This powerhouse green has long-touted by gym enthusiasts as a muscle builder, did you know that there are many other health benefits of this green? Spinach is also rich in vitamin K, which bolsters bone-mineral density, thus protecting against osteoporosis, and reducing fracture rates. It is high in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and even selenium – all of which help to protect the liver and ward off Alzheimer's. One study in the Journal of Nutrition even suggests that the carotenoid neoxanthin in spinach can kill prostate cancer cells, while the beta-carotene fights colon cancer.
Why is spinach so nutritious?
Low in calories and high in vitamins, spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. One cup of the leafy green vegetable contains far more than your daily requirements of vitamin K and vitamin A, almost all the manganese and folate your body needs and just about 40% of your magnesium requirement. It is a great source of more than 20 different nutrients, including fiber, calcium and protein.
Fresh Spinach is full of antioxidants:
Spinach contains more than a dozen individual flavonoid compounds, which work together as cancer-fighting antioxidants. These elements neutralize free radicals in the body and thus help to prevent cancer. Spinach extracts have reduced skin cancer in lab animals and show promise at slowing stomach cancer as well. One study showed less breast cancer cases among women who ate spinach on a regular basis.
Fresh Green Spinach Improves Cardiovascular Health
According to research compiled by Whole Foods, spinach is an excellent promoter of cardiovascular health. The antioxidant properties of spinach work together to promote good cardiovascular health by preventing the harmful oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol is a danger to the heart and arteries. Magnesium in spinach works toward healthy blood pressure levels. In fact, just a salad-size portion of spinach will work to lower high blood pressure within hours. A serving of spinach contains 65 percent of your daily requirement of folate, and folate converts harmful, stroke-inducing chemicals into harmless compounds.
Spinach Improves Brain Function
Still need motivation to eat a few servings of spinach every day? This dark green leaf will protect your brain function from premature aging and slow old age's typical negative effects on your metal capabilities. Spinach accomplishes this by preventing the harmful effects of oxidation on your brain. Those who eat a vegetables in quantity, especially those of the leafy green variety, experience a decrease in brain function loss. However, there is no such correlation with fruit consumption. Oh, and iceberg lettuce doesn't cut it. A good rule of thumb: the darker the leaf, the better. Which brings us back to spinach.