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The nutritional and medicinal properties of spinach have been known since antiquity. This vegetable culture came to European countries from Persia a little over two hundred years ago and quickly gained popularity. The benefits and harms of spinach have been studied and substantiated by scientists from many countries. In recent decades, the popularity of culture has been growing in Russia as well.
The chemical composition of spinach
Due to its low calorie content and rich content of vitamins and microelements, spinach greens are recommended for diet menus with weight loss and certain diseases.
100 g of greens contains:
- Retinol (A) - 750 mcg;
- B-carotene (provitamin A) - 4.5 mg;
- Riboflavin (B2) - 0.25 mg;
- Folic acid (B9) - 80 mcg;
- Ascorbic acid (C) - 55 mg;
- Alpha-tocopherol (E) - 2.5 mg;
- Vitamin K - 482 mcg;
- Potassium - 774 mg
- Silicon - 51 mg;
- Magnesium - 82 mg;
- Iron - 13.5 mg;
- Manganese - 82 mg;
- Calcium - 105 mg;
- Sodium - 24 mg;
- Iodine - 15 mg.
Almost 90% greens are water. It is only slightly inferior to legumes in terms of the content of plant proteins. Organic and inorganic acids, polysaccharides, carbohydrates and fiber make spinach leaves an ideal food for weight loss.
Why spinach is useful for the human body
Thanks to its rich vitamin and mineral complex, green leaves have a beneficial effect on all body systems.
- Vitamin A in greens improves the condition of the skin, hair and promotes the development of immunity.
- Vitamin B2 helps to increase the light sensitivity of the eyes and improves the sensitivity of visual analyzers to color shades. Lack of this vitamin leads to problems with mucous membranes and skin.
- Folic acid deficiency leads to inhibition of the development and division of tissue cells due to impaired synthesis of protein and nucleic acids.
- Redox reactions, in which ascorbic acid is involved, improve the functioning of the immune system. Vitamin C improves the condition of blood vessels and capillaries, preventing fragility and fragility.
- The antioxidant properties of vitamin E help stabilize cell membranes. Tocopherol is essential for the normal functioning of the heart muscle. With its lack, hemolysis of erythrocytes and the development of diseases of the neurological system are possible.
- The anticoagulant vitamin K is responsible for regulating blood clotting.
- Potassium, being an intracellular ion, is involved in the normalization of blood pressure and the conduction of nerve impulses.
- Silicon improves collagen synthesis as a component of the glycosaminoglycan structure.
- The iron in spinach is one of the constituents of proteins and enzymes. The trace element regulates redox reactions and is involved in the transport of oxygen and electrons.
- Manganese is part of the enzymes and proteins involved in the metabolic processes of amino acids.
Scientists have found that spinach can be used to prevent cancer. The unique chemical and vitamin composition of the leaves enhances the body's immune defenses against cancer cells.
Why spinach is useful for a woman's body
Doctors recommend including spinach leaves in the diet of women during PMS. Iron-rich leaves replenish the level of this element during heavy periods. With regular use of greens, the menstrual cycle normalizes, and discomfort in the lower abdomen decreases. The complex of vitamins stabilizes the psychological state on critical days.
Important! In order to get the maximum benefit when eating spinach and not harm a woman's body, it is necessary to take into account chronic diseases: in such cases, consultation with your doctor is mandatory.
Benefits of spinach during pregnancy
Spinach leaves are indispensable for saturating a pregnant woman's body with micro- and macroelements. Folic acid-rich greens contribute to the proper development of the fetal neural tube. Spinach is useful for a pregnant woman because it reduces the signs of toxicosis and improves the general condition.
Benefits of spinach for men
A useful feature of spinach is also manifested in an increase in testosterone levels in men. Harm to health is possible with intolerance to the product or some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
The complex of vitamins and microelements that make up the culture helps the correct formation of the reproductive system in adolescents. Adult men are advised to eat herbs to increase potency and prevent prostate diseases.
Calorie content and BJU spinach
Spinach leaves are low in calories. 100 g of the product contains only 23 kcal. This is about one and a half percent of the daily value of an adult.
When creating a dietary menu to combat obesity, the ratio of the main components: proteins, fats and carbohydrates is taken into account. In spinach, the proportions of BJU look like 1: 0.1: 0.7.
Benefits of spinach for weight loss
Spinach leaves are easily absorbed by the body. Low calorie content and lack of a pronounced taste allows you to add greens to any dish. A large amount of plant proteins makes spinach food not only healthy, but also satisfying.
The use of spinach leaves in food, fresh and processed, speeds up metabolic processes, enhances bowel cleansing and helps to eliminate toxins and toxins that interfere with weight loss.
Despite the clear health benefits of spinach, overuse of the plant can cause harm to the body. Uncontrolled eating of fresh leaves can cause indigestion and diarrhea.
The product contains oxalic acid. This substance is dangerous with high acidity, chronic gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.
For people with a violation of the water-salt balance, spinach leaves are contraindicated in any form.
