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9 Healthy Reasons Why You Should Eat More Spinach

Updated on July 6, 2017
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My articles focus primarily on health tips, nutrition advice, DIY, and self-improvement.

Spinach: Nature's Power Food
Spinach: Nature's Power Food | Source

How much spinach do you eat throughout the week?

After reading this article, you may want to consider adding more spinach diet. The leafy green provides numerous health benefits. For example, it can help prevent health problems associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and bone fractures. It can also help to enhance brain function, reduce depression, prevent asthma, and constipation. Moreover, it can prevent hair loss and keep your skin healthy.

Now let’s examine these benefits in more detail.

1. Lowers blood pressure

Do you have high blood pressure? Are you worried about cholesterol? Adding spinach to your daily diet could be a solution. The green is loaded with healthy nutrients, which can get your body back on track. It is low in calories and super-charged with potassium, fiber, magnesium, and folate. All of these nutrients can lower your blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels. As spinach is particularly high in potassium, it can lessen the harmful effects of sodium. If you eat salty foods, you should try to cut down on your consumption. Try replacing that side order of french fries with a healthy spinach salad instead.

2. Regulates blood sugar levels

Studies have shown that spinach can assist with regulating blood sugar levels. People who suffer from diabetes, especially type-2 diabetics, often have low magnesium levels. One cup of this leafy green per day can help increase magnesium in the body, thus regulating blood sugar. Furthermore, the vitamin C in spinach is also beneficial. Studies have shown that people with the higher levels of Vitamin C have lower incident rates of type-2 diabetes.

3. Fights cancer

The chlorophyll in spinach, along with other leafy greens, can block the carcinogenic chemical compounds found in cooked meat. Therefore, if you eat meat, it would be a good idea to have a green vegetable like spinach to counter the harmful effects of pork, chicken, beef or any other meat product that you consume.

Spinach salad with chicken
Spinach salad with chicken | Source

4. Promotes healthy bones

Spinach contains vitamin K which helps your bones absorb and retain calcium levels. So vitamin K can decrease the risks of bone fractures and keep your body strong. However, if you are suffering from Osteoporosis, you should consult your physician first before adding more spinach to your diet. Spinach contains oxalates which can reduce calcium absorption. Regardless of some drawbacks, there are certainly more positive effects of spinach than negative ones.

5. Improves brain function

Spinach can assist with brain function and memory. It improves blood circulation in the brain and it has anti-inflammatory benefits. The folate in spinach can stimulate neurotransmitters, chemical messengers within the brain, which improve mental tasks and enhance short-term memory. Folate is also responsible for reducing inflammation.

6. Relieves depression

In addition to improving brain function, spinach could alleviate depression. People suffering from depression often have a mild to severe form of biochemical imbalance due to depleted amino acids in the brain. L-tyrosine, an amino acid found in spinach, synthesizes dopamine which affects our mood and emotional state. Hence, eating foods which contain L-tyrosine can restore balance and reduce emotional disorders. L-tryptophan, another amino acid in spinach, has been correlated with reducing depression in patients as well.

7. Prevents asthma

Since spinach contains beta-carotene, magnesium, and potassium, it can help prevent the onset of asthma. People who are deficient in these minerals may be at risk to developing asthmatic symptoms. One study involving over 60,000 female participants showed that women who consumed more quantities of spinach were less likely to suffer from asthma.

Vegetarian wrap with spinach and feta cheese
Vegetarian wrap with spinach and feta cheese | Source

8. Reduces constipation

Another benefit of spinach is that it will keep your digestive system healthy. The high quantities of fiber could assist with diminishing any blockages that you have. Keep in mind, however, if you consume too much spinach it can have the opposite effect. Consuming too much of it can lead to gas and cramps. Therefore, eat spinach in moderation. This way, you can reap more of its rewards while standing clear of the undesired side-effects.

9. Keeps skin and hair healthy

Do you want your hair to shine and your skin to improve? The vitamin A in spinach can help maintain the moisture in your hair. This leafy green also contains iron, which can strengthen your hair and prevent hair loss. In addition, the vitamin C helps produce and retain collagen in your skin. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can repair damaged skin and promote the production of new skin cells.

Was this information about spinach helpful to you?

Please take a moment to leave a comment and fill out the poll question below the nutrition tables about spinach.

Spinach Nutrition Tables and Health Data

For more information about the health benefits of spinach, review the tables below.

You can refer to the proximates, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids found in spinach (per 100g).

