- 10 Months ago
Spinach, commonly called ‘Palak', is one of the most popular green leafy vegetables of Southeast Asian Countries. Spinach is used in variety of ways and is extremely popular in many parts of the world. Acknowledged for its versatility and nutrition, it is available round the year. A rich source of vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients, this low calorie dark green leafy vegetable is regarded as one of the healthiest foods among all vegetables.
Nutritional Value Of Spinach
Spinach is low in calories, has high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed or quickly boiled. It is a rich source of vitamin A (and especially high in lutein), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, and selenium.
Small bunch (100g) of spinach contains:
- Energy - 25 kcal
- Carbohydrates - 2.1 gms
- Fats - 0.7 gms
- Protein – 2.2 gms
- Iron – 2.95 mg
- Calcium - 82.29 mg
- Potassium - 625 mg
- Vitamin A - 9300 IU
- Vitamin C – 30.28 mg
Benefits Of Spinach
- Spinach is low in calories and fats as well as rich in fiber and water. It is also packed with the goodness of vitamins and minerals, thus, helps in weight loss.
- Spinach is high in fiber and water, both of which help to prevent constipation and promote a healthy digestive tract.
- Intake of spinach has been associated with decreased risk of several blood vessel related problems, including atherosclerosis and high blood pressure, due to its high antioxidants content.
- Spinach contains an antioxidant, alpha-lipoic acid that helps in lowering blood glucose levels, increasing insulin sensitivity and preventing oxidative, stress induced changes in diabetes.
- Being an excellent source of iron, spinach helps in combating iron deficiency anemia when had with a balanced diet with other iron and vitamin C rich foods.
- Gastrointestinal health can be guarded by eating more of this food as the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C present in high amounts in spinach work to protect the cells of the body's colon from the harmful effects of free radicals.
- Consumption of green leafy vegetables such as spinach may slow the age-related decline in brain function.
- Lutein, a carotenoid found in spinach is protective against eye diseases such as age-related cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Researchers have identified more than a dozen different flavonoid compounds in spinach that function as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents.
Myths About Spinach
Myth: Spinach is a power food and can help you build muscles like Popeye.
Fact: In order to build more muscles, one should have a healthy diet that is high in proteins and also do exercise regularly. Spinach is a very healthy food but is not a good source of protein and does not directly helps in muscle building.
Myth: Eating spinach in pregnancy and lactation will lead to cold.
Fact: It is myth that including spinach and greens in the diet with lead to cold in pregnant and lactating women. Spinach is a good source of many essential nutrients like iron, calcium, etc. which are very important in pregnancy and lactation. It is also rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants which helps in tackling cold and improves immunity. Women should include spinach with other greens in these phases of life.
Tips To Include Spinach In Your Diet
Tender, fresh spinach tastes delicious in salads, pasta, soups and dips and is an easy, healthy addition to many meals. Also, this versatile vegetable is equally tasty, whether raw or cooked.
- Spinach can be added in salads, raw, stir fried, steamed or cooked to give it a good taste.
- You can make healthy side dishes with spinach like plain palak, alu palak, dal palak and the most famous palak paneer.
- A healthy, delicious soup with a bright green color can be made of spinach.
- Puree of cooked spinach can be kneaded along with wheat flour to make healthy spinach (palak) roti.
- If you have kids who do not like spinach, make a paste of it and add it to rotis, idli batter, dosa batter, etc. to add a nice green color and nutrition to these dishes.
- It can be added to pulao instead or along with other vegetables to make a spinach pulao.
- Spinach can be included in the stuffing for sandwiches, parathas or can also be added in cutlets.