You can buy spinach throughout the year, fresh, frozen and canned. The nutritional content of spinach varies if 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 full of 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 collaborates with 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 few carbohydrates but is high in protein.
- It is very rich in vitamins and minerals and at the same time is a very good source of omega 3 fatty acids .
- Minerals: calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus.
- Vitamins A, C, E, K and Vitamins of Group B (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 because it helps keep arteries in good condition.
Lutein decomposes with heat, so if cooked it loses most of its beneficial effect. Therefore, if you are interested in keeping this specific nutrient to improve your cardiovascular system, you should eat them raw.
In addition, researchers wanted to see how much lutein is available with different cooking methods: cooked in water, steamed or sauteed at different temperatures.
The highest amounts of lutein available were found in milkshakes made with raw spinach, especially those containing dairy products (which can be substituted for vegetable 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, eating them raw can be a good way to protect their high vitamin C content. Raw spinach also has fewer calories than cooked and seems to retain folates better, 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 keep its texture crispy, very pleasant in salads or side dishes.
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 , so spinach is a very good option for people who are at high risk of neuronal or cognitive impairment.
2. Regulates blood pressure
Spinach has a high potassium content and a low sodium content. This mineral composition is a benefit for patients with high blood pressure since potassium helps regulate blood pressure while sodium increases it.
3. I could fight some cancers
Spinach is made up of several important elements that have been found promising 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.
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 such as manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus also help in building strong bones.
This in turn can prevent a person from developing osteoporosis. These minerals are also essential to keep teeth and nails healthy .
5. Strengthen your muscles
A component of spinach, called the C0-Q10 factor, which is an antioxidant, plays an important role in strengthening muscles. Especially the heart muscles that continuously pump blood to all parts of the body.
Finally, we remind you that because they are prone to oxalates, those who suffer from arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis and renal colic should avoid it. If you do not identify with these cases, you can enjoy it regularly without problem.