Spinach is one of the healthiest foods, they provide vitamins and minerals, such as iron. Therefore it is a green vegetable that offers many benefits and properties,which should be taken in any diet, and the best thing is that it can be cooked in different ways.
Properties of spinach
The nutritional power of spinach lies in its high content of vitamins and minerals: 100 g of this vegetable provides two-thirds of the daily needs of vitamin A, practically all of the folic acid, half of vitamin C and a quarter of vitamin C. magnesium and iron that are needed per day.
A transcription error in the measurement of its nutrients led us to think for many years that it contained ten times more iron than it actually contains.
Even so, it can be considered quite rich in this mineral and its reputation as a healthy vegetable is fully deserved.
In addition, it seeks calcium, phosphorus, sulfur, chlorophyll, trace elements, enzymes and fiber. Their proteins (2.8%), although they are not very abundant, are more complete than in other vegetables.
The correct fertilization of the crops is essential for the spinach to acquire the nutrients that characterize it. Excessive amounts of phosphate increase the harvest, but some vitamins, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulfur decrease.
The spinach of “accelerated growth” is, therefore, less nutritious than that of organic farming.
Benefits provided by the spinach
1. It promotes the healing of the gastric ulcer
In the study called Conventional Treatments and Alternative Medicine of Peptic Ulcer, the importance of spinach to favor the healing of gastric ulcers is pointed out.
This is because spinach protects the mucous membrane of the stomach and is rich in vitamin A.
2. Protect your brain
Several components of spinach such as potassium, folate and various antioxidants provide neurological benefits to people who consume it regularly.
According to neurology, folate reduces the appearance of Alzheimer’s disease, so spinach is a very good option for people who are at high risk of neuronal or cognitive impairment.
3. Reduce eye diseases
Spinach is a rich source of beta carotene, lutein and xanthene, therefore it is very beneficial for the eyes. When you eat cooked spinach your beta carotene goes straight to your eyes.
This can help people suffering from vitamin A deficiency, as well as itchy eyes, eye ulcers, irritation and dry eyes.
4. Regulates blood pressure
Spinach has a high potassium content and a low sodium content. This mineral composition is a benefit for patients with high blood pressure since potassium lowers blood pressure while sodium increases it.
The folic acid present in the benefits provided by spinach also contributes to the reduction of hypertension and relaxes blood vessels, while maintaining adequate blood flow.
By reducing blood pressure and relaxing the tension of the vessels and arteries, you can reduce stress on the cardiovascular system and increase the oxygenation of the body’s organ systems for optimal functionality.
5. Fight some cancers
Spinach is composed of several important elements that have been found promising in the treatment and prevention of various types of cancer as this article points out.
The different components of spinach, such as folate, tocopherol, and chlorophyllin, act through different mechanisms to treat and protect patients suffering from cancer.
6. Diminishes inflammation
There are many anti-inflammatory compounds that are found in the benefits that spinach gives you, more than a dozen, in fact. That’s why spinach is one of the most potent vegetables when it comes to reducing inflammation throughout the body.
This not only means that it can protect the heart from dangerous inflammation or prevent cancer, but it can also help in reducing the inflammation and pain associated with conditions such as arthritis and gout, which affect millions of people throughout the world.
7. Strengthen your bones
Spinach is a good source of Vitamin K, which works in the retention of calcium in the bone matrix, which leads to bone mineralization. Apart from this, other minerals such as manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus also help in the construction of strong bones.
This in turn can prevent a person from developing osteoporosis. These minerals are also essential to keep teeth and nails healthy.
8. Prevents atherosclerosis and stroke
Atherosclerosis is caused by the hardening of the arteries. It has been shown that a pigment called lutein that is found in spinach helps reduce the onset of atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.
This is because spinach proteins tend to reduce cholesterol and other fat deposits in the blood vessels.
9. Improves metabolic activity
There is a reason why doctors recommend adding spinach in a meaningful way to your diet. Not only for the benefits that the spinach already mentioned but for its high amount of protein.
The amount of protein found in spinach is easily broken down by enzymes into amino acids that are essential for humans.
