The Green Wonder
Spinach or Palak as we call it, is one of the most consumed green leafy vegetable. It is a good source of vitamins A, B2, C, E and K, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, copper, folate, protein and dietary fiber. Plus, it is loaded with flavonoids and carotenoids. Scientifically known as as Spinacia oleracea, spinach belongs to the amaranth family and is related to beets and quinoa. Eating spinach may benefit eye health, reduce oxidative stress, help prevent cancer and reduce blood pressure levels. Cooking spinach actually increases its health benefits! Just half a cup of cooked spinach will give you thrice as much nutrition as one cup of raw spinach. That’s because the body cannot completely break down the nutrients in raw spinach for its use.
Unprocessed or raw spinach contains amino acids, carotenoids, potassium, iodine, magnesium, iron, Vitamin C, A, E, B Complex and K. All the minerals present in this healthy vegetable are alkaline in nature. Thus, they help maintain the pH level balance in the body. There’s a compound in spinach called oxalic acid, which blocks the absorption of calcium and iron. An easy way to solve this problem is to pair spinach with a food high in vitamin C. Spinach contains antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin in plentiful which protect the eye from cataracts and age related macular degeneration. Zeaxanthin is an important dietary carotenoid which is absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes, providing light filtering functions. Spinach also contains vitamin A which is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and essential for normal eyesight.
Did you know that freezing spinach diminishes its health benefits? So in order to get the best from the leaf is to buy it fresh and eat it the same day. Most of the carbs in spinach consist of fiber. Spinach also contains 0.4% sugar, mostly glucose and fructose. Most nutrients in spinach are alkaline in nature. Due to the very high alkalinity of spinach juice, you get substantial, natural relief from rheumatoid arthritis. In addition to this, spinach also clears out various tissues in the body and helps maintain your blood’s alkalinity level. What few know is that it also very good for digestion. Spinach eases constipation and protects the mucus lining of the stomach, so that you stay free of ulcers. It also flushes out toxins from the colon.