Spinach or palak as it is popularly called in India is a green leafy vegetable that is seasonal of the winter season. It belongs to the amaranth family and is related to beetroot and quinoa. It is packed with nutrient and has a very low-calorie content. We, in India, make the most of this vulnerable vegetable in the form of palak paneer, aloo palak, palak, dal, palak paratha and what not. These days, in our strive to get healthy we also drink palak juice.
Here are some of the nutritional values of spinach and why it must be included in the everyday diet:
1 cup of spinach has:
0.86 gm of protein
0.81 gm of iron
167 mg potassium
Besides, spinach also contains magnesium, Vitamin K, phosphorus, and folate.
Spinach consumed raw or cooked has a number of health benefits. Let us take a look:
Strengthens and builds bones
A bone fracture can be blamed on Vitamin K deficiency. Spinach has an abundance of Vitamin K that helps in the adequate absorption of calcium and prevents loss of calcium through urine. It also promotes the production of protein Osteocalcin that stabilizes calcium in bones. The other nutrient content in spinach like potassium, magnesium, dietary fibers, and vitamins are also essential for good bone health.
Decrease oxidative stress
Spinach has loads of antioxidants and is a great choice when it comes to protecting our system from oxidative stress that leads to the development of cancer and diabetes and accelerates aging. Spinach prevents the damage caused to the body by oxidative stress.
Spinach has an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid that lowers blood sugar levels, increases insulin resistance and prevents oxidative stress that can lead to adverse symptoms in diabetic patients.
Lowers high blood pressure
One nutrient that helps to reduce blood pressure count is potassium. Spinach has loads of them and hence is a perfect natural remedy for high blood pressure and can be included in the diet of patients with hypertension.
Improves eye health
Spinach has loads of zeaxanthin and lutein the is needed to protect eyes from sun damage, prevents age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. In some cases, spinach has also proved to be a natural choice to reverse poor eye health.
Promotes heart health
Spinach has Vitamin C that is known to promote good cardiovascular health besides preventing skin wrinkles and strengthening the immune system. It also contains lutein that prevents thickening or arterial wall and hence lowers risk of heart attacks.
Risks associated with too much spinach consumption
Spinach has the chance of having adverse effects on the health of some individuals
- People with kidney stones must refrain from over-consumption of spinach as it might aggravate the condition
- Large amounts of Vitamin K in spinach promotes blood clotting, hence people on a dosage of blood thinning medications must be mindful when having spinach
If you are not having any of these conditions, adding spinach to your diet will improve your health and appearance.