17 Amazing Health Benefits of Palak, Spinach + Healthy Recipes
For many years, nutritionists and mothers have known about the awesome power of spinach and its importance to a healthy diet. After all, there is a reason your mother always encouraged you to eat your spinach, and Popeye can certainly confirm to the awesome power of this leafy veggie.
17 Health Benefits of Spinach, Palak
1. Good Source of Iron :
Spinach is one of the richest plant sources of Iron and it should be part of a healthy diet for everyone, from the youngest child to the oldest adult. Cooked spinach is an excellent source of iron, a mineral that it particularly important for menstruating women, who are more at risk for iron deficiency.
Boosting iron stores with spinach is a good idea, especially because, in comparison to red meat, a well-known source of iron, spinach provides iron for a lot less calories and is totally fat-free.
2. Great Source of Insoluble Fiber :
Raw spinach is very rich in insoluble fibre, 25% having soluble fiber and 75% insoluble fiber. The insoluble fibre contained in spinach has also been associated with protecting the heart and other vital organs from damage. Also known to prevent colon cancer as it removes toxic waste from our body quickly.
3. Good for Eyes :
Beta Carotene, Lutein and Xanthene are all present in good quantities in Spinach which are great for your eyes and protect against age related macular degeneration- the leading cause of loss of vision. It also reduces puffiness and irritation of the eyes.
4. Anti Inflammatory :
Spinach is a great Antioxidant and also one of the best vegetables to reduce cellular inflammation. Cutting out processed foods and sugar will go a long way in living a healthy lifestyle.
One of the antioxidant found in spinach is factor CO-Q10 which is very important in strengthening your muscles, especially heart muscles and pump blood to different parts of your body.
5. Aids in Weight Loss :
To reduce your overall calorie intake for a healthy weight loss, you need to replace your high calorie food with the lower ones. 1½ cup of spinach contains only 26 calories which is remarkably low. You can easily include the fresh green colored spinach in place of calories loaded with saturated fats and simple sugars. Thus aids in your weight loss goals. Also spinach is a good source of fiber which will make you feel full for a longer period of time. Thus contributes in lowering your total calorie intake.
6. Diabetic friendly :
With exceptionally low carbohydrate content, spinach is considered as one of the super food for diabetics. Due to low CHO content, the glycemic load of 1½ cup of spinach is just 1. This makes spinach a very safe option for consumption. Limiting the amount of carbohydrate intake per meal to manage your blood sugar levels is important. Around 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrate is advisable per meal depending on your blood glucose levels.
The fiber content in spinach also helps in maintaining your blood sugar levels. You can include spinach in your paratha, tikkis, sabji and make it more nutritious. Try making spinach juice combined with other vegetables low in calories such as tomato, cucumber or mix fresh spinach in salads.
7. Rich in Vitamin C :
Spinach is rich in Vitamin C which has immune fighting effect. It forms an important defence against cold and cough.
8. Rich in Vitamin A :
Topping the list of nutrients for healthy vision is Vitamin A and spinach has plenty of it. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for proper vision and proves to be very beneficial for the development of growth, regulation of epithelial tissues and immunity.
9. Make your bones strong :
Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale contain good amounts of Calcium which is a mineral that makes bones stay This will prevent you from the risk of osteoporosis.
10. Helps body produce new Red Blood Cells :
Folate or Vitamin B9 helps your body to produce and maintain new cells, especially red blood cells. It also helps prevents DNA changes that might cause cancer. Sometimes, when you complain of fatigue, skin problems or palpitations, the doctor prescribes folic acid tablets. Simple solution is to up the Folate rich foods like Spinach.
11. Healthy Brain and Nervous System :
Most vegetables are rich in Vitamin B6 and help maintain a healthy nervous system. Potassium being an important part of brain health, it is associated with increased blood flow to the brain, improving your cognitive abilities and concentration. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach is a good source of niacin, thus helps in improving brain functions.
12. Improves your heart health :
Spinach is a very good source of folic acid which is known to reduce the homocysteine levels responsible for cardiovascular diseases. A special pigment called lutein is present in spinach that reduces the onset of atherosclerosis and many other heart related diseases.
It also lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and fat deposition in the blood vessels. Thus spinach proves to be beneficial for your heart.
13. Controls Blood Pressure :
Being rich in Potassium, Spinach controls blood pressure, sustain cardiac health and promote muscle and nerve function.
14. Good source of Zinc :
Zinc helps in immunity building, good for skin and fights cancer.
15. Lowers Insulin Level :
Spinach is a dark green leafy vegetable which is high in Magnesium which helps in formation of bones, lowers insulin levels and helps in metabolism of calcium and potassium.
16. Provides Energy :
Spinach is rich in Vitamin B1, thiamin or thiamine which is essential for glucose metabolism. It extracts energy from our food and converts it into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the biochemical form in which our body stores and uses energy.
Also rich in Vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin, enables you to get usable energy from the foods you eat.
17. Great for Hair :
Spianch is rich in Vitamin E which helps balance cholesterol levels, repair damaged skin and keeps your hair shiny and healthy.
Nutritional Information of Spinach
One cup of chopped Spinach is 68 grams.
Nutritional Information for 1 cup chopped Spinach.
1.36 grams of Protein
1.97 grams of Carbs
1.7 grams of High Fiber
0.47 grams of Fat
3794 mcg of Vitamin A = 158 % of RDA (about 2,400 mcg)
83.64 mcg Folate, Vitamin B9 (FA) = 83.64% of RDA (about 100 mcg)
0.176 mg of Riboflavin, Vitamin B2 = 16 % of RDA (about 1.1 mg)
53.52 mg of Magnesium (Mg) = 12.43% of RDA (about 350 mg )
1.83 mg of Iron (Fe) = 9.1% of RDA(about 20 mg for women)
1.7 grams of High Fiber = 6.8% of RDA (about 25 to 30 grams)
67.32 mg of Calcium (Ca) = 6.7% of RDA (about 1000 mg)
140 mg of Potassium (K) :2.9% of RDA (about 4,700 mg)
0.34 mg of Vitamin B3, Niacin = 2.8% of RDA (about 12 mg)
1.36 g Protein = 2.4% of RDA (55 g)
14.28 mg of Phosphorus : 2.3% of RDA (about 600 mg for adult)
40 mg of Sodium (Na) = 2.1% of RDA (1902 mg)
0.2 mg of Zinc = 2.04% of RDA (about 10 to 12 mg)
0.02 mg of Vitamin B1, Thiamine : 1.7% of RDA (about 1.2 to 1.5 mg)
Healthy Spinach Recipes
With all the benefits spinach has to offer we have used in a wide variety of recipes, from juices, soups to salads, from side dishes to main courses. We have made sure that the soup recipes have no cornflour as that is bad for your health as it spikes your blood sugar level up and shuts down the fat burning process. Try the super healthy Spinach Paneer and Dal soup which is only 72 calories. Pair that with Bajra Roti had with Spinach Mushroom Subzi with Palak Raita.
The best way to start your morning is with a healthy breakfast which can be a Spinach and Mint Juice or Spinach Orange Beetroot Juice. We have not forgotten the small babies and have included a Spinach Paneer Puree for the adorable little one.
There is a reason why spinach has such a reputation as a health food; it seems that the reputation is more than deserved.