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6 Impressive Health Benefits Of Spinach, The Original Favorite Super-Green

Benefits Of Spinach: As far as leafy greens go, you really can’t go wrong with spinach. For starters, it boasts a mild earthy flavor, which is ideal if you don’t enjoy the bitterness of kale or blandness of iceberg lettuce. It’s also incredibly easy to add both fresh and frozen spinach to recipes, whether you’re blending up a nutrient-packed smoothie or simmering a hearty stew.

All that said, if spinach isn’t already a frequent addition in your salads, pastas, omelets, soups, and smoothies, its bounty of healthy benefits will inspire you to head to the grocery store ASAP. Here are all the healthy, nutritional benefits of spinach, according to registered dietitians.

Also Read: The 12 Best Herbs and Spices for Better Health

1.Spinach is high in antioxidants.

“Spinach is rich in many different antioxidants, such as lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamin C,” says registered dietitian Marissa Meshulam, MS, RD, CDN. This is key for overall health, as antioxidants neutralize free radicals, she explains.

Benefits Of Spinach, When free radicals build up in the body, it leads to cell damage and oxidative stress, a major contributor to chronic conditions like cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.1 However, as antioxidants (like those in spinach) help combat free radicals, they can prevent oxidative damage and keep your cells healthy, Meshulam says.

Benefits Of Spinach

2.Spinach has potassium to help manage blood pressure.

Benefits Of Spinach, “Spinach is a good source of potassium, which helps lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels,” Meshulam says. Potassium also works by balancing the body’s level of sodium—which, in high amounts, can increase blood pressure.

What’s more, spinach is a stellar source of folate and magnesium, two nutrients that increase the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that has a blood pressure-lowering effect, she says. This is key because high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

3.Spinach is serious brain food.

Here’s some food for thought: Spinach is one of the best foods for brain health. According to the journal Neurology, a daily intake of just one serving of leafy greens (½ cup cooked), such as spinach, can slow down age-related cognitive decline.

Benefits Of Spinach,  This is due to its high content of lutein, beta-carotene, folate, and phylloquinone (a form of vitamin K), all of which protect brain cells over time. The exact mechanisms vary by nutrient, but in general, they work by reducing oxidative stress, neuroinflammation (i.e., inflammation of the brain and spinal cord), and the buildup of proteins involved in conditions like Alzheimer’s disease

4.Spinach provides iron to support healthy blood.

Spinach is a source of iron, a mineral used to make a hemoglobin, the main component of red blood cells. These cells are in charge of bringing oxygen to all your organs and tissues, so they’re pretty darn important. There are two types of iron: heme, which is found in animal foods, and non-heme, which comes from plant foods, including spinach.

The body doesn’t absorb non-heme iron as well as heme iron, but you can increase absorption by pairing spinach with a solid source of vitamin C, says registered dietitian Rhyan Geiger, RD. Examples of vitamin C-rich foods include lemon juice, broccoli, bell peppers, white potatoes, and tomatoes. (Sounds like a pretty delicious salad idea!)

Benefits Of Spinach

5.Spinach is packed with fiber for gut health and regularity.

It might not be the most glamorous topic, but another huge health benefit of spinach is its fantastic fiber content, which supports the health of your gut microbiome and encourages digestive regularity. “There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble,” Geiger explains. “Spinach contains insoluble fiber, which is the type of fiber that’s not easily broken down.

Benefits Of Spinach, This adds bulk to stool, making it easier to pass and potentially easing constipation and irregularity. Bonus: Insoluble fiber is also associated with increased satiety after meals, Geiger says, so this leafy green can help keep you full and satisfied for longer.

6.Spinach is great for eye health.

Contrary to popular belief, carrots aren’t the only vegetables that benefit your peepers. According to Meshulam, spinach contains the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which are related to vitamin A. Both nutrients work to protect your eyes against the sun, a major source of oxidative stress (and therefore, cell damage) in the eye. This may help reduce risk of age-related eye diseases, including macular degeneration and cataracts, according to Meshulam.

But take note: Both lutein and zeaxanthin are fat-soluble nutrients, meaning they need fat in order to be absorbed by the body, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.4 To score all the great advantages of these antioxidants, consider drizzling your next spinach dish with extra-virgin olive oil or pairing it with avocado, seeds, or fatty fish.

Also Read: Ginger Has Been Used For Thousands Of Years. What Are Its Health Benefits?

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