Anti-Cancer and Anti-Age Related Macular Degeneration
Historically it was known as a food with the ability to restore energy, increase strength and stamina, and improve the quality of the blood.
So, it is not surprising that spinach is among the vegetables listed as a superfood. After all, who can forget how strong Popeye would get after eating his spinach?
But did you know that spinach has, even more, amazing health properties that go beyond the legendary cartoon?
It is also one of the most alkaline-producing foods thanks to the high amount of chlorophyll that is found in spinach, and is why spinach has that vibrant green color. In order to have a healthy immune system, it is necessary for your body to be more alkaline than acidic. If the body is in a highly acidic state, its ability to absorb nutrients and repair damaged cells will diminish, allowing bacteria, viruses, parasites and yeasts to flourish.
When the body is in a more alkaline state it is better able to heal itself.
Further, chlorophyll has been shown to have anticancer properties.
Spinach is also loaded with a variety of flavonoid and carotenoid compounds that have been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Multiple studies have shown spinach to be effective in combating many cancers, including breast, ovarian, and prostate. For example, a study published in 2004 in Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that,
“A. gangeticus (red spinach) showed anticancer potential in in vitro and in vivo studies.”
The anti-cancer properties of spinach have been dramatic enough to prompt researchers to create specialized spinach extracts to be used in clinical studies such as the study done by the National Institute of Environmental Health. They found that spinach extracts administered orally and topically had the ability to reduce skin cancer.
Spinach also contains the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which have been shown to promote healthy vision and prevent age-related macular degeneration. A 2012 study found,
“Among patients with early AMD (age-related macular degeneration), supplementation with lutein and zeaxanthin improved macular pigment, which played a causative role in boosting visual function and might prevent the progression of AMD.”
The best way to eat spinach to get the most nutritional benefit is either raw or lightly cooked. Here are a couple of amazing recipes to try: Spinach Avocado and Chili Pepper Salad with Cilantro Dressing and Spinach Stuffed Portobello.