Remember the famous lines of Popeye, the sailor man – “I’m strong to the finich, ‘Cause I eat me Spinach”? The script of this cartoon might sound a little exaggerated, but the magic of Spinach is indeed quite true! Spinach can indeed make you strong with its rich nutritional profile. Along with helping you meet your daily dietary requirements; Spinach can also offer a cartload of advantages to your body. From boosting your energy levels to the prevention of Cancers, Spinach is a clear winner in all the departments. In this article, we shall learn the health benefits of Spinach, along with its nutrition facts and their side effects.
What Is Spinach (Palak)?
Spinach or Palak is a green, leafy vegetable that belongs to the Amaranth family. It is originally said to have grown in Persia and was later to introduced to China and the rest of the world. It grows throughout the year and measures about 1ft in length. Spinach can be eaten fresh, cooked, roasted, blanched or pureed.
Different Types Of Spinach:
There are 3 different varieties of Spinach grown across the world, each differing from the other in texture, look and purpose. Here are they:
- Savoy: Common type of Spinach found in your local markets. Has a dark green colour with curly leaves.
- Flat/Smooth Leaf Spinach: These come in broad leaves with a smooth texture. Widely used for making canned and baby foods.
- Semi-Savoy: A hybrid between the Smooth and Savoy, which is used in markets and processing.
Is Palak Good For Health?
Palak is a nutrition-dense vegetable, that is highly recommended by nutritionists and health experts. These low-calorie greens can do wonders to your blood and bone health. Besides, they are also offering some of these key benefits:
- Treats Anaemia
- Strengthens your immune system
- Improves metabolism
- Aids in better digestion
- Helps manage digestion
- Prevents Cancers
- Treats Respiratory disorders
And Much More!
Spinach Nutritional Facts:
Here is the nutritional profile of 1 cup of Raw Spinach:
- Total Calories: 7
- Protein: 0.86 gms
- Calcium: 30 mg
- Iron: 0.81 gm
- Magnesium: 24 mg
- Potassium: 167 mg
- Vitamin A: 2813 IU
- Folate: 58 micrograms
Wonderful Palak Health Benefits:
Here we enlisted 12 best benefits of spinach for health, hair and skin. Let’s have a look into them.
1. Prevents Asthma:
Spinach is loaded with Folate, which is a type of B complex vitamin. This agent is known to treat respiratory disorders like Asthma. Spinach also contains many antioxidants like Beta carotene, which can reduce the cell damage that leads to these symptoms. It is an excellent food for kids to help them get rid of these problems at an early stage.
2. Maintains Blood Pressure:
The high amounts of Potassium present in Spinach is known to reduce the risk of heart strokes. Spinach can help in lowering the blood pressure by widening the blood vessels. This helps in reducing the chances of sudden strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. This is one of the major advantages of Spinach intake.
3. Improves Vision:
Spinach plays an important role in improving your vision by strengthening your optical nerves. It contains many carotenoids like Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are known to be beneficial in macular degeneration, caused due to age-related factors. Regular intake of Spinach can definitely give you “visible” results.
See More: Red Spinach Benefits
4. Strengthens Muscles:
Although Spinach doesn’t give you balloon-like muscles as seen in Popeye, it certainly helps in building your muscle mass. Spinach is rich in many nutrients like Calcium and iron, which can strengthen your muscles and increase their growth. This is why Spinach is included in many protein drinks and post-workout smoothies.
5. Helps With Foetal Development:
Spinach contains folate, which is important for the development of the fetus. Taking Folate is absolutely critical for the brain growth of the baby. Spinach can help in meeting a part of the Folate requirements, along with taking necessary supplements during the term. This is why Leafy vegetables like Boiled Spinach is highly recommended for pregnant women.
6. Reduces Inflammation:
Spinach is known to be one of the best anti-inflammatory foods, which is rich in agents called Lutein. This powerful compound can reduce the inflammation in your tissues, which can reduce joint pains and other disorders like Arthritis. This is one of the best Spinach juice benefits to our body.
7. Aids In Weight Loss:
Spinach is a top favourite food among fitness freaks. It is incredibly low in calories while being rich in nutrition. Spinach also contains dietary fibre that promotes better digestion, improves metabolism and therefore, aid in weight loss. It is a perfect option to include baby spinach leaves in your salads or raw spinach in your diet program. Spinach soup benefits in weight loss by keeping you full for long, without adding calories.
8. Boosts Immunity:
One of the key Palak Health benefits is its role in boosting the immune system. Spinach contains good amounts of Vitamin C, which is known for strengthening immunity. Regular intake of Spinach can help in warding off infections like Cold, cough and other problems, especially in young children.
See More: Uses Of Spinach Juice
9. Prevents Acne:
Spinach is a green vegetable that is rich in Chlorophyll. This agent can cleanse your internal system and remove bacterial growth. It also eliminates toxins from the body and flushes them out through the excretory system. This shows its effect on the skin, becomes radiant and acne free! This is one of the best Palak Vegetable benefits to health.
10. Anti-Ageing Benefits:
Palak benefits to skin are numerous. It can help in making your skin look younger and fresher, thanks to the many nutrients like Vitamin A. Along with removing dullness from the skin, Spinach can also help in boosting the Collagen to improve the elasticity of the skin. It can remove fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of ageing.
11. UV Protection:
OF the many foods that offer UV protection to your skin, Spinach tops the list. Especially the ones have dark green leaves are loaded with antioxidants to prevent cell damage from sun exposure. It can also lower the risk of Sun cancers by shielding the skin against the harmful rays of the sun. This is one of the best health benefits of Spinach to our body.
12. Promotes Hair Growth:
The uses of Spinach to our body are numerous. Spinach is also beneficial in improving your hair growth! It contains many essential nutrients like Vitamins and Minerals, which can increase the blood circulation in the body and supply oxygen to your hair cells. Thereby, Spinach can stimulate the growth of new hair follicles and strengthen the existing strands. Spinach also combats hair loss by treating iron deficiencies in the body!
Spinach Side Effects:
As with any food, Spinach can also cause many health complications when you consume it in excess quantities. Here are some of the major disadvantages of Spinach:
- Forms Kidney Stones due to high levels of Oxalates.
- Causes digestive disorders due to too much fibre.
- Can reduce your sugar levels.
- Allergic Reactions like rashes, swelling.
- Nasal Congestion
See More: Spinach During Pregnancy
These are some of the major reasons why Spinach is such a loved vegetable. It is widely used in salads, soups, stews and even in pies. This incredibly versatile green can do plenty of good to your body when consumed in moderate amounts. It is also recommended to cook spinach to break down the complex nutrients for the body to digest easily. Time to get the superhuman strength like Popeye with your daily indulge of this tasty veggie!