Health Benefits of Spinach (Popeye Magic Food) & Nutrition Facts

Did you remember Popeye cartoon movie? It's told us how spinach turns him become so strong. In real world, spinach nutrition also has so many health benefits even not like in Popeye cartoon. The highest spinach nutrition is vitamin K that reach 482.9 µg in every 100gr servings, it means 402% of our RDA.

Another spinach nutrient content such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. Spinach is also believed to cure diseases such as bronchitis, anemia and fever, vaginal discharge, liver disorders and respiratory disorders and peptic ulcers. In fact, a recent study proved that spinach is able to repair and maintain memory. In addition to several spinach health benefits above, there are still many more that we will discuss below. 

Spinach nutrition facts

Spinach is rich in minerals such as beta carotene and beta Cryptoxanthin. Its also rich in electrolytes compound such as sodium and potassium. For more information you can read it at table below.

Spinach nutritional value per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base) 
Energy : 23 Kcal 
Carbohydrates : 3.63 g 
 Protein : 2.86 g 
 Total Fat : 0.39 g 
 Dietary Fiber : 2.2 g 
 Water : 91.40 g 
 Total sugar : 0.42 g 

 Folates : 194 µg 
 Niacin : 0.724 mg 
 Riboflavin : 0.189 mg 
 Thiamin : 0.078 mg 
 Vitamin A : 9377 IU 
 Pyridoxine : 0.195 mg 
 Vitamin C : 28.1 mg 
 Vitamin D : 0 IU 
 Vitamin E : 2.03 mg 
 Vitamin K : 482.9 µg 

 Calcium : 99 mg 
 Iron : 2.71 mg 
 Magnesium : 79 mg 
 Phosphorus : 49 mg 
 Zinc : 0.53 mg 
 Sodium : 79 mg 
 Potassium : 0.53 mg 

 Saturated fatty acids : 0.063 g 
 Monounsaturated fatty acids : 0.010 g 
 Polyunsaturated fatty acids : 0.165 g 
 Cholesterol : 0

13 Health benefits of spinach

1. Antioxidants
High content of Vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc, and selenium in spinach, serve as powerful antioxidants that fight osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure.

2. Anti-Inflammatory
Spinach contains lots of neoxanthin and violaxanthin (two anti-inflammatory epoxyxanthophylls) which plays an important role in the regulation of inflammation.

3. Immunity
One cup of spinach contains more than 337 percent of the RDA of vitamin A, which not only protects and strengthens "entry points" into the human body, such as mucous membranes, respiratory tract, urinary tract and bowel, but is also a key component of lymphocyte or blood cell infection-fighting white.

4. Anti cancer
Flavonoids, a phytonutrient with anti-cancer properties, abundant in spinach. Flavonoids have been shown to slow down cell division in human stomach and skin cancer cells. In addition, spinach is also able to provide significant protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer.

5. Good for diet
20 percent of the spinach contained substances required in the RDA of dietary fiber. As we know, good dietary fiber to aid digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and overeating.

6. Blood pressure
Angiotensin  content inhibit I-converting enzyme, and peptides in spinach proven effective in lowering blood pressure.

7. Improve brain function
Much vitamin K in spinach, make a major contribution towards a healthy nervous system and brain function for the synthesis of sphingolipids (essential fats that form the myelin sheath around the nerves).

8. Good for growth and menstruation
Iron is a mineral found in spinach is very good for menstruating women and growing children and adolescents. Compared with red meat, spinach contains more calories as low-fat and cholesterol free.

9. Good for digestion
Digestive health can be maintained by eating more spinach. Beta-carotene and vitamin C in spinach serve to protect intestinal cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. Also, DNA damage and mutations in colon cells could be prevented by folate found in green vegetables.

10. Strengthen bones
One cup of boiled spinach contains more than 1000 percent RDA of vitamin K that can prevent excess activation of osteoclasts (cells that break down bone). And formed a synthesis of osteocalcin, a protein that is essential for maintaining the strength and density of our bones.

11. Preventing the calcification process
Vitamin K is an essential component of the process called carboxylation resulting matrix Gla protein that directly prevents calcium from the limestone formation in the network. Eating one cup of spinach contributes to this process against atherosclerosis, heart disease, and stroke.

12. Skin care
A high amount of vitamin A in spinach also makes the skin healthy and allow proper moisture retention in the epidermis, thus fighting psoriasis, keratinization, acne, and even wrinkles.

13. Prevent cataracts
Two antioxidants, namely lutein and zeaxanthin, which are only present in spinach can protect the eyes from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Serving and storage

In addition to health benefits of spinach above, there are some points that we should pay attention about spinach serving and storage. Spinach contains iron in the form of Fe2 + (ferrous), if spinach too long to interact with O2 (Oxygen), the content of Fe 2 + in the spinach will be oxidized become Fe 3 + (ferric). Although both are the same iron compound, which is beneficial to humans is ferrous, ferric another case with a toxic. So, never to heat the spinach that has been cooked in the form of food.

It is recommended to consume spinach shortly after cooking, avoid eating spinach that has more than 5 hours on the dining table. Because in addition contains ferric, spinach may also contain substances nitrate (NO3), which when oxidized by air will also be NO2 (nitrite) compounds that are colorless, odorless and poisonous.

In the process of storage in the refrigerator must also be considered, because the longer spinach stored in the refrigerator, nitrite compound levels will continue to rise.

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Writen by: Fame Nikita - Wednesday, March 20, 2013