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

Proximates
Unit
Per 100g
Energy
kJ
97
Water
g
91.4
Carbohydrate, by difference
g
3.63
Protein
g
2.86
Fiber, total dietary
g
2.2
Ash
g
1.72
Sugars, total
g
0.42
Total lipid (fat)
g
0.39
Fructose
g
0.15
Glucose (dextrose)
g
0.11
Galactose
g
0.1
Sucrose
g
0.07
Minerals
Unit
Per 100g
Potassium, K
mg
558
Calcium, Ca
mg
99
Magnesium, Mg
mg
79
Sodium, Na
mg
79
Phosphorus, P
mg
49
Iron, Fe
mg
2.71
Selenium, Se
µg
1
Manganese, Mn
mg
0.897
Zinc, Zn
mg
0.53
Copper, Cu
mg
0.13
Vitamins
Unit
Per 100g
Lutein + zeaxanthin
µg
12198
Vitamin A, IU
IU
9377
Carotene, beta
µg
5626
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
µg
482.9
Vitamin A, RAE
µg
469
Folate, total
µg
194
Folate, food
µg
194
Folate, DFE
µg
194
Betaine
mg
102.6
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
mg
28.1
Choline, total
mg
19.3
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
mg
2.03
Niacin
mg
0.724
Vitamin B-6
mg
0.195
Riboflavin
mg
0.189
Tocopherol, gamma
mg
0.18
Thiamin
mg
0.078
Pantothenic acid
mg
0.065
Amino Acids
Unit
Per 100g
Glutamic acid
g
0.343
Aspartic acid
g
0.24
Leucine
g
0.223
Lysine
g
0.174
Arginine
g
0.162
Valine
g
0.161
Isoleucine
g
0.147
Alanine
g
0.142
Glycine
g
0.134
Phenylalanine
g
0.129
Threonine
g
0.122
Proline
g
0.112
Tyrosine
g
0.108
Serine
g
0.104
Histidine
g
0.064
Methionine
g
0.053
Tryptophan
g
0.039
Cystine
g
0.035

References

Benson, Jonatan. "10 Amazing 'Superfoods' That Can Help Fight Asthma Naturally". Natural News, 2013, http://www.naturalnews.com/039632_superfoods_asthma_relief.html.

"Cure Depression With Spinach". Thomas Mcgregor. https://thomasmcgregor.biz/2013/06/07/cure-depression-with-spinach/.

Fisk, Michelle. "What Does Eating A Lot Of Spinach Do For My Skin?". Live Strong, 2015, http://www.livestrong.com/article/517233-what-does-eating-a-lot-of-spinach-do-for-my-skin/.

"Health Benefits Of Spinach Include Improving Memory". Underground Health Reporter, http://undergroundhealthreporter.com/health-benefits-of-spinach-include-improving-memory/.

Sheehan, Jan. "Foods To Prevent Or Manage Diabetes". Everyday Health, http://www.everydayhealth.com/type-2-diabetes/diet/healing-and-healthy-foods/.

"Should I Avoid Spinach If I Have Osteoporosis?". 34 Menopause Symptoms, http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/osteoporosis/articles/should-i-avoid-spinach-if-i-have-osteoporosis.htm.

"Should You Follow Mom’s Nutrition Tips?". Real Simple, https://www.realsimple.com/health/nutrition-diet/nutrition-tips/spinach-is-brain-food.

USDA, https://www.usda.gov/.

Ware, Megan. "Spinach: Health Benefits, Uses, And Nutritional Information". Medical News Today, 2017, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270609.php.

"What Is Spinach Good For?". Mercola, http://foodfacts.mercola.com/spinach.html.

"8 Foods That Help Lower Blood Pressure". Joy Bauer, http://www.joybauer.com/photo-gallery/best-foods-for-high-blood-pressure/spinach/.

Video: More Health Benefits of Spinach

Spinach Poll

How many meals per week do you eat that contain spinach?

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Comments

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    • profile image

      Superfood?! 18 hours ago

      In this day when "superfood" is tossed around, people forget that Spinach is the original superfood. Great article.

      P.S.: please don't fall for the misdirection of calling calories "energy". People need to know the calorie content of food in or set to make good choices.

    • profile image

      FM 3 weeks ago

      Really interesting and informative.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 6 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

      Very nice and informative hub about the health benefits of spinach!

      I do include this wonderful green vegetable in my diet quite regularly but may be I should do more.

      I consider this to be a super and versatile food and make many interesting recipes with it.

      Thanks for sharing this well written and well presented hub!