Greens are good for you, everybody knows that. But how good? In what way exactly are they good? What benefits do we derive from them? The focus for this one is on leafy spinach. There are many varieties of spinach with these benefits being present in all of them across the board.
1. High nutrients
Spinach is nutrient-rich and contains a minimal amount of calories. Spinach has virtually no fat. It has vitamin K which is useful for bone development. Spinach is packed with vitamin K which is essential to bone health and growth. Vitamin K is also great for cardiovascular health inhibiting calcification which is an important factor in the development of heart disease.
It has Vitamin A and Vitamin C both of which support immune function protecting against illness and infection and promote healthy skin. It is one of the best sources of vitamin c which assists in the growth and repair of all tissues as well as the wound healing process. Vitamin C also helps maintain healthy cartilage, bones, skin, and teeth. Lifestyle: The Health Benefits Of Vitamin C & Food Sources
It has folate which is a vitamin B that helps in the formation of red blood cells and DNA. It also has iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium along with other vitamins. Iron helps your body makes haemoglobin which is needed to transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest of you which is why one of the symptoms of iron deficiency is fatigue. Potassium helps lower blood pressure.
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2. High in anti-oxidants
Anti-oxidants are substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage. Great sources are vegetables and fruits. Spinach has antioxidants linked to anti-inflammation and disease protection. They include kaempferol which reduces the risk of cancer and also slows its growth and spread. It also has quercetin which has been linked to protective effects on memory as well as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
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3. Supports brain health
The anti-inflammatory effects of spinach make it great for protecting the brain and in particular when it comes to ageing. People who consumed a lot of greens including spinach had a significantly less cognitive decline. It has lutein which helps preserve cognitive abilities. In studies, older people with higher lutein levels exhibited better fluency, memory, reasoning ability and processing speed than those with lower amounts.
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4. May help manage blood pressure
The nitrates and compounds in spinach open up blood vessels and improve blood flow, easing the burden on the heart. One study found that participants who drank smoothies with spinach had lowered blood pressure. The blood pressure remained lower five hours after taking the spinach drink. The same results were found for those who drank beetroot juice.
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5. Protects eye health
The lutein preen tin spinach also protects against eye-related diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Studies have found that people who take lutein supplements are at a lower risk of macular degeneration which is the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness. There is currently no cure for macular degeneration so prevention is key.
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The benefits of spinach are numerous from boosting immunity, brain health and the workings of the heart to improving bone health, eye health and blood pressure. Here’s hoping you are thoroughly convinced about the necessity of adding a side of spinach to accompany all your meals.
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