Spinach is a delicious delicate leafy green which originates from central and western Asia. It is an extremely nutrient-rich food which also has many associated health benefits and it also has a great reputation for giving us strength (we all remember Popeye!).
There are also different ways we can consume spinach, from eating it raw, steaming and boiling it or even liquifying it and drinking it. With spinach being so widely recognised and available, it is a go-to for many people who want to get their ‘green’ intake up, but why is spinach actually so healthy and what’s the best way to consume it? Find out in Spinach: Top 5 Health Benefits!
1. Crammed with Nutrients
Spinach may look like a mere little leaf but that doesn’t stop it being completely crammed with vitamins and minerals. One cup of raw spinach boasts 30mg of calcium, 0.81g of iron, 24mg of magnesium, 2813 IU of Vitamin A and a whopping 145mg of Vitamin K, plus many more. Not only this but it is also really low in calories so you can consume it in abundance!
2. Helps with Anaemia
Due to its high levels of iron, it is also good at helping to boost iron levels in people suffering from anaemia. Iron deficiency anaemia is caused by a lack of iron, often because of blood loss or during pregnancy. It is often treated with iron tablets and by eating iron-rich foods. People with anaemia need to keep a check on their iron levels and spinach is a really healthy, easy way to top them up when needed.
3. Glowing Hair & Skin
Research has found that spinach can help with improved skin tone and collagen production. Vitamin A, which is also abundantly found, is often used in many beauty products for its moisture retention properties. Vitamin A is also good for helping our scalp to produce sebum, which keeps our hair shiny and healthy-looking.
4. Helps Build Strength
It turns out Popeye was a pretty smart fellow. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the name ‘Popeye’ was a cartoon character from the 1930’s, who ate spinach to gain super strength. Studies have shown the hormone ecdysterone, found in spinach can enhance the development of muscle mass as well increase sports performance. So ditch the synthetic supplements and hit the supermarket to stock up on this mighty little leaf.
5. Can Be Eaten in Many Different Ways
When processing food in any way, it can lose some of its nutrients so eating it raw gives you its maximum best. However raw spinach contains oxalic acid, which can reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. If you are on a low oxalate diet or want to reduce these levels then lightly cooking spinach can keep many of the nutrients and lower the oxalic levels.