Ever since we saw Popeye take out that can of spinach to make himself super strong, we have known about the nutritional benefits of spinach. But there are plenty of other benefits of spinach that maybe even Popeye was not aware of.
Leafy, green vegetables, like spinach, provide more nutrients than any other food. Researchers have found at least 13 different flavonoid compounds in spinach that have been known to act as antioxidants and as anti-cancer agents.
According to MSNBC, spinach protects against eye disease and vision loss and is also good for brain function. It guards against colon, prostate, and breast cancers as well as heart disease, stroke, and dementia. It lowers blood pressure; is an anti-inflammatory; and is great for bone health.
Spinach has an amazing array of nutrients, including high amounts of vitamin K, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and iron. In addition, a carotenoid found in spinach not only kills prostate cancer cells, it also prevents them from multiplying. Folate promotes vascular health and has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing colorectal, ovarian, and breast cancers and to help stop uncontrolled cell growth, one of the primary characteristics of all cancers.
The vitamin C and beta-carotene in spinach protect against colon cancer in addition to fighting inflammation, making them key components of brain health, particularly in older adults. Spinach is loaded with vitamin K and is also rich in lutein, which protects against age-related macular degeneration, and it may help prevent heart attacks by keeping artery walls clear of cholesterol buildup.
With this laundry list of health benefits, it’s no wonder why fresh spinach should be a daily staple in your diet. It’s easy to find year-round so do yourself a healthy favor and aim for a few ounces, raw or steamed, every day. Cooked spinach is a great source of iron, and is totally fat free.
So maybe Popeye was really onto something…