The leafy green vegetable is native to Persia. It belongs to the Amaranthaceae family: the same family as beets. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is called a superfood because of the abundance of nutrients and low calorie available.
The leaves are consumed either fresh, cooked or after preservation (canning) — the taste changes considerably in all methods. However, steaming could reduce the high oxalate content.
The powerful protecting plant is used both in food and medicine. It contains naturally occurring bioactive compounds and phytochemicals that can reduce oxidative stress, DNA damage and diseases. They also positively affect metabolism, inflammation and triggers the release of satiety hormones, making you feel full and satisfied.
Also, a three-cup portion of spinach provides over 300% of your daily requirement for bone-supporting vitamin K, 160% of your daily goal for vitamin A, and about 40% for vitamin C, supporting immune function, vision and promoting healthy skin.
NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION FOR 100g OF SPINACH
- Calories: 23kcal
- Water: 91%
- Protein: 2.9 grams
- Carbs: 3.6 grams
- Sugar: 0.4 grams
- Fibre: 2.2 grams
- Fat: 0.4 grams
Moreso, it is packed with vitamins and minerals such as; carotenoids, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folic acid, iron and calcium. In addition to this, spinach provides anti-oxidants that serve as disease protection and anti-inflammation. They include kaempferol, a flavonoid that reduces the risk of cancer and, as well as quercetin, which has a protective effect on memory, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Other antioxidants available in spinach are lutein, kaempferol, nitrates, quercetin, and zeaxanthin. The high fibre content available is excellent for digestion.
Spinach is a highly versatile vegetable and can be incorporated into any meal, drink or snacks like smoothies, salads, stir-fries and brownies.
PS: People who are prone to kidney stones should avoid spinach. Also, the leafy green is very high in vitamin K1, which can be a problem for people on blood thinners because it increases blood clotting.
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