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The Nutritional Food Value of Spinach

The nutritional food value of spinach and other green leafy vegetables is greater than the nutritional food value of almost any other food. There's a reason Popeye ate his spinach everyday to stay strong. Although spinach is available throughout the course of any given year, you should try eating it most often from March to May and September to October when spinach is in season. This is when spinach tastes the best and is available nearly anywhere.

Cooking Spinach

When preparing spinach, you should always cook it as opposed to eating to raw because most leafy greens like spinach contain something called oxilic acid. Oxilic acid affects the body's calcium absorption but cooking your spinach can help you eliminate the effects of the oxilic acid. Therefore, it's better to cook the spinach and eat it instead of adding it to a salad raw. In addition to this, there are tons of vitamins and nutrients present in cooked spinach.

Vitamins

Here are just a few of the nutritional food values present in a one-cup serving of spinach:

  • Vitamin K: A single cup of spinach yields more than 1000 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin K.
  • Vitamin A: A single cup of spinach yields more than 300 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin A.
  • Manganese: A single cup of spinach yields more than 80 percent of the recommended daily value of manganese.
  • Folate: A single cup of spinach yields more than 60 percent of the recommended daily value of folate.
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B2
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Trytophan
  • Vitamin E
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Copper
  • Vitamin B1
  • Protein
  • Phosphorous
  • Zinc
  • Omega-3 Fatty Avids
  • Vitamin B3
  • Selenium

Though a single cup of spinach does not contain the recommended daily value of any of these vitamins and nutrients, it is packed with all of them and helps you meet the recommended daily value of each. Adding spinach to your diet can help you achieve a more balanced and fulfilling diet.

The Health Benefits of Spinach

Outside of just providing you with vitamins and nutrients, spinach is also great for helping you to stay healthy. While the nutritional food value of spinach is extremely high, it can also help you to protect your body against everything from heart disease and colon cancer to arthritis and osteoporosis.

The 13 different flavonoids found in spinach can also help your body fight certain types of cancer, including some skin cancers. The carotenoids that are in spinach, as well as other leafy vegetables, can help your body combat prostate cancer and ovarian cancer, too. Finally, spinach can help you build stronger bones, improve the cardiovascular system within your body, help improve your mental function, improve your gastrointestinal system, help your eyesight and provide your body with iron, which gives you energy.

Spinach is a great source of a variety of vitamins and nutrients. These vitamins and nutrients can help your body in a lot of different ways. Try cooking some up for yourself more often to help your body to stay healthy. Along with a solid workout plan, the nutritional food value of spinach can benefit your body.

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