17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits

These 17 spinach nutrition facts will inspire you to take your health to another level.  

The health benefits of this nutritional powerhouse will surprise you when you start to consistently add spinach to your diet every day.

You won’t believe how incredible this humble leaf is until you read this…

Do you recall a time when you’re watching an episode of Popeye and were left wondering how a can of spinach inflates the sailor’s biceps just in time to beat the hell out of Bluto?

You’re not alone.

Fans of the cartoon series since childhood—myself included—have long been guessing what exactly is in spinach that makes it a powerful source of strength.

My fascination with the animated series has led me to research on several vegetables that could possibly have the same effect on my health, being that I suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and had to do my own nutritional fact-finding.

But what I found out instead is that the Popeye metaphor isn’t just a product of imagination.

In fact, I can easily conclude that nothing comes close to spinach when it comes to nutritional content and health benefits.

Studies have been conducted to prove that spinach is actually a superfood, just like how Popeye suggested it to be—only minus the miraculous growth of muscles that inflate like balloons.

In this article, I will share with you the spinach nutrition facts and health benefits as backed by medical science, in order for you to take advantage of its wondrous effects to your daily diet.

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits; Ingredients for salad man holding spinach

I can actually think of a hundred different reasons why spinach must be incorporated to your daily food intake.

But just to give you a hint, I started out with a little list that could convince you to try making spinach recipeson a regular basis.  

1. A 100-gram Serving Of Spinach Contains Only 23 Calories

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits; Healthy green smoothie with spinach in glass jar 2

As many of you know by now, consuming a low-calorie food can be beneficial in keeping you within the boundaries of recommended calorie intake so you can achieve a speedy weight loss.

A cup of raw spinach has only 7 calories.

This amount only doubles for cooked (14 calories).
This is why I add spinach to all of my spinach smoothies, because they add a lot of bulk which gives me more food to eat, without giving me more calories.

2. Spinach Contains Insoluble Fiber

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits; Green smoothie with spinach and apples

3.6% of the total weight of spinach is made up of carbs in the form of fiber and sugar (glucose and fructose in low doses).

But this fiber is the kind of carbs that you’ll want to take advantage of.

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and remains intact as it passes through the digestive system.

This contributes to the “bulking” of digested food, which allows your intestines to process bowel movement with relative ease.

If your diet is making you feel constipated, you should consider eating spinach to regulate your bowel movement.

I have been drinking daily green smoothies and my digestion has never been better.

This is the green smoothie recipe I’ve been making for years.

3. Spinach Contains High Levels Of Vitamin A

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits; Clean eating breakfast with spinach, arugula, avocado, seeds and sprouts

Being among the group of leafy greens, spinach contains high doses of carotenoids, which are the pigments that give veggies their vibrant colors.

When you eat spinach, these carotenoids get transformed into Vitamin A, particularly in the forms of lutein and zeaxanthin, which in turn helps in maintaining good eyesight.

4. Spinach Can Help Prevent Degenerative Eye Conditions

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits; Spinach salad with vegetables and nuts

On the same note as previously mentioned, the carotenoids in spinach also act as a natural protection for the eyes against macular degeneration and the development of cataracts.

This is why even when you’re over 50, you still need to load up on carotenoids from leafy veggies such as spinach.

In fact, a study revealed that those who eat spinach at least three times a week have lower risks of developing eye problems for up to 43%.

My own grandma actually reversed macular degeneration with the use of a healthy diet containing high amounts of vegetables such as spinach.

Better to be safe than sorry, so go and eat your spinach!

5. Spinach Is Rich In Vitamin C

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits; Healthy green smoothie with spinach in glass jar

Another spinach nutrition fact that is worth sharing with you is its high Vitamin C content.

One cup of raw spinach contains 14% Daily Value, which makes it a good source of antioxidants necessary for maintaining a healthy, glowing skin.

Personally, I love spinach all the more because it also helped me overcome my chronic fatigue due to its Vitamin C content that similarly aids in strengthening my immune system so I rarely get colds or bugs these days and my adult acne has completely gone.

6. Spinach Has Potent Vitamin K Content

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits; Ingredients for green spinach smoothies: bananas, granola, chia seeds on wooden background

Spinach helps your body to repair itself by aiding in blood clotting to prevent bleeding internally or externally.

The Vitamin K content of spinach is equivalent to more than half of your daily value need.

It has also been linked to a number of cases where there has been an improved bone health by increasing the amount of spinach eaten per day.

7. Spinach Has High Levels Of Natural Folic Acid

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits; Secret Slimming Mango And Coconut Green Thickie Recipe green smoothie

Expectant moms out there, listen up!

Folate or folic acid is Vitamin B9 that is naturally found in spinach.

The reason why your doctor recommends that you take sufficient amounts of this vitamin is because it is necessary for your baby’s cellular function and tissue growth.

