CrossFit South Rockland

Sunday, July 1, 2018

HEALTH BENEFITS OF SPINACH



Spinach originates from the Middle East, most likely Persia or modern-day Iran. It was brought to Spain via the Moors somewhere between 800 AD and 1200 AD. Cultivation of spinach began in the USA around 1806.Currently, California & Texas are the United States' major producers.
Varieties
There are three main varieties of spinach:
·      Savoy: curly, dark green leaves.
·      Flat / Smooth-leaved: typically used for processed foods such as canned, frozen, soups and baby food.
·      Semi-Savoy: not as curly as the Savoy.
Spinach Nutrition
According to the USDA 1 cup of raw spinach has the following nutrients (based on daily recommended amounts for adult females over 18): 
  • 7 calories
  • 1 gram protein
  • 1 gram fiber
  • 1 gram carbohydrates
  • 145 mg Vitamin K (223% DV)
  • 141 mg  Vitamin A (28% DV)
  • 58 mg Folate (18% DV)
  • .27 mg Manganese (15% DV)
  • 8.4 mg Vitamin C (14% DV)
  • 0.8 mg Iron (10% DV)
  • 24 mg Magnesium (7.5% DV)
  • 30 mg Calcium (3.75% DV) 800
  • 167 g Potassium (3.6% DV)

Health Benefits
1.    Spinach Aids Detoxification
The green color of spinach is not just a color, but it contains a special chemical called chlorophyll, which has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to detoxify the body from any toxins that affect it. You can enjoy spinach not only in food but drinks as well. Mix it with fruits or other vegetables to make a smoothie and enjoy the fresh, healthy drink.
2.     Perfect for Weight Loss
If you are looking for a diet that contains less fat and carbohydrates and more nutrients and minerals, spinach is the perfect food item for you. As a bonus, it also contains fat soluble fibers that can help with weight loss through proper digestion, lowering blood sugar and mitigating the effects of overheating. You should consider adding spinach to your daily protein shake as the more the nutrients, the better it is for you.

3.     Strong Bones
Spinach makes our bones stronger because it contains vitamin K. Most of the vitamin K we receive is from the sun, but if we add spinach to our diets, we can further strengthen our bones, which makes it the perfect alternative to dairy products if someone is lactose intolerant and cannot consume milk.

4.    Treats Macular Degeneration
AMD or Retinitis pigmentosa is responsible for causing blindness, which is due to the degeneration of lutein and xanthene that are a central part of the retina. According to research conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, consumption of spinach can result in regaining two vital pigments and effectively preventing AMD. Spinach also contains a wealth of antioxidants that reduce the harmful effects of free radicals, which are known to negatively impact vision and cause age-related conditions like glaucoma and macular degeneration as well.
5.    Strengthens Muscles
Factor C0-Q10, which is an antioxidant present in spinach, plays an important role in strengthening muscles, especially heart muscles which continuously pump blood to all parts of the body. According to the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, C0-Q10 can be used to prevent and treat many cardiovascular diseases like hyperlipidemia, heart failure, hypertension and coronary heart disease.
6.    Protects Against Cancer
Studies show that consuming leafy green vegetables and cruciferous vegetables – including such kinds as spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, turnip greens, collards, and kale – can dramatically protect against the occurrence of various types of cancers, especially colon, breast and prostate cancers.
Spinach is able to slow down cancerous cell formation because it defends against DNA damage and limits oxidative stress through the presence of such antioxidants as neoxanthin and violaxanthin. According to studies, spinach’s carotenoids protect cells from mutations which can ultimately lead to cancerous tumor growth.
Spinach nutrition also contains both chloroplast and chlorophyll. Studies have found that because of these properties, spinach acts as a cancer protector by pulling out carcinogenic substances from the body, detoxifying the body, reducing inflammation, and slowing free radical damage. 
7.     Defends Against Heart Disease
Spinach limits inflammation in the body, which is one of the main risk factors associated with heart disease development. Studies show that spinach can protect heart health by improving the functions of nitric acid, which improves circulation, blood pressure, and blood vessel health. Spinach nutrition is able to help heal blood vessel-related problems, including atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.  The protective compounds found in spinach work together to keep arteries clear of dangerous plague build up, to lower cholesterol levels, fight high blood pressure, increase blood flow and to maintain healthy, strong blood vessels.
8.     Can Protect Against Diabetes
Spinach contains protective steroids called phytoecdysteroids. In studies, this steroid has been shown to increase glucose (sugar) metabolism and to help keep blood sugar levels stable. This is extremely beneficial for people with pre-diabetes, diabetes,or other forms of metabolic syndrome, since it minimizes the requirement for the critical fat-storage hormone insulin.
9.     Helps You Sleep Better
Spinach is the perfect muscle relaxant. You might notice that when you consume a good amount of spinach, you will feel drowsy and want to sleep, which is due to how it contains high levels of zinc and magnesium that accelerate sleep in our bodies. The effects are like being given a small dose of morphine. Furthermore, magnesium also helps to replenish your body with energy.

10.  Provides an Immunity Boost

Spinach is a vital source of vitamin Ain the body. It helps in strengthening the immune system of the body and helps in replenishing the white blood cells. You have a lower chance of getting sick if you were to consume spinach regularly.

11.  Improves Skin
Eating spinach can improve your complexion and your skin situation as well. It is rich in antioxidants that destroy all skin related problems that may cause premature aging in someone. 
12.  Improves Eye Health
Spinach is correlated with decreasing the risk for age-related eye disorders including macular degeneration. For example, zeaxanthin found in spinach works to filter out harmful light rays from entering the cornea. And spinach’s other carotenoids protect vulnerable tissues of the retinal area from oxidative stress that can result in blindness, cataracts, and other complications.13. Proteins for Infant Growth
‘Popeye, the Sailor Man’ is known for his obsession with spinach. The cartoon was deliberately aimed to convince children to eat spinach and get strong. Infants are advised to be fed spinach, which will give them protein, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. These nutrients result in proportionate development in their essential growing stages.
As a result, eating spinach has been shown to benefit health in several ways, and it contains high amounts of all sorts of powerful nutrients.
Nataliya Olifer




References

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