7 Health Benefits of Spinach

Last updated June 20, 2016

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a flowering plant in the family of Amaranthaceae. It is native to central and southwestern Asia. Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled. The dark leafy greens are essential for skin, hair, bone health.

Here are 7 health benefits of spinach:

1.     Spinach can help improve eye health and prevent eye damage.

Spinach is a rich source of beta-carotene, lutein, and xanthene, which benefit eyesight. Beta-carotene can be converted to vitamin A. This can prevent people from suffering from vitamin A deficiency, itching eyes, eye ulcers, and dry eyes. Lutein and zeaxanthin both act as strong antioxidants, preventing the eyes from the harsh effects of ultraviolet rays that potentially lead to cataracts.

2.     Spinach contains anti-cancer properties.

Spinach contains chlorophyll, which can block the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines generated when grilling foods at a high temperature. Also, various components in spinach like folate, tocopherol, and chlorophyllin act to treat and protect patients suffering from cancer.

3.     Spinach may help in cancer prevention.

Beta-carotene has been known to be one of the nutrients that decreases individuals’ risk of developing asthma. Spinach is loaded with beta-carotene.

4.     Spinach can help lower and maintain blood pressure.

Spinach has a very high content of potassium and a low content of sodium. Folate also contributes to the reduction of hypertension and relaxes blood vessels, while maintaining proper blood flow.

5.     Spinach can help improve bone strength and density.

Spinach also has a high calcium content. However, the oxalate content in spinach also binds with calcium, decreasing its absorption. On the other hand, spinach is a good source of vitamin K, which functions in retaining calcium in the bone matrix. Sufficient vitamin K consumption may also reduce urinary excretion of calcium.

6.     Spinach can help the brain’s cognitive functioning.

Several components of spinach like potassium, folate, and various antioxidants are known to provide neurological benefits. Folate has been known to reduce the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline. Potassium has been linked to increasing blood flow to the brain and heightened cognition, concentration, and neural activity.

7.     Spinach may help strengthen your muscles.

The antioxidant C0-Q10 plays a significant role in strengthening muscles, especially heart muscles which continuously pump blood to all parts of the body. C0-Q10 can be used to prevent and treat many cardiovascular diseases like coronary heart disease, heart failure, and high blood pressure.

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Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: July 29, 2014
Last updated: June 20, 2016

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