Healthy spinach greens can be hazardous to human health with an ascorbic acid intolerance.
With increased blood clotting or taking anticoagulants, you should stop using the leaves of the plant, so as not to interfere with the action of drugs.
Can spinach be breastfed?
A small amount of spinach during breastfeeding can provide the mother and baby with the necessary vitamins. However, caution is required when using greens for food. Spinach when breastfed in the first month can cause an allergic reaction in the infant. Therefore, doctors recommend that nursing women use the healthy leaves with caution. Before including the product in the menu, it is advisable to first obtain a specialist consultation.
Can spinach with pancreatitis
With pancreatitis, spinach is strictly prohibited. Oxalic acid can irritate the stomach and intestines in a sick person. The ability of the acid to bind calcium when the pancreas and gallbladder malfunction can lead to the formation of stones in the bile ducts. As you know, a violation of the outflow of bile is one of the main causes of pancreatitis.
Can spinach be used for gout?
The acid in spinach leaves is also contraindicated for gout, this is due to the purines in the composition. Metabolic disturbances in the body lead to the formation of painful salt deposits in the joints under the influence of acid.
Can spinach be used for diabetes
The medical opinion is unequivocal about the beneficial properties of spinach and contraindications for diabetes. Low-calorie food is good for weight regulation in obese diabetic patients. The leaves of the plant contain plant proteins that are capable of producing their own insulin, which is necessary for this dangerous disease.
The plant is rich in fiber and stimulates the intestines to help diabetics fight the problem of constipation.
How to use spinach for food
Spinach is one of the few vegetables that retain vitamins even after cooking. Therefore, dishes made from it are so popular.
Spinach is a perishable food. Leaves should be eaten no later than 3 hours after collection. Therefore, nutritionists recommend growing the plant at home in order to be able to use a quality fresh product.
Quick-frozen leaves can also be used for food.
Greens go well with any vegetables and meat.
Advice! To get the most out of spinach and reduce the harm from oxalic acid, stew the leaves in milk.
Fresh or frozen spinach leaves - 500 g - lightly fry in vegetable oil. Then add salt, garlic and pepper to taste. A few minutes before the end of cooking, the dish can be sprinkled with grated cheese.
A light vitamin salad can be made with early greens. Required Ingredients:
- 200 g spinach leaves;
- 50 g sorrel leaves;
- several young shoots of garlic;
- 2 - 3 boiled eggs;
- salt and pepper to taste.
Wash and dry the greens. Grind all the ingredients, mix and season with vegetable oil with a few drops of lemon juice.
Green cabbage soup
A delicious and nutritious soup can be made with spring greens.
- 200 g spinach;
- 100 g of sorrel leaves with cuttings;
- 2 - 3 pcs. potatoes;
- 1 onion;
- dill, parsley;
- 1 tbsp. l. butter (ghee);
- salt, pepper, bay leaf;
- boiled egg;
- sour cream.
Sort out spinach greens and sorrel leaves and rinse. Simmer lightly in a separate bowl. Cut the peeled potatoes, add water and cook until half cooked. Add spinach, sorrel, dill and parsley and sautéed onions. Lastly, add bay leaves to the soup. Serve with an egg cut into several pieces and sour cream.
This low-calorie vitamin soup is suitable for fighting excess weight.
Delicate mashed potatoes from young spinach leaves are used as a side dish for meat and fish dishes. Would need:
- 500 g spinach;
- 50 g cream;
- 20 g butter;
- 10 g sugar;
- salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
For the sauce:
- 10 g ghee butter;
- a teaspoon of wheat flour;
- 50 g of milk.
Simmer the washed leaves in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain the water, and rub the mass through a sieve or grind with a blender until a homogeneous mass is obtained. Lightly fry herb puree in butter and add cream. Pour the sauce made from flour and milk into mashed spinach leaves with constant stirring.
The use of spinach in cosmetology
Cosmetologists advise using green masks to maintain youthful skin. The rich vitamin composition nourishes the dermis. And the acid in the leaves acts as a light, natural exfoliation.
Rules for the preparation of masks
To use spinach greens in cosmetic procedures, you must remember:
- Fresh leaves are more effective than frozen ones.
- Do not use a metal container to prepare the mask
- It is not recommended to store ready-made mixtures.
- Apply the product to clean, dry skin.
- A tolerance test is required before use.
Regular use of the herbal mask at least once a week will help keep your face, neck and hands fresh.
Nourishing mask for all skin types
For cooking you will need:
- 100 g spinach;
- 1 tbsp. carrot juice;
- 1 tsp honey;
- a few drops of olive or any cosmetic oil.
Pour boiling water over the washed leaves and keep on low heat until softened. Drain the water. Cool the leaves to a comfortable temperature and add the rest of the ingredients. Put the mask on a gauze base and soak on the skin for about 15 minutes. Wash off the product with warm water or green tea infusion.
Mask for dry skin
Boil a small potato in milk and crush until a liquid puree is formed. Boil a few leaves with boiling water, rub through a sieve and add to mashed potatoes along with a small piece of butter. Apply a warm mask on the face for 15 - 20 minutes. Wash off with water.