10. Combat macular degeneration and cataracts
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is responsible for causing blindness. This is due to the degeneration of lutein and xanthene that form a central part of the retina.
According to research conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the consumption of spinach can lead to the recovery of two vital pigments and effectively prevent (RP).
Spinach also contains a large amount of antioxidants that reduce the harmful effects of free radicals, which are known to affect vision and cause age-related vision conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration as well.
Lutein and zeaxanthin present in the benefits of spinach act as strong antioxidants, preventing the eyes from suffering the harsh effects that UV can lead to cataracts. They also reduce the impact of free radicals, which can be a major cause of cataracts and other eye diseases.
11. Strengthen your muscles
A component of spinach, called the C0-Q10 factor, which is an antioxidant, plays an important role in strengthening the muscles, especially the heart muscles that pump blood continuously to all parts of the body.
According to the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, the C0-Q10 can be used to prevent and treat many cardiovascular diseases such as hyperlipidemia, heart failure, hypertension and coronary heart disease.
12. Take care of your skin
It has been shown that the different phytonutrients and pigments that contain the benefits that spinach gives you protect the skin from the harmful rays of the sun, including UV rays. These also help repair damaged genes to a certain extent, which prevents skin cancer in the long term.
Spinach provides 2.71 mg of iron per 100 g, a proportion that exceeds that of meat. Although the iron of vegetable origin is absorbed with greater difficulty than that of animal origin, vitamin C, coming from both spinach itself and other foods, favors its assimilation in part.
14. The pregnancy
The essentiality of folic acid during pregnancy is well documented. Folic acid can help prevent neural tube defects, specifically spinach Bifida and anencephaly, which occur early in pregnancy. Since it is difficult for women to get enough folic acid from food alone, the Centers for Disease Control recommends taking 400 mcg if you are pregnant or could become pregnant. But spinach can also help increase your folic acid intake, with 66 percent of your daily folate needs (before pregnancy) per cup cooked.
Its antioxidants – also rich in vitamin E – protect the dermis from sun damage and the natural aging process.
Spinach in the kitchen
There are many varieties, which can be taken raw, boiled, steamed, sauteed, au gratin, pizza …
With green leaves, dark and bright, they are valued for their rapid growth, their tender texture and their mild and slightly acid taste, which is coupled with a wide variety of recipes.
The truth is that spinach, as a classic vegetable that is, appears in the recipes of half the world.
In Japan it is scalded and served with soy sauce, while other eastern countries use it as a filling for pasta and vegetables.
In Europe it is made with Florentine or it is accompanied by raisins and pine nuts in a recipe of medieval reminiscences. It is also combined with chick peas and curdled in tortillas.
Simple to prepare
There are many varieties of spinach, which can be classified into two categories: those with curly leaves, which are eaten fresh between autumn and spring, and those with smooth leaves, which are usually purchased frozen throughout the year.
In general, the tender leaves of the warmer season can be eaten raw, but those with a smooth, large winter leaf are usually leathery and should be cooked.
To cook spinach, it is important to use them very fresh. First, wash them well by briefly dipping them in cold water to remove traces of dirt.
It is recommended to do it without removing them from the root, since this way they are easier to handle, and then the damaged or yellowish leaves and the very large stems are eliminated.
If they are going to be consumed raw, they are dried, or they are scalded and drained well.
To boil them, about 8 minutes are enough. Then they are placed in a dish rack, wet briefly with cold water to stop cooking and crush well with the hand to remove water.
To conserve its green color it is important to use abundant water with a handful of salt and submerge it when it reaches full boiling.
The cooking water should not be consumed, because it contains too many oxalates.
They can be sautéed in olive oil, or they can be prepared in a casserole covered in their own water, since they lose a lot of liquid when cooked.
Frozen spinach is cooked without thawing, boiling or stewing in a casserole dish.
The volume of fresh spinach is reduced by about three-quarters when cooked. For a first course, you need about 600 grams per serving; for garrison, half is enough.
It must be borne in mind that, once cooked, spinach must be consumed within a period of 24 hours, since harmful substances can be generated from a certain time.
As you have seen, the benefits of spinach are many, so it is important that you begin to include them in your diet. You already do it?