This green plant that was brought to Europe in the 11th century originates from old Persia. These days it is successfully cultivated on all continents. It is considered to be one of the healthiest in the world with a wide range of health benefits and rich table of nutrients.
Scientists discovered that there are around fifteen different flavonoid compounds in the spinach that function as antioxidants. A lot of them are very successful against cancer which made the scientist isolate them in pure form and continue the researches. Studies show that these antioxidants were successful in treating stomach, skin and breast cancer and can slow down the growth of cancer cells.
This compound is carotenoid pigment that can be found in spinach. It is very effective against prostate cancer by making them self-destruct. When it enters the digestive system it transforms in neochrome which inhibits the growth of cancer cells.
A cup of fresh spinach contains twice the recommended daily need of vitamin K, and if it is cooked the dose is six times higher. Vitamin K is very important because it can activate proteins that accepts and uses calcium it the bone structure of the body. Among vitamin K, spinach is rich in calcium and magnesium that are also very important for healthy bones.
Spinach is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, which are very important for cardiovascular health. They have antioxidant properties so they can neutralize the processes of cell degeneration caused by free radicals. They also prevent oxidation of cholesterol that sticks to arterial walls and cause arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure and stroke. Folic acid from spinach can neutralize homocysteine in the blood. When the amount of homocysteine in the blood is higher, the organism is at risk of heart attack. A cup of spinach will give you 40 percent of magnesium recommended daily needs. It can lower blood pressure, prevent diseases of cardiovascular organs.
Protected digestive system
Vitamins A and C as well as folic acid act as antioxidants and protect the digestive organs. They can also prevent mutation of cells in the bowels and that way lower the risk of bowel cancer.
Beta carotene and vitamin C also have anti-inflammatory properties and can prevent allergic reactions as well as variety of auto immune diseases that have the mechanism of allergies as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
Spinach can protect the brain from the oxidative stress and lower degradation of brain functions that appear with aging. In the controlled lab experiment, scientists showed that feeding lab rats with spinach improved their mental and motoric functions. This is also because of the presence of vitamin E. Since vitamin E is only soluble in oil it is recommended to add olive oil in the cup of spinach you eat daily.
Luthein is protective chemical compound that is beneficial for healthy eyes. It is effective in fighting cataract and macular degeneration that happens with aging.
Spinach is not the best natural source of iron. A cup of spinach will give you 30 percent of daily recommended amount of iron, but it is very low in calories and doesn’t contain saturated fats, so it is still good healthy source of this essential mineral.