The mask helps to get rid of age-related pigmentation. The remedy can be used to combat freckles.
- Chop the leaves and hold over hot steam for a few minutes to soften.
- Mix in equal proportions with kefir or yogurt.
- Apply to cleansed skin for 15 minutes.
- Wash off with warm water and apply a moisturizer.
Mask for problem skin
The antiseptic properties of spinach greens when combined with sea salt can help treat acne and pimples on your face.
- Boil the washed leaves (100 g) with boiling water for 20 minutes.
- Drain the water.
- Grind the raw materials with a teaspoon of sea salt to a gruel state.
- Add a few drops of tea tree oil.
- Apply a warm mass to face for 20 minutes.
- Wash off with cool water.
The product unclogs pores, removes oily shine and refreshes the skin.
Advice! Do not rely on instant homemade masks. Spinach greens are effective when used regularly.
The use of spinach in traditional medicine
It is noteworthy that spinach was introduced to Europe as a remedy to combat bad moods. In those days, there was a concept that bile causes bouts of anger. And the choleretic property of the leaves of a plant can correct a person's nasty character.
Today, the medicinal properties of this ancient vegetable culture are well studied. Traditional healers use the scientifically proven qualities of a green vegetable.
The antiseptic properties of spinach greens are used to treat and prevent periodontal disease. It is recommended to rinse your mouth with fresh spinach juice daily to relieve inflammation and reduce sensitivity of the gums.
The benefits of spinach juice have been proven in research. The juice from the leaves is used:
- with vitamin deficiency;
- nervous disorders;
- to improve the work of the heart;
- strengthening of blood vessels;
- improved appetite;
- weight loss.
Important! To reduce acidity, spinach juice can be combined with other vegetables (carrots, beets, celery)
Effective squeeze from greens for hemorrhoids. For oral administration, the juice should be mixed in equal parts with almond oil. It is necessary to take a tablespoon twice a day for at least 21 days.
For inflammatory processes on the skin, eczema and irritation, boiled leaves are mixed with olive oil and applied to the wound.
To combat depression and migraine, as well as with anemia, juices from spinach leaves, carrots and beets are combined in equal proportions. Drink a tablespoon 3 times a day.
For the prevention of atherosclerosis, it is recommended to drink an aqueous infusion of herbs. To prepare it, a tablespoon of crushed leaves of the product must be poured with a glass of boiling water and insisted for about 2 hours. Add a teaspoon of hawthorn tincture to half a glass of chilled leaf infusion. Drink twice a day.
A salad of spinach leaves with apple, garlic and horseradish will help improve metabolism. You need to eat about 10 g of the vitamin mixture per day.
Fresh leaf salad with a little cinnamon is recommended for depression.
Pounded fresh leaves can help relieve irritation and itching when applied to a mosquito or midge bite wound.
For weight loss, it is recommended to drink a quarter of a glass of leaf juice before meals.
Contraindications and harm of spinach to the body
The benefits of spinach for the human body are enormous. But if you do not take into account the contraindications, then you can cause significant harm to health.
Spinach is not recommended:
- with acute and chronic diseases of the bladder;
- ulcers of the stomach and duodenum;
- pancreatitis and gallbladder inflammation;
- kidney stone disease;
- cirrhosis of the liver; functional disorders of the kidneys and liver.
Attention! There may be individual contraindications to the use of plant greens for food in people with intolerance to oxolinic (oxalic) acid.
The benefits and harms of spinach for the body should be taken into account when eating the leaves individually. Properly prepared greens can help you avoid many health problems if not overused.
Reviews of spinach for weight loss
Lyudmila, 28 years old, Krasnoyarsk
After the birth of the baby, I gained weight. I tried to establish food and do some sports. But with the baby in her arms, it was very difficult to devote more time and figure. I read about spinach greens and tried to include them in the diet. I didn't like the taste of the leaves at first. You could even call it a lack of taste, and the color of the dishes left a lot to be desired. But gradually I got used to it and began to cook regularly. I even planted a box of spinach on the windowsill. The first results appeared in 3 weeks. I lost a couple of kilograms. But the main thing is not even that. Improved mood and well-being. I became less tired. I was afraid that my experiments might affect the child, but there were no signs of allergies. I won't say that greens burn fat, but they definitely help to tune in to the result.
Valentina, 35 years old, Kursk
Like many women, she began to seize stress and gained weight. I came to my senses when I had already increased more than 10 kg. I took up fitness. It helped, but weakly. The trainer suggested how to create a menu and advised to include spinach dishes in it. The product is unusual for me, but what can't you do for the sake of your figure! I started drinking cocktails. At first, I could not overpower pure spinach juice and added apple, carrot and any to it, if only there was a taste. Gradually I got involved in the process, and then I felt all the advantages of such a menu. The overweight parting went much faster. And, as it seems to me, even the complexion has improved. Now I can't think of food without him.