The health benefits of consuming spinach include improving blood glucose control in people with diabetes, lowering the risk of cancer, reducing blood pressure, improving bone health, lowering the risk of developing asthma and more.
Spinach is high in vitamin B3 (niacin reduces blood cholesterol and insufficient niacin in the diet can cause nausea, skin and mouth lesions, anemia, headaches and tiredness) and zinc which is important for hormonal health and general health.
Spinach has protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.
Spinach contains a large amount of vitamin K1 (which can be converted to K2 by in your body, although rates are unknown). One cup of cooked spinach has about 900mcg of vitamin K1 (500% RDA).
Spinach isn't exactly a comfort food! Most people find it boring to eat. Vegetarian and vegan restaurants tend to be imaginative at spinach dishes (but stay away from the raw spinach smoothies as cruciferous vegetables contain potentially goiterous chemicals that need to be cooked). Indian restaurants are also good at making boring spinach taste great.
Our advice for cooking spinach at home is to wilt down the spinach: Steam the spinach and add some olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. You can then use this as a bed on a plate. You can then arrange a portion of meat, potatoes and vegetables on and around the bed.
Spinach improves Eyesight
Spinach is a rich source of beta-carotene (converts to vitamin A), lutein, and Zeaxanthin, all of which are beneficial for eyesight. Beta-carotene is supplied to the eyes by cooked spinach. Both zeaxanthin and lutein are found in high concentrations in your macula lutea, the small central part of your retina responsible for detailed central vision. 1 cup of spinach has:
- 2-13mg lutein
- 1-5mg zeaxanthin
- 13,000 RAE (retinol activity equivalents) which is 400% RDA! Ten times more than broccoli.
While there's no recommended daily intake for lutein and zeaxanthin, studies have found health benefits for lutein at a dose of 10 mg per day and at 2 mg/day for zeaxanthin. The other food to have these levels are free range egg yolks.
Sources: mercola.com, academic.oup.com, ods.od.nih.gov,