For those familiar with Popeye, spinach is the quintessential healthy food.
In reality, while this vegetable won’t make your biceps grow instantly, it does offer many interesting health benefits you should keep in mind.
Spinach is High in Antioxidants
Spinach is notoriously rich in antioxidants. These compounds neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals that cause oxidative stress and chronic disease. A study in eight healthy subjects suggest that consumption of this vegetable prevents oxidative effects on DNA. Obviously, the size of the sample is small, but these findings are backed by other studies made both on humans and animals.
May Contribute to Eye Health
The carotenoids found in this leafy vegetable (beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin) may help prevent or slow certain conditions, such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). According to the American Optometric Association, different studies have confirmed the link between frequent consumption of spinach and lower risk of developing AMD.
May Prevent Some Forms of Cancer
This vegetable contains two components, MGDG and SQDG, that may slow down cancer growth. Some studies link spinach consumption with a reduced risk of some forms of cancer. In addition, the antioxidants present in spinach may also play a key role in this regard.
May Help Slow Cognitive Decline
Leafy greens like spinach may slow down the decline in cognition due to advanced age. In fact, spinach is rich in nutrients that contribute to brain health, like Vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene. For example, a recent study found that diet containing approximately one serving of green leafy vegetables per day is associated with slower age-related cognitive decline.
Possible Side Effects
Although this leafy vegetable is very healthy, some people may prefer to limit their consumption:
- People at risk of developing kidney stones (because spinach is high in calcium)
- People taking blood thinners (because spinach is high in vitamin K1, essential for blood clotting)
At Chef Gourmet Spinach is one of our favorite vegetables. That’s why we included it among our Gourmet Prepared Meals.
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