Diet & Nutrition

Why spinach is good for you

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Question

Is spinach as good for the body as some people say or is no different from other vegetables?

We all know what an amazing difference spinach made to Popeye but does it have the same effect on three dimensional people?

Well not quite, but the green leafy vegetable is exceptionally good for you. It's literally overflowing with nutrients, minerals and antioxidants with significant levels of iron, calcium and lutein to name but three.

This green leafy vegetable is an excellent food source of both vitamin A and vitamin K. Vitamin A plays an important role in eye health, embryonic development and immune function. Vitamin K is important for maintaining bone health, and well as general well-being.

Popeye's favourite also provides a healthy dose of vitamin C, vitamin B2, and vitamin B6, making it one of nature's best all round nutrient providers.

Spinach also contains chlorophyll (responsible for the vegetable's green colour), a substance that gives the cells of your body a tremendous boost of oxygen. Spinach is also a very good source of fibre.

Research has shown that spinach can also, in some cases, help prevent or improve both inflammatory problems, and certain forms of cancer. The phytonutrients contained within the vegetable can help reduce inflammation in the body, and slow down the adverse cell division caused by cancer.

However, before you fill your refrigerator with the little green vegetable, you should know that spinach does suffer from a small absorption problem. At least some of its goodness may not be absorbed particularly well by the body. This means that you may not be receiving the levels of iron or calcium that you think you are. But this is an issue shared by many foods so it shouldn't necessarily deter you from enjoying spinach.

In conclusion, one can say that spinach is a valuable addition to a healthy balanced diet but it should not be relied on solely for your nutritional requirements. The ideal diet should comprise a variety of fruits and vegetables. Focusing too heavily on one particular food may not be wise.

Top spinach tip - unlike most other vegetables, boiling spinach is actually advantageous as it helps reduce its acid content by up to half.



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