NETfacts: Natural Health Products, Self-care

Surprising Health Facts About Spinach

We all know that Popeye made himself super strong by eating spinach, but you may be surprised to learn that he may also have been helping to protect himself against cardiovascular problems, prevent onset of osteoporosis, coping with high stress levels and cancers at the same time.Spinach Image

Here are some surprising facts about this leafy green:

An excellent source of calcium

By supplying 100mg of calcium in every 100g serving, spinach is an excellent alternative to dairy for its ability to support healthy bone growth and prevent the onset of osteoporosis.

Improves Cardiovascular Health

According to research compiled by Whole Foods, spinach is an excellent promoter of cardiovascular health. The antioxidant properties of spinach (water-soluble in the form of vitamin C and fat-soluble beta-carotene) 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.

Cancer-Fighting 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. In fact, one study of New England women showed less breast cancer cases among those who ate spinach on a regular basis.

Can help you relax

Spinach is one of the highest sources of dietary magnesium. Magnesium is necessary for smooth muscle relaxation of the arteries, as well as for hormone development in our adrenal glands to cope with high stress levels.

High in folate

Folate is important for everyone, but necessary for expectant mothers to ensure proper neurological development of the fetus in early stages of growth. So stock up on spinach to nourish your baby’s nervous system!

Great source of protein

There may have been some truth to the old Popeye cartoons. Spinach is one of the only vegetarian sources of protein that contains a complete amino acid profile to rebuild muscle tissue and support collagen growth, which helps to maintain healthy skin and mobile joints. 

Can help protect your eyesight

Spinach is high in lutein. Lutein specifically targets the eyes to avoid the macular degeneration associated with aging. It’s an antioxidant for the eyes that maintains healthy vision.

So, remember when you were a kid, your mom told you spinach was good for you. When is Mom ever wrong? Spinach offers twice as much fiber as other greens. So when you want a salad that’s going to fill you up, go for the spinach variety.

Spinach is a nutrition superstar, even a fairly good source of iron. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, some of which are hard to find in other foods.

Spinach Image courtesy of smarnad / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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