Studies have found that people who take lutein supplements are at a lower risk for macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision impairment and blindness.One study found that women who had a higher dietary intake of lutein were 23% less likely to develop cataracts than those who had a low-lutein diet.Studies of older adults have shown that those with higher lutein levels exhibited better verbal fluency, memory, reasoning ability, and processing speed than those with low amounts of the nutrient. .
Spinach 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a leafy green vegetable that originated in Persia.Also known as folate or vitamin B9, this compound is vital for pregnant women and essential for normal cellular function and tissue growth.Also known as folate or vitamin B9, this compound is vital for pregnant women and essential for normal cellular function and tissue growth.This mineral is essential for bone health and a crucial signaling molecule for your nervous system, heart, and muscles.SUMMARY Spinach boasts many plant compounds that can improve health, such as lutein, kaempferol, nitrates, quercetin, and zeaxanthin.It has been shown to improve oxidative stress, eye health, and blood pressure.They can cause oxidative stress, which triggers accelerated aging and increases your risk of cancer and diabetes ( 11 ).However, spinach contains antioxidants, which fight oxidative stress and help reduce the damage it causes.One study in eight healthy people found that spinach helped prevent oxidative damage.Eye health Spinach is rich in zeaxanthin and lutein, which are the carotenoids responsible for color in some vegetables.Additionally, several studies indicate that zeaxanthin and lutein work to prevent macular degeneration and cataracts, which are major causes of blindness ( 16 , 17 , 18 , 19 ).Several human studies link spinach consumption to a reduced risk of prostate cancer.Additionally, spinach packs high amounts of antioxidants, which may also fight cancer ( 27 ).One study in 27 people found that eating spinach effectively lowered blood pressure levels.Several other studies observed similar effects, indicating that spinach boosts heart health ( 7 , 30 , 31 ).It may reduce oxidative stress, promote eye health, fight cancer, and regulate blood pressure.People who are taking blood thinners, such as warfarin, should consult with their healthcare practitioner before eating large amounts of spinach ( 34 ).This leafy green is also very high in vitamin K1, which can be a problem for people on blood thinners. .
Top 5 health benefits of spinach
Spinach belongs to the chenopodiaceae family (also known as goosefoot), which includes beetroot, chard and quinoa .It shares a similar taste profile with these vegetables – the bitterness of beet greens and the slightly salty flavour of chard.The dark green colour of spinach leaves indicates they contain high levels of chlorophyll and health-promoting carotenoids including beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.As well as being anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous, these phytonutrients are especially important for healthy eye sight, helping to prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.Spinach has long been regarded as a plant which can restore energy, increase vitality and improve the quality of the blood.This mineral plays a central role in the function of red blood cells which help transport oxygen around the body, supports energy production and DNA synthesis.However, high levels of a compound called oxalic acid, naturally found in spinach, appears to inhibit the absorption of minerals like iron; that said, lightly cooking or wilting appears to minimise these effects.Spinach, like beetroot, is naturally rich in compounds called nitrates; these may help improve blood flow and pressure by relaxing the blood vessels, reducing arterial stiffness and promoting dilation.A reduction in blood pressure helps reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.Animal studies suggest including spinach in the diet may protect against colon cancer.Spinach contains a high amount of oxalate, for this reason people with a history of oxalate-containing kidney stones should minimise their consumption.All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. .
Spinach: Nutrition, health benefits, and diet
This article explores the nutrition contained in spinach, how it can benefit the body, and a range of flavorsome ways to include it in the diet.Consuming large amounts of oxalate in the diet can increase a person’s risk of developing kidney stones.Additionally, if someone is taking blood-thinners, such as warfarin, it is important that they do not suddenly begin to change the amount of food they eat containing vitamin K, such as spinach. .
