stress .
4. Lowers blood pressure
The dietary nitrate found in spinach has beneficial effects on your blood pressure levels. Nitrates are a vasodilator which helps widen the blood vessels and improves blood flow, thus lowering blood pressure levels. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease.
5. Prevents anaemia
Iron is required by the body to make haemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that carry oxygen-rich blood to the lungs and all parts of the body. Spinach is high in iron and studies have shown that consuming adequate iron can prevent iron-deficiency anaemia .
6. Manages diabetes
Spinach is rich in antioxidants, which has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, increase insulin sensitivity and prevent oxidative stress-induced changes in diabetic patients.
7. Supports bone health
Vitamin K and calcium are essential nutrients that help in the formation of bones, keep bones healthy and prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures. And spinach contains a good amount of vitamin K and calcium and consuming it will help keep your bones strong and healthy .
8. Promotes healthy digestive system
The presence of dietary fibre in spinach helps in keeping the digestive system healthy. Fibre prevents constipation by adding bulk to stool and helps in maintaining proper bowel movements.
9. Boosts immunity
Spinach is a good source of vitamin C, a water-soluble antioxidant that aids in strengthening the immune system and protects against harmful germs that attack the immune system .