You can buy spinach year-round, fresh, frozen, and canned. The nutritional content of spinach varies whether it is eaten cooked or raw. In this article we will explain the advantages of eating raw spinach, in addition to mentioning its benefits.
Spinach characteristics you should know
Like many other vegetables, spinach is packed with beneficial vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. One of these compounds is lutein, a pigment that is also present in many green leafy vegetables. It is an antioxidant that helps the immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties.
In detail, other characteristics of spinach are:
- It is a vegetable composed mostly of water.
- It contains very little carbohydrates but is high in protein.
- It is very rich in vitamins and minerals and at the same time it is a very good source of omega 3 fatty acids .
- Minerals: calcium, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium and Phosphorus.
- Vitamins A, C, E, K and Group B Vitamins (including folic acid)
Why should we eat raw spinach?
Researchers at Linköping University in Sweden have proven that lutein is especially beneficial for the cardiovascular system as it helps keep arteries in good condition.
Lutein breaks down in heat, so if cooked, most of its beneficial effect is lost. Therefore, if you are interested in preserving this specific nutrient to improve your cardiovascular system, you should eat them raw.
The highest amounts of lutein available were found in smoothies made with raw spinach , especially those containing dairy products (which can be substituted for plant-based milks). Spinach that had been cooked showed lower amounts of lutein, especially in long cooking.
More reasons to eat raw spinach …
In the case of spinach, consuming it raw can be a good way to protect its high vitamin C content. Raw spinach also has fewer calories than cooked spinach and appears to retain better folates, which are largely lost during cooking.
Another advantage of eating them raw has more to do with our tastes. Since it is a way to maintain its crunchy texture, very pleasant in salads or garnishes.
Benefits of eating spinach
1. Protect your brain
Various components of spinach such as potassium, folate, and various antioxidants provide neurological benefits to people who consume it regularly.
According to neurology, folate reduces the onset of Alzheimer’s disease , which is why spinach is a very good option for people who are at high risk for neuronal or cognitive decline.
2. Regulates blood pressure
Spinach is high in potassium and low in sodium. This composition of minerals is a benefit for patients with high blood pressure since potassium helps regulate blood pressure while sodium increases it.
3. Could fight some cancers
Spinach is made up of several important elements that have shown promise in the treatment and prevention of various types of cancer. The different components of spinach, such as folate, tocopherol and chlorophyllin, act through different mechanisms that are beneficial against this disease.
You may be interested in reading: Spinach, carrot and lemon: medicinal drink to eliminate toxins
4. Strengthen your bones
Spinach is a good source of Vitamin K, which works in the retention of calcium in the bone matrix, which leads to bone mineralization. Apart from this, other minerals like manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus also help in building strong bones.
5. Strengthen your muscles
A component in spinach, called C0-Q10 factor, which is an antioxidant, plays an important role in strengthening muscles. Especially the muscles of the heart that continuously pump blood to all parts of the body.
Finally, we remind you that because it is prone to oxalates, it should be avoided by those who suffer from arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis and kidney colic. If you do not identify with these cases, you can enjoy it regularly without problem.