12 Healthy Foods That Are High in Iron
Iron is a mineral that serves several important functions, its main one being to carry oxygen throughout your body as a part of red blood cells ( 1 ).The Daily Value (DV) is 18 mg. Interestingly, the amount of iron your body absorbs is partly based on how much you have stored.In fact, all shellfish is high in nutrients and has been shown to increase the level of heart-healthy HDL cholesterol in your blood ( 5 ).Although there are legitimate concerns about mercury and toxins in certain types of fish and shellfish, the benefits of consuming seafood far outweigh the risks ( 6 ).Shellfish is also rich in many other nutrients and may increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels in your blood.Spinach is also rich in antioxidants called carotenoids, which may reduce your risk of cancer, decrease inflammation, and protect your eyes from disease ( 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 ).What’s more, organ meats are among the best sources of choline, an important nutrient for brain and liver health that many people don’t get enough of ( 15 ).Legumes can also decrease heart disease risk for people with metabolic syndrome ( 17 , 18 , 19 , 20 ).They’re very high in soluble fiber, which can increase feelings of fullness and reduce calorie intake ( 21 ).To maximize iron absorption, consume legumes with foods high in vitamin C, such as tomatoes, greens, or citrus fruits.Legumes are also high in folate, magnesium, potassium, and fiber and may even aid weight loss.Researchers have suggested that iron deficiency may be less likely in people who eat meat, poultry, and fish on a regular basis ( 25 ).In fact, red meat is probably the single most easily accessible source of heme iron, potentially making it an important food for people who are prone to anemia.Quinoa is also higher in protein than many other grains, as well as rich in folate, magnesium, copper, manganese, and many other nutrients.Antioxidants help protect your cells from damage from free radicals, which are formed during metabolism and in response to stress ( 33 , 34 ).Its high protein content promotes fullness, increases metabolism, and prevents muscle loss.The same serving size is also high in folate and provides 5 grams of fiber, as well as some vitamin K.
Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage.Cruciferous vegetables contain indole, sulforaphane, and glucosinolates, which are plant compounds believed to protect against cancer ( 44 , 45 , 46, 47 ).Tofu contains unique compounds called isoflavones, which have been linked to improved insulin sensitivity, a decreased risk of heart disease, and relief from menopausal symptoms ( 49 , 50 ).Studies have also shown that chocolate has beneficial effects on cholesterol and may reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes ( 54 , 55 , 56 ).SUMMARY A small serving of dark chocolate contains 19% of the DV for iron along with several minerals and prebiotic fiber that promotes gut health.Fish is also brimming with omega-3 fatty acids, which are a type of heart-healthy fat associated with a number of health benefits.n particular, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to promote brain health, enhance immune function, and support healthy growth and development ( 75 ).Fish is also a good source of several other important nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. .
Is Eating Spinach Every Day Good for You? Benefits & Side Effects
Rich with a multitude of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, spinach is a well-known low-calorie ingredient used in many different types of diets. .
Plant power: The 10 veggies with the most protein
The best plant-based sources of protein include tofu, chickpeas, and peanuts, which are classed as legumes.One cup of watercress contains 85 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K, which is almost 100% of the daily recommended intake for adults.Instead, eat raw watercress in salads, stuff it into sandwiches, or blend it into smoothies ( 7 ).This vegetable is a rich source of vitamin K and a decent source of folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and vitamin C. Animal studies have suggested that alfalfa sprouts can reduce cholesterol levels.In an older study, from 1987, researchers gave 15 people with high blood lipid levels 40 g of alfalfa seeds three times daily for 8 weeks.Research also suggests that alfalfa sprouts may decrease inflammation, reduce symptoms of menopause, and — due to its high vitamin K content — help prevent osteoporosis (12, 13 , 14 ).Spinach contains plant compounds that can increase antioxidant defense and reduce inflammation ( 16 ).In another study, researchers gave nitrate-rich spinach to healthy participants and measured its effects on their levels of nitric oxide, which is a signaling molecule that widens the blood vessels.A number of cell studies have shown that Chinese cabbage is rich in compounds with antioxidant activity.It may also have anti-inflammatory properties ( 21 , 22 , 23 ) Some studies say that Brassica vegetables, a group that includes Chinese cabbage, could contain compounds that reduce the risk of prostate cancer ( 24 ).Additionally, an animal study showed that taking supplements of Chinese cabbage powder reduced the risk of liver cancer ( 25 ).People use Chinese cabbage in many Asian recipes, such as stir-fries, kimchi, soups, and spring rolls.These provide prebiotic benefits, stimulating the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria ( 28 , 29 ).People can grill, boil, steam, or pan-fry asparagus, and it works in salads and as a side dish.They are also a good source of vitamin E.
