Every bite you take is either fighting a disease or feeding it. Choose what you want your food to do for you or you can ask a 90's kid what Spinach is! Popularized by the famous cartoon show "Popeye - the Sailor Man", spinach is a green, leafy vegetable with a high nutritional value. Scientifically known as Spinacia Oleracea, spianch belongs to the amaranth family and is related to beetroots and quinoa. You can have it raw in salads, steamed, blended in a soup or sautéed with other veggies. It is a very versatile ingredient that can be used in many ways. Spinach is rich in vitamins A, C and K, magnesium, iron and manganese. Eating this leafy green veggie may benefit eye health, reduce oxidative stress and reduce blood pressure levels among other health functions. Whether you like it or not, spinach is surely one veggie that you must include in your daily diet.
Five amazing health benefits of eating spinach regularly as a part of your daily diet:
1. Strengthens your bonesSpinach is a rich source of Vitamin K which helps in promoting a the production of a protein called Osteocalc in that is responsible for stabilizing calcium in the bones. In addition to being rich in vitamin K, spinach is also a great source of calcium and vitamin D, dietary fibre, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C, all of which are important nutrients that are good for bone health.
2. Strengthens your eyesight and immune systemSpinach contains beta carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein and chlorophyll - all of which are responsible for improving your eyesight and boosting your immune system. Lutein and zeaxanthin are stored in the macula, which is a part of the retina that acts as a natural sunblock, shielding your eye from damaging light. This will also help lower the risk of macular degeneration; which is why most people are advised to eat more and more greens.
3. Repels bacteria and viruses Spinach is high in vitamin A which helps our skin and mucous membranes to repel various kinds of bacteria and viruses effectively. Moreover, this vitamin is necessary for sebum production to keep hair moisturised. Vitamin A is good for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair. So load up on more greens to reduce the risk of hair loss and infections.
4. Promotes heart healthVitamin C in spinach is known to have the ability to prevent wrinkles and protect us from eye diseases, prenatal health problems and cardiovascular diseases. It is also the presence of lutein content that prevents thickening of walls of arteries, thus reducing the risk of heart attacks. Moreover, it contains nitrite that not only helps in preventing the occurrence of heart attack but also cures the heart diseases associated with fat deposition.
5. Keeps you energizedSpinach provides you with the required levels of magnesium in your body which helps you to generate energy for your day to day chores. Spinach is also a great source of folate, a nutrient that helps your body turn food into usable energy. Moreover, making your body more alkalised can help you keep energised through the day and spinach is one veggie that is alkaline in nature.
Now that you are aware about the several health benefits of spinach, try your hand at some of our best spinach recipes.1. Spanish Artichoke and Spinach DipWho said that if it is green, it's boring? Spice things up on a weekend get together with freshly baked tortillas and this amazing variation of spinach in a dip.
2. Spiced Spinach Soup with Cottage Cheese CroutonsThis is your classic spinach soup served with mouth watering cottage cheese croutons.
3. Baked Spinach with Mushroom and Cheese SauceA lovely recipe for dinner with layers of spinach, mushroom, cheese and all good things.
Spinach is not restricted to these recipes and you can always add your own personal twist. Take this as an inspiration and bring out the Popeye in you!Disclaimer:The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.