Spinach pie has a rather important place in Greek and Mediterranean cuisine as one of the most delicious dishes, with a relatively small amount of calories, monounsaturated fat and zero cholesterol. In the no– cheese version of the pie, is has also a very low content of sodium.
Highly nutritional and delicious – what more can we ask from a dish?
Since it deserves more appreciation than it usually gets, we have gathered for you the 7 most basic properties of spinach that you are probably unaware of.
1. It helps in fighting diabetes
Spinach contains an antioxidant known as Α – lipoic acid, which has been proven to reduce the levels of glucose in the blood, raise insulin sensitivity and avert variations associated with oxidant stress in patients that suffer from diabetes. Studies regarding the action of Α – lipoic acid have also linked its effect with reduced levels of peripheral neuropathy and autonomic neuropathy in persons suffering from diabetes.
It should be noted, however, that most of these studies administrated A– lipoic acid to the patients intravenously and we cannot be certain whether its consumption would have the same result.
2. Anti – carcinogenic action
Spinach, like other green vegetables, contains chlorophyll that has been proven capable of averting the carcinogenic action of heterocyclic amines that are produced when food is grilled at high temperatures.
3. It contributes to the treatment of asthma
It has been proven that the risk of being afflicted with asthma is smaller in people that consume a greater amount of nutrients. One of them is Β – carotene, which is contained in great quantities in spinach, as well as in apricots, broccoli, musk melons, marrows and carrots.
4. It contributes to reducing arterial blood pressure
Because of its high sodium content, spinach is often recommended to people suffering from high arterial blood pressure, in order to counterbalance the action of sodium in the body. Low sodium reception can become an equally serious cause of high arterial blood pressure as high sodium reception.
Other foods with a high content in sodium are potatoes, tomatoes and oranges.
5. It protects the bones
Low reception of vitamin K has been associated with a greater risk of suffering a bone fracture. Whereas adequate reception of vitamin K is rather important for the health of the bones, because it ameliorates the absorption of calcium and reduces its egestion through the urinary system.
6. It helps the good and regular functioning of the intestine
Spinach has a high content in fibre and water, averting constipation and contributing to the intestine’s proper functioning.
7. It contributes to the good health of the skin and hair
Spinach contains great quantities of vitamin Α, which is essential for the production of smegma and the preserving of the elasticity of the hair. Vitamin A is also necessary for the development of the body’s tissues, including skin tissue. Spinach and other leafy vegetables rich in vitamin C are absolutely necessary for the production and preservation of collagen, which contributes to the good condition of the skin and hair.
Iron deficiency is considered a common cause of hair loss, which can be avoided by adequately consuming foods rich in iron, like spinach.
Spinach’s nutritional value
A cup of spinach contains
Spinach is one of the best sources of potassium, containing almost 839 milligrams per cup, whereas a cup of banana contains no more than 539 milligrams of potassium.
A low iron diet can affect the way our body manages its energy.
Spinach contains approximately 250 milligrams of calcium per cup, which is more difficult to be absorbed compared to other sources of calcium, like dairy products. Spinach has a high content of oxalacetic acid, which adheres to calcium and does not allow it to be absorbed by the body. Our body can absorb just 5% of spinach calcium (that is 12, 5 milligrams per cup). On the other hand, spinach is one of the best sources of magnesium.