Health Benefits of Spinach

When you were a kid, your mom told you spinach was good for you. When is Mom ever wrong? Spinach offers twice as much fiber as other greens. So when you want a salad that's going to fill you up, go for the spinach variety.

Wilted spinach mandarin
Showcase your home-grown spinach
Wilted Spinach Mandarin.

Spinach is a nutrition superstar, even a fairly good source of iron. It's loaded with vitamins and minerals, some of which are hard to find in other foods.

Health Benefits of Spinach

Like other dark greens, spinach is an excellent source of beta-carotene, a powerful disease-fighting antioxidant that's been shown, among other things, to reduce the risk of developing cataracts. It fights heart disease and cancer as well.

As a dark, leafy green, spinach possesses several important phytochemicals, including lutein, which helps prevent age-related macular degeneration. Spinach also contains lipoic acid, which helps antioxidant vitamins C and E regenerate. Because of its role in energy production, lipoic acid is being investigated for regulating blood sugar levels.

Served raw, spinach is a good source of vitamin C, another powerful antioxidant. Overcook it, however, and you lose most of this important vitamin. Though spinach is rich in calcium, most of it is unavailable, because oxalic acid in spinach binds with calcium, preventing its absorption. The abundant potassium in spinach is available, and it will promote heart health. When you cook spinach, it cooks down tremendously. Because cooking concentrates nutrients and fiber, a serving of cooked spinach gives you even more bang for your buck than a serving of raw.

Nutritional Values of Raw Spinach
Serving Size: 1 cup

Calories 7
Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Carbohydrate 1 g
Protein 1 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sodium 24 mg
Vitamin A 2,813 IU
Folic Acid 58 micrograms
Vitamin C 16 mg
Iron 1 mg
Manganese <1 mg
Potassium 167 mg
Carotenoids 5,347 micrograms

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