Nutritionists consider spinach to be a superfood. This green leafy vegetable from Persia contains a good amount of vitamins and minerals offering numerous benefits to the body. It is available in cans or fresh and can be consumed raw or cooked. In this article, we will be looking at the nutrition facts about spinach.
Nutrients in One Cup of Spinach
Spinach contains a suitable amount of carbohydrates and fiber that are good for the health. It also contains carotenoids that are converted into vitamin A by the body. The vegetable also has vitamin B, vitamin K1, calcium. Folic acid, and iron. It is a nutrient-rich vegetable that has a good amount of vitamins and minerals the body needs to remain healthy.
To be specific, one cup of spinach contains:
- 1 gram of protein
- 1 gram of iron
- 30 mg of calcium
- 30 mg of magnesium
- 170 mg of potassium
- Vitamin A
- Small dose of folate
Helpful Nutrition Facts about Spinach
1. Control Blood Pressure
The nitrates in spinach are known to regulate blood pressure levels. When blood pressure is lowered or controlled, it reduces the risk of heart disease. Spinach also contains potassium, which can help lessen sodium level in the body. This also helps contribute to the reduction of blood pressure in the body, which lowers the risk of heart-related ailments. Several studies have shown this reduction in blood pressure among people who have a good amount of spinach in their diet.
2. Reduce Oxidative Stress
When the body metabolizes food, free radicals are among its products. These free radicals can result in oxidative stress, which can cause accelerated aging. It also increases the risk of diabetes and cancer. A great nutrition fact about spinach is that antioxidants in spinach can help prevent oxidative stress. Research shows that antioxidant activities of spinach can deal with oxidative stress in the body.
3. Manage Diabetes
The alpha-lipoic acid in spinach can reduce glucose levels and increase sensitivity to insulin. This antioxidant can also prevent oxidative stress among people with diabetes. Due to this, the vegetable can help manage diabetes in the body. It is also among the vegetables the American Diabetes Association has recommended for patients with type 1 and 2 diabetes since it is rich in fiber and is a non-starchy vegetable.
4. Prevents Cancer
The carotenoids in spinach help remove free radicals in the body. This vegetable can help protect against certain types of cancer, including stomach, mouth, and esophageal cancer. Studies have also shown that spinach can reduce the risk of colorectal, lung, ovarian, and endometrial cancer. Two components of spinach, SQDG and MGDG, were also known to slow down the growth of cancer cells. Aside from slowing down its growth, these compounds have also shown that they can also reduce the size of a tumor.
5. Protects the Eyes
Lutein is an antioxidant that is good for the eyes. A nutrition fact about spinach is that it contains this antioxidant along with zeaxanthin, which produces substances that can protect against age-related macular degeneration or AMD. AMD is considered as one of the main causes of blindness in the West. These carotenoids combine to form macular pigment, which protects the macula from damage caused by oxidation and excess light. The antioxidants and fiber in spinach also help decrease the risk of developing cataracts.
6. Prevents Asthma
Spinach is an excellent source of beta-carotene. This nutrient is known to help reduce symptoms of people with asthma. An Annals of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology study showed that people who consumed a good amount of this nutrient did not develop asthma-induced symptoms while exercising for seven minutes. Another study also showed that people who consume a good amount of the nutrient have a lesser chance of developing asthma.
7. Promotes Bone Health
Spinach contains a suitable amount of vitamin K. This vitamin has shown to reduce fracture rates and increases bone density with the help of vitamin D. Vitamin K has also shown to enhance calcium absorption as well as reduce calcium loss in the body. The body uses this vitamin to build stronger bones and it is more apparent among women. The potassium in spinach also helps protect against bone mineral density loss.
8. Prevents Iron-Deficiency Anemia
Anemia due to iron deficiency is among the most common types of anemia. The blood cannot produce a suitable supply of hemoglobin when the body suffers from iron deficiency. Hemoglobin is a blood protein that transports oxygen to the different organs in the body. It also gives blood cells their red color. Spinach contains a good amount of iron, which makes it a good option for people who are suffering from iron deficiency. It is also recommended by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to prevent this type of anemia.
9. Promotes Skin and Hair Health
Vitamin A is needed to produce sebum to ensure hair is well moisturized. It regulates the production of this oil to prevent acne on the skin. This nutrient is also needed to facilitate the growth of body tissues. The vegetable also contains vitamin C, which can help in the production and maintenance of collagen. Collagen provides the skin and hair its structure.
These are just some of the health benefits spinach can provide to the body. I hope that this article on the spinach nutrition facts was helpful! If you are interested, visit the health facts page!