Spinach, One of the Top 5 Healthy Vegetables for Body (Part 1)
Popeye the sailor man made Spinach (palak) very popular on television more than in real life. Popeye made himself super strong by eating tins of spinach. Although that was a mere cartoon show, there is no denying the fact that Spinach is one of the top 5 healthy vegetables that you can eat.
Spinach is a powerhouse food that is packed with nutritional value. It plays many important roles in maintaining a healthy body.
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, carotenes, vitamin C, and folic acid. It’s a very good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B2. It’s a good source of vitamins B6, E, and B1.
Various health benefits of spinach include:
1. Anti Cancer: Vitamin A and vitamin C in spinach plus the fiber, folic acid, magnesium and 13 different flavonoids help control cancer, especially colon, lung and breast cancers. A significant 34% reduction in cancer risk can be expected, a study confirms.
2. Reduces the risk of heart disease: Vitamin A and C, present in spinach, work as antioxidants to keep cholesterol from oxidizing (oxidized cholesterol easily sticks to the walls of blood vessels). Spinach also contains choline and inositol, the substances that help to prevent atherosclerosis or thickening and hardening of arteries. Spinach is an excellent source of folate that is believed to decrease homocysteine (an amino acid found in blood) in the bloodstream. Elevated level of homocysteine is associated with cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Factor C0-Q10, an antioxidant present in spinach, plays important role in strengthening muscles especially heart muscle which continuously pumps blood to all parts of the body.
3. Reduces blood pressure: Spinach is rich in potassium and low in sodium. The balanced quantities of these minerals are highly beneficial for high blood pressure patients as potassium lowers and sodium raises the blood pressure. Spinach also contains folate which helps to reduce hypertension and relaxes blood vessels, thus maintaining proper blood flow.
4. Strengthens the bones: You can get almost 200% of the Daily intake value of vitamin K in one cup of fresh spinach leaves. Vitamin K1 helps prevent excessive activation of osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone. Also, being a rich source of calcium, it is recommended to the people who are worried about osteoporosis. Apart from this, other minerals like manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus present in spinach also help in building up of strong bones.
5. Good for diabetes: The magnesium contained in spinach helps to prevent complications that occur following diabetes. Regular consumption of spinach stabilizes your blood sugar and prevents it from fluctuating too much.
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