Spinach might be a common sight in markets during winter, but its history is rich and varied. Originating in the Middle East, it was cultivated in Persia thousands of years ago. Roughly 1,500 years ago, spinach made its way to China. Several centuries later, it reached Europe. Today, spinach is hailed as a ‘superfood’ and there are a number of health benefits to it that you might not know about…
1. Improves Eyesight
Spinach is rich in beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These compounds help combat vitamin A deficiency, which can impair vision. They also help reduce eye dryness and aid in the treatment of ulcers. Additionally, spinach can help diminish symptoms like eye inflammation.
2. Regulates Blood Pressure
Spinach is effective in managing blood pressure due to its high potassium and low sodium content. This combination helps combat hypertension and reduces the risk of blood clots.
3. Protects Against Cataracts
Lutein and zeaxanthin in spinach serve as potent antioxidants that shield the eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Spinach also neutralises free radicals’ detrimental effects, helping prevent eye problems.
4. Fights Cancer
Compounds like tocopherol, folate, and chlorophyllin in spinach have shown effectiveness in both preventing and treating cancers, notably bladder, prostate, liver, and lung cancers.
5. Shields the Skin
Phytonutrients and pigments in spinach protect the skin from harmful UV rays and serve as a preventive measure against skin cancer.
6. Boosts Metabolism
Spinach is rich in vitamins that are easily metabolised by enzymes and amino acids. This promotes wound healing, muscle growth, and overall metabolic health.
7. Aids in Diabetes Management
The alpha-lipoic acid found in spinach aids in lowering glucose levels and enhancing insulin sensitivity.
8. Helps Prevent Asthma
Certain nutrients can aid in asthma prevention, one of which is beta-carotene. Spinach is an excellent source of beta-carotene.
9. Relieves Constipation
Thanks to its high fibre and water content, spinach aids in alleviating constipation and maintaining a healthy digestive tract.
10. Strengthens Bones
Spinach is a good source of Vitamin K, which is crucial for bone health. Adequate Vitamin K intake aids calcium absorption and prevents its excessive excretion through urine.