Renowned for its rich iron content, this dark green, leafed vegetable has gained much attention due to the multitude of scientific studies conducted on its nutritional value and potential to assist in weight loss. Let’s learn more about spinach!
How does spinach benefit us?
1. It is nutrient-dense. Spinach contains a range of active substances that are indispensable to the body, such as mineral salts (sodium, calcium, sulfur, copper, iodine, etc.), vitamins (A, B1, B2, C, K, etc.), amino acids, and chlorophyll. More importantly, each cup of spinach only contains 7 calories, 1.09 g of carbohydrate, 0.86 g of protein and 0.12 g of fat, compared to other green leafed vegetable like iceberg lettuce, each cup of which contains 8 calories, 1.69 g of carbohydrate, 0.51 g of protein and 0.08 g of fat.
2. It can help you to lose weight. Eating nutrient dense vegetables like spinach can help to make you feel fuller earlier in a meal. It takes more low-energy-density spinach to equal a certain number of calories than it would a high-energy-density food like bacon, allowing you to eat the same amount of food for fewer calories.
3. It keeps your brain young. In May 2005, researchers from the National Institute of Drug Abuse published a study in “Experimental Neurology,” noting that aging rats who had a daily dietary supplement of spinach experienced lower ischemic brain damage levels than rats who did not have the spinach. Although this experiment was not conducted on human beings, we can still posit that spinach is capable of slowing the age-related decline in brain function.
4. It has anti-inflammatory characteristics. Long-term supplement of spinach may reduce the risk of getting arthritis, asthma, and migraine headaches.
5. It can help to reduce our risk of disease. Believe it or now, spinach can reduce our risk of developing other diseases like eye diseases, diabetes, bone loss, cancer, kidney stones, heart attack and stroke.
So how do you eat spinach healthily?
1. If you can, ingest organic spinach.
2. Spinach also contains oxalic acid, a substance that inhibits the absorption of calcium into the body. Therefore, people who have special or increased needs for calcium should pay attention to the consumption of spinach.
3. Gout-prone people may be affected by the purines in this food.
Spinach is definitely one of the healthiest foods that we can eat on a daily basis. However, keeping healthy relies on diverse food consumption. Therefore, people should not eat spinach at the expense of other vegetables. For personalized dietary guidance, speak with your physician or a registered dietitian.
Our TourDeFIT.com experts weigh in!
According to Cynthia Phillips of Absolute Body Symmetry in Atlanta, “Spinach is at the top of many super food lists. One cup of spinach has nearly 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating.”
David Hardin, of dhFIT, in Chicago agrees adding that “In a recent study on the relationship between risk of prostate cancer and vegetable intake — including the vegetables spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, turnip greens, collards, and kale — only spinach showed evidence of significant protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer. Plus Spinach also alkalizes the Body – it helps to balance off the highly acidic diet which most of us subject our bodies to and which drains our energy, increases obesity and creates a host of other health problems.
-By TourDeFIT.com Contributing Blogger Terry Zhang