When it comes to eating spinach, you might as well call me Popeye. I eat an insanely large amount of spinach each week. You'll find it in my morning omelette, the salad I eat at lunch, my afternoon smoothie and on my dinner plate. No matter where or when, you can be sure I'm getting my spinach in on a daily basis.
Why? Well, spinach has some amazing nutritional benefits and it tastes good no matter how you eat it. Try throwing some spinach into your spouse's or your child's morning smoothie and tell me if they notice it. I'd bet money they don't - it's pretty much flavorless when blended with other foods.
You can rest easy knowing you've managed to sneak a veggie full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients right under their noses and into their mouth. I do it all the time and my hubby and kids are none the wiser.
I've recently been juicing my spinach into a tasty concoction in the mornings as well. Spinach juice benefits are not to be overlooked and juicing can be an easy and fun way to get more of this great green into your diet as well.
What are the Nutritional Benefits of Spinach?
Spinach has a boat load of nutritional benefits. These include but are not limited to:
- Vitamin A, C, E, K, B6
If you are like my husband, eating spinach isn't high on your to-do list. Some people try to avoid eating their greens at all costs. For some reason my husband actually gags when I try to make him eat leafy greens...which is why I hide them in his morning smoothie. (Keep that little tidbit between us).
Since I've been experimenting with juicing lately, I did get my husband to take a shot of spinach juice with me about 2 weeks ago. He still had a bit of a repulsive reaction when swigging it but in just 2 seconds he received all the benefits of 1 cup of spinach!
This revelation may have brought him on board for a shot of spinach juice every morning. Sometimes eliminating the chewing of something you don't like is all it takes. Much easier to just chug it and forget about it!
But how do you make spinach juice? While you can easily find some more expensive, pre-juiced or powdered spinach options on Amazon, you can also make your own spinach juice at home. If you don't already have a juicer, I suggest borrowing one from a friend for a week or investing in one to use for the long haul.
Either way, you might already be wondering how the heck you get any juice from a spinach leaf. Surprisingly, it's possible.
Check out this YouTube video that shows you the best way to get juice from spinach and its stems.
Juicing in general is a fast and efficient way to get an influx of fruits and vegetables into your diet. If you were always one of those kids who didn't want to eat their vegetables, you really should consider juicing. My new motto, from my own experience, is "a glass of fresh juice per day, keeps the doctor away."
Spinach juice in particular has some amazing properties and benefits which I want to share with you. From fighting cancer to improving heart health, spinach juice benefits are numerous.
9 Great Spinach Juice Benefits
1. It Fights Off Free Radicals
If you've read my recent posts you'll know that free radicals are your enemy. Free radicals are damaging molecules that hang around your body, promote disease and have a negative effect on your cells.
Lucky for us, we can fight off free radicals by adding antioxidants to your diet. According to this article, "Antioxidants are intimately involved in the prevention of cellular damage -- the common pathway for cancer, aging, and a variety of diseases."
According to The World's Healthiest Foods, "Researchers have identified more than a dozen different flavonoid compounds in spinach that function as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents."
2. It Improves Cardiovascular Health
Spinach is also accredited with assistance in cardiovascular health. According to the American Nutrition Association, a major cause in the rise of heart disease is the hardening of arteries or the loss of elasticity in the lining of your blood vessels.
The good news is that one of the main components of spinach is folate. Folate, or "folic acid" in supplement form, has proved to reduce the thickening of artery walls. Folic acid was also found to also lower stroke risk by 12 percent.
Spinach can not only help prevent a heart attack but can also assist recovery for those who have already suffered from one. This article in the Daily Mail UK tells us studies have found that the high quantities of nitrate found in green vegetables like spinach can actually help speed recovery after a heart attack.
Dr. Nathan Bryan from the University of Texas is the man who carried out the study. He recommends eating five to nine ounces of nitrite-rich vegetables per day. This is three times the amount estimated to be consumed on a typical day. Juicing can be an efficient way of getting that daily dose of nitrites into your diet.
3. It Adds Loads of Vitamins to your Diet
As mentioned above, spinach has a wide array of vitamins inside. According to San Francisco Gate, "juicing spinach significantly boosts your intake of vitamin A." Vitamin A plays a role in the quality of your night vision, the function of your thyroid, and boosts your immunity.
SF Gate goes on to say that drinking just 1 ounce of spinach juice can increase your vitamin A intake by over 3,000 international units (IU). According to the Mayo Clinic this is equal to the daily recommended intake of vitamin A for men. Sounds like a great source of vitamin A to me!
