You must have seen “Popeye the Sailor” cartoon, who gains superhuman strength after ingesting spinach. Popeye’s spinach diet didn’t just build up his instant muscles, but also helped him fight off osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis, and several types of cancer. Spinach is one of the most nutrient-rich vegetable in the world. Spinach contains low calories, potassium, sodium, protein, iron, calcium, fibers, vitamins A and C. Though spinach is available throughout the year, its season, typically, runs from March through May and from September through October. Spinach is available fresh in the market in this season and has the best flavor.
Spinach offers a wide range of health benefits in maintaining healthy body, whether eaten raw or cooked. In this article, you will read the beneficial properties of spinach for your eyes and brain. Anti-cancerous properties of spinach are also discussed.
Eye healthiest food: Eating carrots to improve eye sight is an old wives’ tale that is off base. As per eye experts the best food for good eye health is spinach. Spinach’s secret weapon, lutein, makes spinach one of the best foods to prevent cataract, as well as age related macular degeneration. The Optometric Association recommends 10 mg of lutein each day that amounts to about half a cup of spinach. Besides lutein, spinach is a rich source of beta carotene and xanthene, which are beneficial for eyesight. Intake of regular spinach can protect you from vitamin A deficiency, itching eyes, eye ulcers and dry eyes.
Cataract: As per WebMD, antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are found in spinach, which can help prevent cataract by protecting your eyes from the damaging effects of ultraviolet sunlight. Damage due to ultra violet rays can result in cloudy eye lens and hence making it difficult or nearly impossible to see clearly.
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Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD): AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. AMD occurs due to degeneration of lutein and xanthene, which form central part of the retina. According to research, consumption of spinach can increase the concentration of these pigments in the eyes; thereby can prevent the devastating vision loss caused by AMD.
Brain Health: Spinach is a potent source of potassium, folate, and various antioxidants which are known to provide neurological benefits. According to Neurology (Experimental Neurology, May 2005), spinach is a rich source of antioxidants that helps in improving memory, learning as well as reversing normal age-related declines in memory. Spinach is nature’s strongest sources of folate and thus plays a preventative role against Alzheimer’s disease (May 8 2001, Neurology).
Anti-Cancerous Property: Spinach is made up of various important constituents such as folate, tocopherol, chlorophyllin that has shown promise to treat and protect patients suffering from cancer.
Spinach is a green leafy vegetable, which is generally not popular in kids. You can see, a slight change in your eating habits can provide you long term health benefits. In my next article, I would like to share with you the benefits spinach can provide to your heart and bones. Till then, Healthy eating!