Scientific Name: Spinacea oleracea
Spinach is an edible flowering plant. It is native to central and Southwestern Asia. It is an annual plant which grows to a height of up to 30 cm. Spinach may survive over winter in temperate regions. The leaves are alternate, simple and ovate to triangular-based, very variable in size from about 2–30 cm long and 1–15 cm broad, with larger leaves at the base of the plant and small leaves higher on the flowering stem. The flowers are inconspicuous, yellow-green maturing into a small, hard, dry, lumpy fruit cluster across containing several seeds. This crop is becoming more popular as evidenced by increases in consumption of both fresh (salads) and processed spinach. It is high in vitamins and minerals. Spinach is a cool-season crop and during periods of warm weather and long days, spinach will produce seed. Wonderful green leafy vegetable spinach is often recognized as one of the functional food due to its nutritional constituents. It is difficult to overestimate the nutritional powerhouse that is spinach.
Health Benefits of Spinach
Health benefits of spinach are due to presence of minerals, vitamins, pigments and phytonutrients and minerals like potassium, manganese, zinc, magnesium, iron and calcium. It is a source of vitamins like folate, niacin, vitamin A, B6, C and traces of rest of the vitamins.
Both antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are especially plentiful in spinach and protect the eye from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. You are reading this article at: loss of weight – spinach. It can prevent one from vitamin A deficiency disease, itching eyes, eye ulcers and dry eyes.
High content of potassium and low content of sodium composition is very beneficial for high blood pressure patients as potassium lowers and sodium raises the blood pressure.
Different phytonutrients and pigments present in spinach not only protect your skin from UV rays but also repair the damaged genes to some extent hence preventing you from skin cancer in future.
Spinach is made up of various important constituents has been found to be promising in various kinds of cancer. Flavonoid, one of the phytonutrients present in spinach slows down cell division in human stomach and skin cancer cells. Spinach also contains kaempferol, a strong antioxidant that prevents the formation of cancerous cells.
Spinach accomplishes this by preventing the harmful effects of oxidation on your brain. Those who eat vegetables in quantity, especially those of the leafy green variety like spinach experience a decrease in brain function loss.
The antioxidant properties of spinach (water-soluble in the form of vitamin C and fat-soluble beta-carotene) work together to promote good cardiovascular health by preventing the harmful oxidation of cholesterol.
Neoxanthin and violaxanthin are two anti-inflammatory epoxy xanthophylls that play an important role in regulation of inflammation and are present in unusual amounts in spinach.
The vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium present in spinach all serve as powerful antioxidants that combat the onset of osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.
Spinach is a member of the well-known “leafy green” category of highly nutritious vegetables. It is packed with calcium and vitamin A. It also contains lutein, which helps prevent muscular degeneration and cataracts. As discussed before eating spinach helps prevent cancer, and is a rich source of folate which helps in preventing birth defects. Spinach juice let you pack your diet with extra nutrients. You can make a sweet combination by adding elements like fruits and almond milk, or by adding herbs, garlic and tomatoes. You can also blend spinach juice with a range of fruits, vegetables, soy and nut milks, herbs and spices to develop your own delicious recipes for health.
Spinach is loaded with nutrients and vitamins. But overeating of spinach is associated with lots of adverse effects on your health. Most of the adverse effects associated with this leafy vegetable are due to its nutrient composition if consumed in large amounts. Spinach is high in oxalic acid, a chemical that can bind with iron and calcium and cause your body to absorb less of these important nutrients. You can suffer from some stomach disorders like gas, bloating and stomach cramps Individuals suffering from kidney stone should avoid the consumption of spinach. The vegetable is rich in purines which get converted into uric acid in the body. So it is better to avoid this vegetable in excess amount. You may also consult the doctor before adding it to your diet plan.