Spinach has long been recognized as a superfood, possessing many micronutrients and health benefits in its leafy foliage. Filled with micronutrients like ion, manganese, and zinc, spinach is also a great antioxidant source. Studies using spinach have found it has a range of health benefits, including reducing Alzheimer’s disease symptoms, reducing oxidative stress, and improving symptoms of depression. Getting a healthy dose of spinach leaves means you can reap the many health benefits associated with this vegetable. So let’s take a closer look at the central question of this article: what are the 7 benefits of spinach leaves?
7 Benefits of Spinach Leaves
Spinach leaves are high in antioxidants
Oxidative stress is not a healthy state for our body. This occurs when the free oxygen radicals we produce as a natural by-product of our metabolism go on to cause damage to our cells, genetic material, and body in general, causing diseases like cancer. But some compounds in spinach called polyphenols can turn these dangerous radicals into harmless compounds, preventing these diseases [1, 2].
Spinach is high in nutritional value, even as powder
Spinach fine powder is a quick way to get health benefits from spinach leaves without having to sit down and eat a salad. This powder can be added to smoothies, shakes, oatmeal, and many other foods and contains many spinach’s micronutrients. Spinach fine powder is high in protein, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. It contains iron (needed to move oxygen from the blood to tissues, among other functions), manganese (required for our metabolic cycle to function correctly), zinc (needed for metabolism, protein synthesis, wound healing, and other functions), magnesium (needed for blood sugar control, energy production, and bone development), and vitamins E, A, C, K, B1, B6, B2, just to name a few [3, 4, 5, 6, 7].
Spinach may be able to reduce Alzheimer’s disease severity and risk
Recent research has found that those who eat a diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, flavonoids, and other healthy constituents have suppressed onset of Alzheimer’s disease .
Though it’s unclear why this suggests including spinach and other vegetables high in these healthy micronutrients may prevent this devastating condition that currently affects an estimated 6.2 million Americans .
Dr. Martha Clare Morris’s group in Chicago found that eating a serving of green leafy vegetables (such as spinach) a day can significantly reduce your risk of cognitive decline that occurs naturally with age .
It remains unclear why, but dementia and Alzheimer’s risk could be reduced by making sure you get your 5-a-day of the green stuff.
Spinach consumption can reduce hunger pangs
Researchers found that participants eating spinach extract reported fewer feelings of hunger and less longing for food . Could spinach be the key to reducing appetite and hunger pangs naturally, resulting in weight loss over time? Only time will tell, but this finding is an interesting start.
Spinach can improve cardiovascular health
Those antioxidants and micronutrients found in spinach have a noteworthy impact on your cardiovascular system, too .
Diets high in fruits and vegetables have reduced cardiovascular event (including cardiovascular disease, stroke, and heart attack) risk over time. Vegetables like spinach can even reduce high blood pressure and arterial stiffness .
Spinach can reduce stress and depressive symptoms
Spinach could reduce symptoms of stress and depression by lowering corticosterone in the blood. Corticosterone is a stress hormone whose main function is to help us adapt to stress in our environment.
However, too much corticosterone can lead to feeling overly stressed or other mood-related extremes. Spinach may also increase glutamate and glutamine, which also contributes to this effect .
Spinach is high in fiber
Fiber is an essential part of your diet and one of many reasons why fruits and vegetables (like spinach!) are so necessary as part of a healthy diet .
Dietary fiber, like the in spinach that breaks down in your gut, feeds the microbes that live primarily in the intestine and help maximize the nutritional benefits of food. The average US citizen only consumes 16 grams of fiber a day, but the minimum recommended daily intake is 25-38 grams .
This fiber shortage is responsible for some of the rise in diseases we’ve seen in recent years, which can be avoided by healthy doses of vegetables like spinach, providing the fiber and nutrients our body needs to run correctly.
Read also “What Are the Health Effects of Starches and Fibers?”
In conclusion, 7 benefits of spinach leaves
Spinach has many health benefits, including micronutrients and high fiber that can prevent disease and maintain optimal health. Make sure you get a healthy dose of the vegetable in a salad, soups, sandwiches, and other dishes to keep your body healthy and strong.
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