This rich green superfood is one you should have in your diet. Loaded with vitamins and minerals and low in calories, spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat.
In a nutshell….
Spinach is anti-inflammatory, heart healthy, great for healthy skin and vision, promotes healthy bones and cells, helps fight free radicals and slow aging (yay!), and may lower cholesterol and help prevent cancer
One serving (30 grams/ 1 cup) contains: 7 calories, 181% recommended dietary allowance of Vitamin K, 56% of Vitamin A, 34% of iron, 15% of folate, 13% of Manganese, 14% of Vitamin C, 5% of Iron, and 5% of Potassium. Spinach also provides you with Vitamin B, Vitamin E, calcium, fiber, copper, zinc, and Magnesium
Why are these important?
Carotenoids (beta carotene, lutein, zeazanthin) — phytonutrients (plant nutrients) important for eye health and preventing macular degeneration & cataracts; have anti-inflammatory and possibly anti-cancerous properties
Beta carotene — converted to vitamin A, antioxidant, promotes healthy eyes and vision (including night vision)
Vitamin A — antioxidant, promotes healthy skin, eyes and vision
Vitamin C — antioxidant, important for skin health & immune function, promotes healing, helps body absorb iron
Vitamin E — antioxidant, important for the immune system
Folate (vitamin B9) — helps the body make healthy new cells, promotes normal cellular function and tissue growth, vital for pregnant women to prevent major defects of the baby’s brain or spine
Vitamin K — beneficial for strengthening bone, essential for blood clotting
Iron — helps create hemoglobin (found in red blood cells) which transports oxygen around the body
Calcium — essential for bone health, helps muscles and blood vessels contract & expand
So did Popeye have the right idea?
Well, he was right that you should eat your spinach. It’s super good for you. But no, it won’t give you big biceps… you’ll have to hit the gym for that!
*To note, these nutrition facts are in regards to raw spinach. Cooking spinach is still healthy but does decrease some of its nutritional value.
*Nutritional values obtained from the USDA Food Composition Database, based on a 2000 calorie diet
*Spinach contains high amounts of oxalic acid which can cause gout flares in some individuals or lead to problems in those with a history of kidney stones (as it prevents calcium absorption). Spinach also contains very high amounts of vitamin K, which assists in blood clotting and can interfere with blood thinners. …. If this is you, check with your doctor before increasing the amount of spinach in your diet.