Spinach is a powerhouse in the food world. Perhaps my favorite vegetable and one of the most crucial staples in any diet. I don’t care whether you’re after gains, weight loss, or healthier living- you need spinach in your diet. I’d say go for 2 servings twice a week for a total of 4.
A single cup of spinach has almost 20% of the recommended daily amount of dietary fiber, which aids digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating.
Flavonoids — a phytonutrient that contain anti-cancer properties abundant in spinach- have been shown to slow down cell division in human stomach and skin cancer cells. Spinach also providessignificant protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer.
C and E vitamins, beta-carotene, zinc, manganese, and selenium are all present in spinach and all serve as extremely powerful antioxidants that combat the onset of osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and even high blood pressure.
By inhibiting the angiotensin I-converting enzyme, peptides within spinach have been shown to effectively lower blood pressure.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are especially plentiful in spinach and protect the eye from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
One cup of spinach contains over 337% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin A that not only protects and strengthens “entry points” into the human body, such as mucous membranes, respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts, but is also a key component of lymphocytes (or white blood cells) that fight infection.
The high amount of vitamin A in spinach also promotes healthy skin by allowing for proper moisture retention in the epidermis, thus fighting psoriasis, keratinization, acne and even wrinkles.
1 cup of boiled spinach provides over 1000% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin K that can prevent bone breakdown and enhance bone strength/density.
Vitamin K is also a crucial component to a process that directly prevents calcium from forming in tissue. Eating 1 cup of spinach contributes to this process that fights atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Brain and Nervous Function
Lastly this abundance of vitamin K in spinach contributes greatly to a healthy nervous system and brain function by providing an essential part for the synthesis of sphingolipids, the crucial fat that makes up the Myelin sheath around our nerves.