Spinach may not give you and your little ones superhuman strength like it does for the cartoon character Popeye, but it is full of feel-good nutrients. The leafy green is an excellent source of iron, dietary fiber, calcium, manganese, magnesium, folate, selenium, and Vitamin A, K, E, C and vitamins of the B group.
In honor of National Spinach Day, observed annually on March 26, we’re sharing nine lesser known benefits of eating this super veggie:
- Spinach is packed with Vitamin C, numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which are known to boost the immune system so the body can fight off infections better.
- Chlorophyll-rich foods like spinach help you get to sleep. Spinach is also loaded with magnesium, which has relaxation properties and may improve sleep length and quality.
- Spinach is beneficial in maintaining hydration, and it’s rich in magnesium, potassium, iron and B-vitamins, all of which are known to increase energy. This makes it a great choice post-workout or other high-energy activities.
- Spinach is a mild laxative and diuretic. Spinach is high in fiber, magnesium and potassium which help break down food and keep your digestive system moving. It can help ease constipation naturally and also flushes out toxins from the colon.
- Spinach is rich in vitamin K, which has been shown to bolster bone-mineral density, protect against osteoporosis and reduce fracture rates.
- Spinach has been proven to reduce the risk of asthma. This is due to its beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium and magnesium, which all have anti-asthmatic properties.
- A study by researchers at Oregon State University found that consumption of spinach can partially offset the damaging effects of a known carcinogen in cooked meat. In tests with laboratory animals, it cut the incidence of colon tumors almost in half, from 58 percent to 32 percent. Some studies have shown the disease-fighting chemicals and nutrients in spinach may also help block larynx, esophagus, mouth, lung, breast, skin and stomach cancer cells.
- Spinach is linked to lower odds of getting dementia later in life. Consuming just a daily serving of spinach may help slow the process of age-associated cognitive decline, according to a study from Rush University in Chicago.
- Two antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin in spinach help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.
While spinach often gets a bad rap for its taste, especially among kids, it’s an easy ingredient to sneak into recipes – like these smoothies, dips and sauces – undetected. In fact, spinach is one of the five vegetables in our Sneakz milkshakes, which have a taste that kids love.
Why not serve some tonight to celebrate National Spinach Day, and make it a point to add this superfood to your family’s diet on a weekly basis to reap its amazing health benefits?