Spinach is one of the most beneficial vegetables. Perhaps it is not regularly used in your diet. However, there are many reasons you should eat spinach as often as you can. What are these reasons? Let us find out!
What is Spinach Good for?
Spinach contains proteins, carbohydrates and even fats. There are also saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, fiber and starch. As any vegetable, spinach is full of vitamins A, E, C, H and B group. Of course, this plant contains minerals too.
Such combination of useful substances makes spinach a healthy vegetable with a set of beneficial properties:
- Regular consumption of spinach prevents hypertension. This vegetable perfectly strengthens blood vessels due to a high potassium content. Therefore, your heart works at a normal pressure. As a result, all of your internal organs work well, which may even lead to weight loss, because cholesterol is taken out of blood.
- Spinach is a powerful diuretic. It reduces swellings and inflammations, so you can eat some after sitting for too long. Moreover, this property means the vegetable helps your kidneys work properly, which can help you increase your metabolic rate. So, you will lose weight faster if you are on a diet.
- The vegetable positively affects the work of thyroid gland due to a high iodine concentration. This organ affects all your body systems by producing hormones. Therefore, spinach can help you increase immunity and fight diseases. Of course, it also leads to the rise of metabolic rate.
- Spinach cleanses your body from toxins. It is really important to eat some after food poisonings, so that there are no harmful substances left. Moreover, a high vitamin content means spinach restores the balance of useful microelements in cells. Containing a lot of dietary fiber, this plant helps your intestines work well too.
- Spinach absorbs free radicals that affect the aging of the body and development of diseases. This is thanks to a high content of vitamins A and C, as well as polyphenol antioxidants and lutein. Last ones are found in many vegetables, but there are a lot of them in spinach specifically, which makes this vegetable an indispensable product for health.
- The plant is really beneficial for vision, as it contains a unique substance called carotenoid zeaxanthin. It protects against age-related degeneration of the retina. Therefore, if you spend a lot of time by a computer, you should necessarily include spinach to your diet.
- Spinach helps maintain general visual acuity too, because of vitamin A and flavonoids in its content. These substances are also beneficial for mucous membranes in all the organs of your body. The healthiness of these membranes prevents oncological lesions of lungs and oral cavity.
- The composition of calcium and vitamin K makes spinach beneficial for your bones. It strengthens them and stimulates the production of osteoblasts and osteocytes (cells of bone tissue). Moreover, these two elements of spinach content help stabilize the state of neurons of the brain.
- Spinach prevents the appearance of neural tube defects during pregnancy. It is thanks to vitamins B1, B6, riboflavin, folic and nicotinic acid. That is why a vegetable salad with spinach is very useful for pregnant women. There are many vitamins that are extremely needed for a baby.
- What is really interesting about spinach, there is omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid in its content. This substance is also found in fish (mostly salmon). Omega-3 helps you normalize fat metabolism, which leads to a weight loss. Therefore, to enhance the effect, you can eat some salmon with spinach as an additive.
- Copper in spinach composition stimulates the production of red blood cells. It is very important for all the internal organs, as erythrocytes deliver oxygen to them. Moreover, regular consumption of spinach helps prevent anemia and blood cancer due to the copper it contains.
- Spinach is beneficial for your nervous system. It contains many useful substances that together help you calm down after a stressful day. It is a good idea to eat spinach for both breakfast and dinner, so that outward things cannot affect your mood.
- The useful substances contained in spinach affect the work of pancreas in a good way. This organ helps your stomach digest food, producing ferments. The lack of these ferments leads to indigestion, as a result making you gain weight. You should consume spinach usually if you suffer from heartburns too.
- Spinach can be used as a cosmetic remedy for skin. You can make some puree with its leaves and apply on face to nourish it with vitamins and moisturize nicely. This way you will make sure your skin remains young and beautiful, as spinach has an anti-aging effect.
- It is also beneficial to apply spinach masks on hair. This vegetable will help it grow evenly and remain silky. If your hair often falls out, use spinach both internally and externally to make sure your body has all the vitamins to strengthen the curls. Moreover, regular consumption of the plant is also useful for head skin.
Is Spinach Good for Babies?
In fact, everything mentioned in the list above makes spinach useful for both adults and children. It does not contain any harmful substances, but is full of vitamins and minerals. These are extremely needed for babies from birth.
However, you should start giving spinach to your child only from 7-8 months after birth. The only suitable way of cooking is making a spinach puree.
There are also some additional benefits of eating spinach for babies, such as prevention of rickets and the formation of strong bones and teeth. Moreover, this vegetable helps your baby’s stomach get used to new foods.
Nevertheless, you can give spinach to your baby only before flowering. After that, this plant accumulates a lot of oxalic acid, which is harmful for health.
What is Healthier: Baby Spinach or Fully-Grown One?
Baby spinach is the same vegetable harvested during an early stage of growth, usually between 15-40 days after it is planted. In fact, baby spinach is the one you can find in supermarkets. Its small leaves are easy to cook and they can be stored for longer. Fully-grown spinach is the one harvested between 40-70 days.
Is Banana More Beneficial than Spinach?
According to various researches, there are many factors that affect the nutrition of spinach, such as soil, season of harvest and climate. Therefore, it is hard to say which one is regularly better: baby or usual one. However, the earlier this vegetable is harvested, the less oxalic acid it contains. The nutritional value is not very different.
Raw, Frozen and Cooked Spinach: What is More Beneficial?
Perhaps, raw spinach is the most useful one. It contains all the vitamins and minerals given by nature in full amounts. However, it is hard to store the vegetable this way. Therefore, it is ok to freeze some for winter.
Frozen spinach is almost as beneficial for health as a raw one. It does not lose many useful substances when thermally treated.
Considering mentioned, it is also a good idea to boil spinach or even use it as a spice. In fact, a slight boiling will not make the vegetable lose its nutritional value. However, you will be sure there are no harmful toxins or bacteria on it.
Spinach Juice vs. Spinach Smoothie
Spinach juice is a very useful beverage. It contains almost the same amount of vitamins as the vegetable does, but is probably tastier. You can make a juice by yourself or just buy one. The last option, however, is much less nutritional and does not contain that much vitamins.
Smoothie, on the other hand, is actually a liquid spinach – it has all the benefits of a raw plant.
Are there Any Side Effects of Eating Spinach?
Even though there are many benefits of eating spinach, nothing is definitely good. We have mentioned in previous paragraphs that spinach may contain a large amount of oxalic acid, which is harmful for health. In order to reduce the risk of consuming too much of this substance, eat only baby spinach that is less likely to have oxalic acid in its composition.
If you have diseases of the urinary system or kidneys, you should not eat spinach at all. This vegetable can prevent such problems, but will not heal them. Spinach also badly affects ulcer.
Spinach is one of the best vitamin sources. It contains so many useful substances and provides your body with so many benefits that you should include it to your diet surely. Even though eating spinach has some side effects, they are pretty reasonable. For most people, it is a nice and healthy additive to any meal.