Spinach is a plant that produces deep and vibrant green, edible leaves that are used in salads and other meals. Its botanical name is Spinacia oleracea but it was referred to as “the Spanish vegetable” in England for years.1
The spinach plant is believed to be native to Persia where it spread to Nepal and China during the 7th century. By the 11th century, Spinach had been introduced into Europe, specifically Spain. Today, spinach is grown worldwide and is a staple part of the North American diet.
The USDA estimates that Americans consume 2.5 pounds of spinach per year per capita. Spinach can be eaten raw, or it can be cooked and eaten in a wilted form. There are many types of spinach including baby spinach, flat leaf spinach and savoy-spinach.
Spinach Health Uses and Health Benefits
Spinach has grown to become an important part of a healthy diet due to its numerous health benefits. Spinach is loaded with the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamins A, C, E, K and B6
Spinach benefits also include being low in fat and cholesterol and high in protein and fiber. Being so high in antioxidants, spinach is great for the following protective health benefits:
- Promotes cardiovascular health
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Boosts immune system function
- Prevents diabetes
- Protects vision function and eye health
- Nourishes skin
- Increases cognitive function including memory and focus
- Reduces inflammation
- Acts as an anti-cancer agent
- Maintains and promotes bone health
Because spinach health benefits are so versatile, it is considered by many to be a superfood. Spinach health benefits can help to treat a number of health conditions. Here are some of the top spinach uses as a natural remedy:
- Acidosis - Spinach contains alkalizing minerals which help to lower acidosis in the body by balancing pH levels.
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) - Spinach health benefits include being rich in vitamin A which is important for protecting eye health and preventing age-related macular degeneration.
- Homocystinuria - Spinach is an excellent food to add to your diet if you suffer from homocystinuria - an inability to properly process the metathionine amino acid.
- Cataracts - Spinach can help to protect the eyes from developing cataracts due to its high levels of vitamin A.
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) - Spinach is helpful in treating hypertension because it naturally helps to lower blood pressure levels.
- Glaucoma - The antioxidants in spinach can help to prevent the progression of glaucoma and help to continue to strengthen eye health and improve vision.
Spinach Side Effects and Precautions
When eaten in moderation, there are very few spinach side effects. A high intake of spinach however, can increase the risk of developing kidney stones due to its content of oxalic acid. People with digestive disorders, IBS, and leaky gut syndrome should avoid high levels of spinach as the oxalic acid may worsen digestive symptoms.3