Enjoy the healing power of spinach
Nutritionists have long known that dark green leafy vegetables are among the healthiest of all foods, and spinach is certainly no exception. From Popeye on down, the heath benefits of spinach have been known for many years. It is difficult to find a single food that is a rich source of such varied nutrients as vitamin C, iron, beta carotene and calcium, but spinach is one such food.
Spinach and nutrition
In addition to these important nutrients, spinach is a rich source of insoluble fiber. This insoluble fiber, found in some vegetables and found in abundance in spinach, has long been associated with protecting the heart from damage.
In addition to protection against heart disease, spinach has also shown promise in reducing the risk of many types of cancer, including such killers as lung cancer. The presence of high levels of vitamin K has long been associated with a reduced risk of cancer, and spinach is one of the best sources of vitamin K available.
Cataracts are another common health problem that spinach is thought to help prevent. Some studies have reported that foods rich in beta carotene, such as spinach, are associated with a lower risk of developing cataracts. Some studies have suggested that those who consume a diet rich in spinach, kale and other dark green leafy vegetables may have a lower overall risk of developing cataracts.
One reason for this reduced risk may be the presence of lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids, which are similar to beta carotene, are strong antioxidants, and they are thought to provide protection not just against cataracts but against the affects of aging and some forms of cancer as well.
Other health benefits of spinach
Spinach is also thought to be important to the control of high levels of homocysteine in the blood. Studies have shown that eating a diet rich in vitamin C, folic acid and beta carotene is an effective way to lower homocysteine levels.
In addition to all these important benefits, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables are thought to play a role in the prevention of the most common of all eye diseases. Macular degeneration is a particular problem with older people, and spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables are thought to help to mitigate the risk of age related macular degeneration. The strong antioxidant properties of these foods are believed to be what makes them so effective.
Other important benefits of spinach, besides the obvious health benefits, are the low price and ready availability of this important food. Just about every grocery store and supermarket carries fresh spinach in their produce section, and there are a number of canned spinach products available as well. While fresh spinach is always a great choice, canned and frozen spinach is a great choice when fresh spinach is not available.
There are many reasons why spinach should be a part of every healthy diet. Spinach and other similar vegetables are among the most nutrient dense of all vegetables, and there is good reason to seek out this delicious and nutritious food whenever you can.