Talk about Popeye and kids would be encouraged to eat veggies, particularly spinach. Well, in real life, spinach is really a vegetable of wonder as it is considered to be among the top when it comes to nutrient richness. Let us find out why this is one of the best veggies, and why it has become Popeye’s favorite.
Spinach does not only make people strong. It can also help them protect themselves from cancers, cardiovascular diseases, bone problems, inflammations, and oxidative stress-related illnesses. This just shows how beneficial this vegetable to health is. Now, let us break these benefits down.
Aside from being a good source of vitamins and other minerals, spinach also has healthy phytonutrients like flavonoids and carotenoids such as lutein, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin. These help provide antioxidant protection to the body. This is the reason why baby spinach salad is well-recommended and is a bestseller in vegan restaurants.
Moreover, it has been discovered by recent studies that spinach has a wide selection of phytonutrients that function as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agents.
Because of the anti-cancer properties that the flavonoids from spinach have, some researchers even created special extracts from this vegetable which are now studied in laboratories. Based on the studies conducted on these extracts, it has been found out that spinach can slow down the division of cancer cells in human stomach (which is called gastric adenocarcinomas). Furthermore, a researched showed that in 1980s, women in New England who had regular intake of spinach had lower chance of having breast cancer.
Anti-cancer nutrients are known to work side by side with anti-inflammatory properties. Too much inflammation can increase cancer risk. Therefore, nutrients that combat inflammation can also help prevent cancer. As spinach is known to have anti-cancer properties, it is also rich in anti-inflammatory compounds. This vegetable is packed with carotenoids that are known to reduce inflammation especially in the digestive tract. It has been found out that spinach leaves contain a lot of violaxanthin and neoxanthin, some kinds of carotenoids, specifically known as anti-inflammatory epoxyxanthophylls. These carotenoids effectively help regulate inflammation in the body.
Aside from having anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, spinach is also rich in antioxidant nutrients. Spinach contains a lot of Vitamin A, C, and E, antioxidant zinc and selenium, and manganese. All of these aid in the prevention of health problems due to oxidative stress. It has been found out that spinach intake can reduce the risk of illnesses concerning blood vessels like high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. Spinach has a plenty of zeaxanthin and lutein, carotenoids that are main antioxidants in some parts of the eye like macula and retina. Therefore, spinach is also said to help prevent eye problems.
Eating spinach can also help maintain bone health. This is because this wonder vegetable is also an excellent source of vitamin K. Vitamin K1 can help stop over activation of osteoclasts, or the cells that are responsible for breaking bones down. Furthermore, spinach contains other good-for-the-bones nutrients like magnesium and calcium.
No wonder, spinach is among the top nutritious vegetables. Popeye probably knows this that is why he makes it his favorite supplement.