Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Randy
Spinach is a great way to add variety in a healthy plant-based diet (see also here, here). It appears to be protective in vitro against breast cancer, brain tumor, kidney cancer, lung cancer, pediatric brain tumor, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer cells, due perhaps in part to its chlorophyll content, which may protect DNA against mutations.
Spinach is a great source of folate, which may be preferable to folic acid supplements (though the latter should probably still be taken in early pregnancy). Higher dietary intake of foods containing folate may contribute to improved mental health and lower risks of depression and anxiety disorders. A single spoonful of spinach also has as much lutein and zeaxanthin as nine eggs (see also here). A third cup a day is recommended for optimal eye protection against age-related macular degeneration and other premature degenerative diseases. Spinach is also a good source of antioxidants. It also provides nitrates, which can in certain circumstances improve arterial function, athletic performance and even the appearance of wrinkles.
Image Credit: Daniella Segura / Flickr. This image has been modified.
Popular Videos for Spinach
All Videos for Spinach
Does Pressure Cooking Preserve Nutrients?
How Dr. Greger pressure steams his greens.
Kidney Stones and Spinach, Chard, and Beet Greens: Don’t Eat Too Much
Given their oxalate content, how much is too much spinach, chard, beet greens, chaga mushroom powder, almonds, cashews, star fruit, and instant tea?
Oxalates in Spinach and Kidney Stones: Should We Be Concerned?
Even though dietary oxalates may have a limited effect on kidney stone risk in most people, there are some predisposing factors that can put anyone at risk.
How to Prevent Toxoplasmosis
The risk of contracting the brain parasite toxoplasma from kitty litter vs. meat.
Best Way to Cook Vegetables
Boiling, steaming, microwaving, air frying, and sous vide cooking are put to the test for nutrient retention.
Do Lutein Supplements Help with Brain Function?
Avocados, greens, and lutein and zeaxanthin supplements are put to the test for improving cognitive function.
Brain-Healthy Foods to Fight Aging
What is the best source of lutein, the primary carotenoid antioxidant in the brain?
Best Brain Foods: Greens & Beets Put to the Test
Cocoa and nitrite-rich vegetables, such as green leafies and beets, are put to the test for cognitive function.
Best Brain Foods: Berries & Nuts Put to the Test
Randomized controlled studies put nuts, berries, and grape juice to the test for cognitive function.
Ground Ginger to Reduce Muscle Pain
There’s been at least 8 randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials of ginger for pain.
Foods to Improve Athletic Performance & Recovery
The effects of spinach and berries on oxidative stress, inflammation, and muscle soreness in athletes.
Are Avocados Good for You?
The nutritional benefits of guacamole extend beyond just the nutrients avocados themselves contain.