4. It Aids in the Treatment of Lung Issues
Studies have found that increasing consumption of beta carotene, a nutrient found in spinach, can actually positively affect quality of life for people suffering from asthma.
Whole Health MD also explains that beta-carotene "is necessary for maintaining healthy lung tissue and reducing inflammation." One trial showed that higher intake of beta-carotene is related to a lower prevalence of chronic bronchitis.
5. It Has Cancer-Fighting Properties
In my opinion, any food that can help fight cancer should be considered a miracle food. If you search the internet you'll find countless references to the positive effect spinach has on cancer and cancer symptoms.
WebMD explains that spinach contains the antioxidant, lutein. Lutein works to fight free radicals and "could protect against cancer of the mouth, esophagus, and stomach." They reference a study done by the National Institute of Health that was conducted with over 490,000 people. It found that "those who ate more spinach were less likely to develop esophageal cancer."
Other studies suggested that the carotenoids in spinach might reduce the risk of ovarian, endometrial, and colorectal cancer as well. The University of Maryland Medical Center names spinach as a food high in B-vitamins and iron which might also help reduce the symptoms of lung cancer.
Food for Breast Cancer tells us, "Dietary intake of spinach has been found to be associated with lower risks of head and neck, lung, gall bladder, stomach, liver, bladder, prostate and ovarian cancer in population studies."
6. It Helps Lower Blood Pressure
According to Medical News Today, spinach has a high potassium content which makes it a great dietary option for those suffering from high blood pressure.
Added potassium can counteract the effects of sodium in the body and too much sodium in the body can cause high blood pressure. Adding more potassium to your diet, through greens like spinach, can help regulate your sodium levels and therefore your blood pressure.
7. It Aids in Digestion
Spinach is high in fiber and water content. Both of these things can help the process of digestion and in turn help to avoid constipation.
Not only does the fiber in spinach keep your colon working efficiently, it can also assist "in lowering cholesterol levels, preventing heart disease and managing a healthy overall weight" according to Fit Day.
8. It Promotes Healthy Skin and Hair
Spinach is high in vitamin A and vitamin C. According to Medical News Today, vitamin A is also integral to the growth of all your bodily tissues, especially your skin and hair. Vitamin A is necessary for the production of sebum, the oil that keeps your hair moisturized.
Vitamin C is another component of spinach that helps with the creation and maintenance of collagen. Collagen provides structure to your skin and hair.
Spinach also contains the enemy of hair loss: iron. Iron deficiencies are thought to have a direct relationship with hair loss. While some researchers are sure if iron deficiency can directly cause hair loss, they do know that a lack of iron can make hair loss worse. Putting extra iron in your diet through spinach is a great way to support the health and strength of your hair.
9. It Strengthens Your Bones
Spinach contains an enormous amount of vitamin K which is great news for your bones. Medical News Today tells us that "Low intakes of vitamin K have been associated with a higher risk for bone fracture."
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, "Vitamin K is necessary for normal blood clotting, and it regulates calcium in the body, keeping it in the bones and out of the arteries."
Then there's this study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that found "low intakes of vitamin K may increase the risk of hip fracture in women." The same study found that "eating a serving of lettuce or other green, leafy vegetable daily cut the risk of hip fracture in half when compared with eating one serving a week."
As a women, this sincerely urges me to get more greens, especially spinach, in my diet as soon as possible! I want my bones and my body to be working well into old age.
Introducing Spinach Juice into Your Diet
As you can see, the benefits of spinach are numerous. Juicing your spinach is just another way to get your recommended daily dose in a quick, simple manner. Now that my husband is two weeks into our morning routine of spinach juice shots, he has reluctantly admitted that he feels a difference in his body.
If you'd like to experience some spinach juice benefits for yourself, I have a great recipe you can try first thing in the morning. Ingredients include:
- 5 to 6 ounces baby spinach leaves, rinsed
- 2 apples, halved and cored
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 celery sticks½ large lemon
- 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled
Simply juice everything then serve immediately over ice. The apples, carrots, lemon and ginger will give you additional flavors and an added boost in the morning.
Spinach is really a knock-out vegetable when it comes to your overall health. Some benefits we discussed include spinach's ability to:
- Fight off free radicals
- Help with heart health
- Add vitamins to your diet
- Help with lung issues and ailments
- Prevent and treat symptoms of cancer
- Lower blood pressure
- Aid in digestion
- Promote healthy skin and hair
- Strengthen your bones
Wow! When I said spinach was miraculous vegetable, I meant it! Do you already have an adequate amount of spinach in your diet or do you need to add more? Comment below and let me know how you'll get more spinach into your diet this week. I'd also love to hear if you try the recipe above, let me know how you like it!