Spinach: Benefits of spinach in our health
You will undoubtedly remember the famous character, Popeye the Sailor , whose strength was increased enormously by consuming a can of spinach. This animation, in addition to being entertaining, had the purpose of increasing the consumption of this food . Well, although we will not acquire the supernatural powers of the sailor, the consumption of spinach provides us with a wide range of benefits for our body, thanks to its minerals, vitamins and proteins.
Thus, for example, this vegetable contains magnesium and vitamin K , which are essential for the normal functioning of muscles and nerves, and the blood coagulation process, respectively. In addition to these properties, there are two other important minerals in spinach that are little mentioned, iron and potassium, which have great benefits for our health, and here we will tell you what they are.
Iron in spinach
Usually, when we talk about high iron content , the first thing we think of is meat. However, spinach (Spinacia oleracea) contains up to 4 mg of this mineral per 100 g. This may not seem like much, but if you compare it with the 2.1 mg per 100 g of beef, it changes our whole vision, doesn’t it?
Despite this, there is a drawback with the spinach leaf, and that is that our body is only able to absorb 2 to 4% of the iron it contains. This is because its iron is of the non-heme type. This means that said mineral is not part of the hemoglobin molecule, causing it to be unprotected and can be structurally altered by other substances in the digestive system, thus hindering its absorption.
Despite this, we can better absorb the iron provided by spinach if we combine it with foods rich in vitamin C , such as orange juice, since it reduces non-heme iron to heme, which facilitates its absorption. As you can see, there are many benefits that eating spinach brings you because it is a superfood.
Spinach is also rich in potassium
It is imperative that this mineral is in our body at levels that are consistent with certain parameters, since it is an electrolyte that contributes to the proper functioning of our heart, since it works to maintain the heart rate.
The banana is the quintessential icon as a source of potassium , containing around 350 mg of this mineral for every 100 g of fruit. However, spinach hides a secret inside that will surely surprise you: it contains no more and no less than 423 mg of potassium per 100 g of spinach . That is why this vegetable is an excellent alternative and is easy to integrate into our daily nutrition through delicious salads.
Benefits of spinach in our health
In addition to being a great source of iron and potassium for our body, this food is also full of other nutrients, vitamins, and proteins that generate multiple healthy benefits for us . Among these benefits we can highlight the following:
1. Strengthens the immune system
Spinach has vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E and magnesium, that stimulate the immune system. This means that we will have a greater number of defenses to fight against those viruses and bacteria that want to enter our body.
2. Maintains eye health
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids that spinach contains and that help reduce the risk of future eye pathologies. For example, like vitamin C, these two carotenoids decrease the chances of cataracts . This vegetable also contains vitamin A, which is also closely related to having good eyesight.
3. Fight against free radicals
Spinach, like any other vegetable, is rich in antioxidants . These antioxidants will be in charge of fighting free radicals that try to damage your cells, thus avoiding diseases such as diabetes, cancer or Parkinson’s.
4. Supports cardiovascular health
This food is a great source of inorganic nitrate, which could reduce the risks of heart disease. Many studies support that spinach can help lower blood pressure and take care of your arteries , basic pillars for heart health.
5. Helps in the healing process
The vitamin C it contains is very good for generating collagen, which is essential in any healing process. In addition, together with the iron that we have already mentioned that this plant has, they form a perfect duo to support any healing process.