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Food & Nutrition

Health Benefits of Spinach For Moms To-Be & Kids

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  • October 8, 2021
  • MKB Team

A healthy diet is incomplete without vegetables. Packed with micronutrients and antioxidants, they help your bodies to function optimally. If you want to use them properly in your diets, you need to know more about them. 

Spinach 

Spinach is a popular green leafy vegetable that belongs to the Amaranathaceae family of vegetables along with beet and quinoa. Spinach started its journey from ancient Persia, presently known as Iran. Spinach became popular because of the cartoon show Popeye in the 20th century and became the first frozen vegetable to be sold commercially. 

Spinach is widely consumed because of its rich micro-nutrient and low-calorie dense profile. There are three types of spinach: savoy, semi-savoy and flat-leaf spinach. Depending on its variant, spinach can have curly or flat leaves. Generally, cooked spinach has an earthy and pungent flavour whereas the fresh spinach leaves are crunchy and crisp. 

Nutritional Profile: 

100 gm of raw spinach has: 

  • 23 calories
  • 3.6 gm carb
  • 2.2 gm dietary fiber 
  • 2.8 gm protein
  • 0.3 gm fat
  • 79 mg sodium
  • 558 mg potassium 
  • 9412 IU Vitamin A
  • 28.9 mg Vitamin C
  • 99 mg calcium 
  • 559 mg potassium
  • 2.35 mg iron

 Spinach also contains magnesium, riboflavin, folate and Vitamin K.

The Many Health Benefits of Spinach for Kids and Adults:

Even though spinach cannot give you Popeye like biceps, there are many benefits of adding spinach to your diet because of its nutritional profile. Here are some of the commonly known benefits of spinach:

Weight management: Spinach makes your weight management journey a little bit easier and less stressful. Spinach is a low-calorie dense food which is ideal if you are looking to shed a few pounds off. It will not only keep the calorie intake low but also keep you full for a long time due to its fiber content. You can binge on spinach without worrying about gaining weight.

Oxidative stress: Oxidative stress is a condition of your body when there is an imbalance between the free radicals and antioxidants in your body. If the amount of free radicals grows higher than normal, it causes oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can be the reason behind many serious health conditions including the accelerated aging process and cancer. Spinach is rich in antioxidants. Eating spinach can help you balance the number of free radicals and antioxidants in your body.  

Bone health: Calcium is, no doubt, essential for bone health. However, it is Vitamin K that increases the absorbability of calcium in your body. Spinach contains both calcium and Vitamin K in abundance which makes it beneficial if you want to maintain optimum bone health.

Eye-health: Spinach has carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin which are beneficial for the health of your eyes. Lutein and zeaxanthin protect your eyes from harmful sunlight like UV rays. Spinach also has a high amount of Vitamin A which is directly related to better eye health. Its anti-inflammatory properties soothe your eyes and reduce the chances of macular damages.

Reduces hypertension: For people with hypertension or high blood pressure, Potassium is an essential part of their diet. It relaxes the blood vessels and lowers the risk of high blood pressure. Spinach has plenty of potassium and can help you stay healthy and fit.  

Helps with anaemia: Iron deficiency, especially in women, can lead to anaemia. Spinach can help you to reach your daily iron intake goal and reduce chances of being anaemic. 

Healthy skin: Both Vitamin A and C can promote healthy skin and reduce the signs of aging. 100 g of spinach has 9412 IU of Vitamin A and 28.9 mg of Vitamin C. Adequate intake of both the vitamins can be ensured by incorporating spinach into your diet.           

Benefits of Consuming Spinach during Pregnancy:

Helps with cognitive development: Spinach contains folate or Vitamin B9 which is an essential nutrient for the cognitive development of the foetus. Apart from that, folate also reduces the risk of miscarriage. 

Prevents anaemia: Anaemia is a common issue among pregnant women. The iron content in spinach helps you to fight anaemia and ensures a healthy baby during your pregnancy.

Regulates high blood pressure: High blood pressure can be a pressing issue during the pregnancy period. The presence of potassium in spinach makes it ideal for managing high blood pressure levels.

Boosts immunity: With a baby growing inside you, you will need a strong immunity to protect you and your child from any infection. The Vitamin C in spinach boosts your immunity and lets you fight any disease easily.

Risk of Consuming Spinach during Pregnancy:

  • The high fiber content can be a load on your stomach and can make you bloat.
  • The dietary fiber in spinach can also cause diarrhoea in pregnant women, making their pregnancy uncomfortable.
  • If you have any kidney issues, you should limit your spinach intake. The calcium content in spinach can develop kidney stones.

The Tasty Way of Including in Your Diet:

Introducing spinach to your diet is very simple. Most of the time, you do not even have to cook to eat spinach. Here are some of the easiest ways: 

  • Salad: If you are making a salad, just add a handful of spinach along with other vegetables. This way, you do not even need to cook spinach to include them in your diet.
  • Green smoothie: You can make a delicious green smoothie with spinach. Just add some milk/ yogurt, banana, water, sweetener and some spinach in a food processor and give it a mix.
  • Stir-fry: you can sauté spinach along with other vegetables and have a healthy meal.
  • Spinach daal: You can cook moong dal with spinach. This is a healthy way of having some protein along with some greens.

Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Spinach:

  1. With high spinach production, Crystal City in Texas and Alma in Arkansas are two cities considered to be the 'Spinach capital of the world.' Every April there's a spinach festival in Alma.
  2. Raw spinach contains nearly 91% water content. 
  3. Haemorrhaging French soldiers during World War I were served wine mixed with spinach juice due to the presence of Vitamin K.
  4. After being picked for more than 8 days, Spinach loses half of its nutrients. 

 

Spinach can be very beneficial for everyone, especially for pregnant women and kids, due to its vitamin and mineral content. Also, you do not need to be a master chef to be able to add spinach to your diet. 


Published by

MKB Team

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