Mustard greens, like many other plants, contain phenolic compounds that give them antioxidant properties ( 22 , 31 ).A test-tube study demonstrated that steaming mustard greens increases their ability to bind to bile acids.People can steam, boil, or saute mustard greens, or they can simply eat them raw.As another member of the Brassica family, collard greens are a good source of phenolic compounds and antioxidants ( 31 , 34 ).Research has linked the high levels of antioxidants in collard greens with a decreased risk of developing prostate cancer ( 24 ).One study reported that people who eat cruciferous vegetables, such as collard greens, are less likely to receive a diagnosis of breast cancer ( 35 ).Collard greens can also bind to bile acids in the gut, which helps reduce cholesterol levels.Broccoli also provides high amounts of plant compounds and flavonoids, such as kaempferol.One animal study reported that eating Brussels sprouts promoted the growth and health of intestinal bacteria and stimulated the production of short-chain fatty acids in the gut ( 41 ).People can cook Brussels sprouts by boiling, steaming, grilling, or roasting them.Cauliflower also contains a high amount of a particular glucosinolate compound called sinigrin, which may have anticancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties ( 43 ).However, cauliflower is also high in other antioxidants that are preserved during cooking and may even increase after a person steams or microwaves the vegetable (45).Like several other vegetables on this list, cauliflower has the potential to reduce cholesterol levels due to its ability to bind to bile acids. .
10 Iron-Packed Foods for Combatting Anemia and Low Energy
“Most well known is that it's a key component of red blood cells and helps transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest of the body,” says Anzlovar.Iron deficiency, a condition called anemia, makes it difficult for your red blood cells to deliver oxygen, according to the Mayo Clinic.Symptoms of anemia may include fatigue, chest pain or shortness of breath, cold hands and feet, dizziness and headache, poor appetite, and unusual cravings for substances like ice, dirt, or starch.You’ll need to aim for nearly twice as much iron per day (about 1.8 times as much, per the NIH) if you don’t eat meat.The good news is that a lot of common foods contain iron — from oysters and pumpkin seeds to fortified cereals and red meat. .
6 Health Benefits of Spinach, According to a Nutritionist
In a study published in the journal Food & Function, researchers summarize the protective effects of spinach, based on the activity of its naturally occurring phytochemicals and bioactive compounds.For these reasons, the researchers conclude that eating more spinach may help fend off heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.In one small study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, 11 men and seven women consumed four different nitrate-rich drinks, including a spinach beverage.The spinach drink, in addition to those made from beetroot juice and rocket salad (another leafy green), also lowered blood pressure.One of the antioxidants in spinach, called lutein, has been shown to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an eye disease that can blur the sharp, central vision required for activities like reading and driving.In one Japanese study, researchers examined the eyes of 11 healthy nonsmokers who consumed 75 grams of frozen spinach containing 10 mg of lutein daily for two months.That’s important, because macular pigment acts like internal sunglasses to protect the eyes, and low or decreased MPOD is a risk factor for AMD.Scientists say the best way to consume spinach for maximum lutein intake may be in a smoothie combined with a healthful fat, such as avocado or almond butter.That’s because when spinach is chopped into small pieces, more lutein is released from the leaves, and fat increases the ability to absorb the antioxidant.Older research found that cooking also impacts the folate content of spinach; boiling slashed this B vitamin level by nearly half.A recent study looked at the effect of different cooking methods on the vitamin content in selected vegetables, included spinach.For a quick and easy side dish, toss spinach with a simple vinaigrette made from whisking together extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and dried Italian herb seasoning.Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is Health's contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and a private practice performance nutritionist who has consulted for five professional sports teams. .
