Spinach: Nutrition, Benefits, & Fun Facts
As children, we all hated those green squishy spinach leaves, which made our meal ten times less appetizing. We use to make faces, feel disgusted, and even run away from the dinner table.
Well, it was childhood, and our innocent minds were unable to understand the nutritious nature of the distasteful greens. But, now that we have grown up let’s not further neglect the brilliant nutrient-rich vegetable.
In the following article, you will get to know all about Spinach from nutrition to fun facts. I’ve incorporated all the essential information in one place so that you can get detailed, comprehensive insights. However, if any aspect leaves you lingering in doubt or you feel some vital detail missing, then do comment below to let us know!
Spinach Nutritional Value
Originated in Persia, the Spinach is leafy, green vegetables considered to be highly nutritious. People consume Spinach in a lot of different ways, including raw, canned, and cooked.
According to studies, a raw 100-grams of Spinach provides the following nutrients:
- 3.6-grams of carbohydrates
- 0.4-grams of sugar
- 0.4-grams of fats
- 2.2-grams of fiber
- 2.9-grams of protein
- 91% of water
Apart from this, the Spinach also contains a variety of essential vitamins and minerals. These include Vitamin A, Folic Acid, Vitamin K, Iron, Calcium, and Magnesium.
Moreover, as a vegetable, the Spinach comes packed with plant compounds, such as Nitrates, Lutein, and Quercetin.
Top Spinach Health Benefits
Kale is another outstanding, nutrient-dense vegetable that resembles the Spinach in looks. Thus, often, people declare the Kale and Spinach health benefits to be the same.
Well, there is no denying, both the vegetables have a similar appearance as well as nutrient-filled nature. Also, both can be each other’s alternative. But, please do not ignore the fact that both the vegetables have different compositions. Hence, distinct health advantages.
Below, are the top Spinach health benefits:
Improves Eye Health
Spinach possesses vast amounts of carotenoids called Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These carotenoids provide the color to the vegetables.
The pigment is also present in human eyes. However, in the eyes, these carotenoids are performing the role of protection against damage caused by sunlight. Also, the Lutein and Zeaxanthin repair the macular degeneration and cataracts that are causes of blindness.
Hence, when one consumes Spinach, these carotenoids enter our body in good amounts and improves eye health.
Fights Oxidative Stress
During metabolism, some by-products get formed in our body called free radicals. These may cause oxidative stress that, in return, triggers increased aging and risk of cancer as well as diabetes. The Spinach contains several antioxidants that fight oxidative stress and lessens the damage caused.
Moderates Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is a common health concern in adults these days. The sudden rising and lowering of blood pressure can cause unrepairable damages to the human body. However, the Spinach contains vast quantities of nitrates that moderates blood pressure and augments heart health.
According to studies, Spinach contains two such substances that not cure but slow down cancer development. These substances include MGDG and SQDG. Moreover, the antioxidants in Spinach can decrease the size of the tumor and prevent cancer cell formation.
Are there any downsides?
Although the Spinach does not have any side effects of its own, it may prove disadvantageous for some people.
Spinach has high amounts of calcium and oxalates that are the main components of stone formation. Hence, a person with kidney stones or at the risk of kidney stone development must find the Spinach to be unhealthy.
Also, it has generous quantities of vitamin K that play an essential role in the blood clotting system. Thus, the condition of people consuming blood thinners might worsen with Spinach composition.
Spinach Fun Facts
Do you still find it challenging to eat Spinach? Are your kids troubling you again? Well, then entertain yourself as well as children with some Spinach fun facts!
- 26th March is National Spinach Day.
- Spinach loses a majority of its nutrients on the eight-day of harvest. Hence, it is best when eaten fresh.
- The cartoon Popeye led to a 33% increase in domestic Spinach consumption in 1930.
- The creator of the cartoon Popeye was a vegetarian and wished to promote the greens through his comic.
- In medieval times, the artists extracted the pigment of Spinach and used it as ink or paint.
- Spinach can grow up to 1-ft.
- The vegetable has a close relation to beets.
- Unlike other greens, the nutrition of the Spinach doubles when cooked or juiced.