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While we all believe that green leafy vegetables are to be included as part of our regime, not all of us know in detail the amount of goodness that is packed in these. The first thing that comes to mind at the thought of leafy green vegetable is the tender, green, luscious looking spinach. However, not all of us know the amount of goodness and nutrition it stores within in. Spinach, though appears to be delicate and light, puts up a strong fight against inflammatory problems, stress-related problems, cardiovascular issues, bone diseases, and various types of cancers.
- Minerals and vitamins: Fresh green spinach is loaded with a multitude of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C and K. Major minerals contained in spinach include manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, and selenium.
- Anti-cancer benefits: The antioxidant properties in spinach come from carotenoids and flavonoids, and it is loaded with about a dozen flavonoid compounds, thereby getting a strong anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. Spinach helps in reducing inflammation in the stomach lining and other areas, thereby reducing chances of intestinal cancer. It also provides significant protection against prostate cancer. The incidence of skin papilloma is also reduced with increased consumption of spinach.
- Anti-inflammatory benefits: The good amounts of vitamin C, E, A, zinc, manganese, selenium are beneficial for reducing stress and thereby reduce incidence of heart attacks and high blood pressure. Spinach also is rich in protein and contains some peptides (small protein units) which inhibits angiotensin-converting enzyme, which is responsible for increasing blood pressure. This is another way how spinach helps lower blood pressure.
- Eyes: Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids, which protects the eyes against cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Bones: The bacteria in the stomach convert vitamin K1 in spinach to vitamin K2. While vitamin K1 supports the bones by reducing the number of osteoclasts (cells that break down bones), vitamin K2 activates osteocalcin, which promotes bone formation. The high levels of calcium and magnesium only make it even better for the bones.
- Digestive system: With the good fiber content it has, there is reduced instance of constipation. The anti-inflammatory property helps keep the stomach lining healthy and less prone to ulcers. It also helps flush out toxins and keeps the body alkaline, which helps beat stress.
- Skin: The various minerals and vitamins in spinach reduces chances of skin infections and also adds to the glow of the skin. The itchiness and dryness of the skin also is reduced with regular use of spinach.
So the next time you are thinking, which is one thing you should pick up when you go to the market, think spinach.