15 Reasons Why Spinach Is Called A Superfood
If Popeye the Sailor Man could get his strength from spinach, you could too because this leafy vegetable is considered a superfood.Some of the powerful health benefits of spinach are that this vegetable helps stabilise your blood glucose levels, helps in reducing your risk of developing cancer, prevents you from cancer and is good for bone health.One vegetable with so many health benefits is amazing and our ancestors were not wrong in propagating its uses for the human body.It has a low glycemic index (GI), thus it does not cause a spike in your blood sugar levels (You can refer to the Glycemic Index Food Chart to find out GIs of other foods that can be included in your Diabetes Diet Plan).It is also an excellent source of fibre and low in calories, making it an ideal food to be used in recipes for diabetes.Apart from the above-listed nutritional facts, here are some vitamins and minerals that make this green super healthy.The leafy green is said to contain 250 milligrams of calcium per cup and this would help keep your bones healthy including your teeth.Also, in order to get the best out of spinach, it is advised that you combine vitamin C rich foods along with this such as citrus fruits and increase your absorption of calcium.Magnesium is said to increase your metabolism, regulate your heart rhythm and maintain blood pressure.Thus, spinach has a rich source of dietary magnesium that can benefit your health in multiple ways.Spinach is linked to numerous health benefits that improve your eyesight, cancer prevention and regulate blood sugar.Spinach has a high source of zeaxanthin and carotenoids that can flush out the free radicals from your body.Its high amounts of fibre content also help in good digestion, regulate low blood sugar and prevent constipation.The antioxidants that are found in spinach are lutein and zeaxanthin and these help in providing good eyesight.The vitamin A found in spinach helps to maintain mucus membranes that are essential for normal eyesight.Consuming at least once a day can reduce anxiety and stress and help you keep a calm mind.Its high source of anti-inflammatory properties can help you prevent osteoporosis, migraine, asthma, arthritis and headaches.So make sure that you add this healthy leafy green to your regular diet and reap the benefits of it.Thus consuming this leafy green on a daily basis will keep your brain active and enable you to think intelligently.Vitamin A content found in spinach is said to strengthen the entry points in the human body such as respiratory, intestinal tracts and mucus membranes.Spinach has a high source of iron content in it that can prevent you from the risks of developing anaemia.You can also prepare a facial mask by making some spinach paste and adding a little water.This will reduce inflammation in your skin and remove dirt and extra oil that causes acne.However, spinach comes loaded with antioxidants that have the tendency to destroy and prevent free radicals that cause premature ageing.Consuming spinach on a regular basis will benefit your skin and give it a shiny texture.Note that these are rare situations, for most people, spinach is a very healthy addition to their diets.These antioxidants help prevent chronic illnesses and oxidative damage to the DNA.Spinach juice and leafy greens in general are known to defend the body against cancer cells.A study with 27 people found that consuming spinach juice helped with their high blood pressure and arterial stiffness.Vitamin A regulates skin cell generation and produces mucous to protect against infections.While Spinach Juice is filled with antioxidants and nutritional benefits, one must have it in proportion with enough proteins and fats.These substances also help in reducing acne, dark circles and give a radiant and glowing texture to your skin.The reason why this leafy vegetable is considered a superfood is because it offers all-around benefits in terms of health in general, skin and hair.However, it is advised that you consume the skin and this will reduce hair fall to a large extent.From reducing your risk of heart disease to giving you radiant skin, this superfood is the best weight loss food that you need to add to your healthy everyday diet plan list.Although, spinach is a very healthy vegetable that should be incorporated into your weekly diet plan if not daily, it can have a few negative impacts on your health if consumed in excess:.Spinach contains vitamin k which interacts with certain medications and put you at risk of blood clots.Since spinach requires time for digestion, it hinders metabolism and leads to bloating, gas and cramps.Helpful for anaemia: Red spinach is full of iron, important for stimulating healthy blood flow in your system.Consuming red spinach will keep you safe from the early onset of osteoporosis and reduce the risk of bone fractures.Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. .