Also, it ensures its brain development and prevents birth defects.

Even if you’re not pregnant, folate from green leafy veggies such as spinach can help your own body in cell renewal and functioning.

Before I started drinking daily green smoothies, I struggled to get pregnant for a long time.  After I changed both mine and my husband’s diet to include daily green smoothies, I fell pregnant straight away on both of the occasions that I tried for a baby.

8. Spinach Is Rich In Iron

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits; spinach leaves & knife

If you’re anemic or have been diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, you might have been told to take iron supplements.

But while these supplements have been shown to be safe, I still recommend that you get your iron needs naturally by eating plenty of spinach.

Among the well-known spinach nutrition facts that you should know is that this leafy greens is loaded with 36% iron per cooked serving—a percent daily value that is more than you could get out of other whole foods.

9. Spinach Helps In Hemoglobin Production

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits; Fresh vegetables on the table, spinach & peppers

Hemoglobin is an important blood protein that your body needs for transporting oxygen into your organs.

Given that spinach contains high amounts of iron, this veggie can help your blood produce itself the normal levels of hemoglobin to prevent you from suffering the symptoms of anemia such as dizziness, fatigue, and shortness of breath.

10. Spinach Is High In Potassium Content

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits; cooked spinach

A cup of cooked spinach contains up to 839 mg of potassium, which is among the body’s much-needed electrolytes for maintaining health.

Moreover, potassium protects your body against loss of muscle mass, preserves your bone mineral density, and reduces the formation of kidney stones.

While it may not make your biceps grow as large as those of Popeye’s, at least it’s true that spinach guarantees muscle mass retention.

Now that I have started weight training, I have noticed incredibly fast gains in muscle without the use of protein powder.  

I suspect a lot of my above average progress is due to my healthy diet which contains a lot of spinach each day.

11. Spinach Also Contains Magnesium

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits; washing spinach Salad leaves

Magnesium is important for a number of reasons, which basically include bone formation and calcium absorption.

Calcium and magnesium go hand in hand to help your bone against the risks of osteoporosis.

And spinach is highly prescribed by doctors and dietitians for being a good source of magnesium.

Most westerners are deficient in magnesium and have to supplement so they don’t become deficient.  But if you eat enough spinach, you’ll get all the natural magnesium your body needs for great health.

Here is a video I made to share all about magnesium deficiencies.

12. Spinach Contains Antioxidants

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits; Fresh spinach green smoothies

What triggers premature aging of the body?

Stress, specifically oxidative stress.

This is caused by free radicals in the body which also increases your chances of getting cancer and diabetes.

Thankfully, you have a remedy in spinach.

Spinach contains high levels of antioxidants that fights off oxidative stress to ensure that it won’t do damage to your overall health.

People often tell me I look very young for my age and I put this down to the amount of antioxidants I get every day from spinach.

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits; Before After Fruit and Greens Overweight

13. Spinach Is Also Rich In Nitrates

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits; woman hands holding spinach leaves

Another hard-working component of spinach is nitrate.

Nitrates aid in lowering the triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL levels so your cardiovascular health is protected from risks such as heart attacks and stroke.

Aside from shielding your heart from potential heart diseases, nitrates are also known to help lower your blood sugar levels, thereby lowering your chances of getting diabetes as well.

And if you’re still curious, there have been studies that suggest nitrates in spinach can actually empower you during athletic performance through improving blood flow and muscle contractions.

Perhaps this is what the Popeye animation series is referring to when it suggested that spinach is a superfood.

14. Spinach Contains A Chemical Called N-oxalyglycine (Nog)

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits; green food, spinach apple celery avocado lime

Although more studies are needed to verify this, the NOG content in spinach has been discovered to help suppress tumors and certain cancers.

When coupled with phytonutrients and antioxidants in spinach, the NOG can potentially lower your risk of acquiring cancer.

15. Spinach Contains Glycolipids

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits; Fresh spinach leaves

These are compounds in spinach that help promote the production of nitric oxide (NO), which is responsible for dilating the blood vessels and reducing atherosclerosis, a process that ensures your heart health remains stable and in good shape.

16. Spinach Has Considerable Amounts Of Quercetin

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits;  woman hand adding broccoli to measuring cup spinach

Another fancy word yet highly beneficial to health, quercetin in spinach is actually an antioxidant that helps keep infection and inflammation away.

If you prefer to get it naturally from foods, spinach provides a rich dietary source of this antioxidant.

17. Spinach Also Contains Kaempferol

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits;  healthy green smoothie with banana, lime, spinach, avocado and chia seeds

This difficult-to-pronounce term is actually another antioxidant, but specializes in lowering your risk or chronic diseases.

Spinach has a good amount of this component in a single serving.

Bonus Tips

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits;  Ingredients and fresh cocktail from spinach

There is also another little known compound contained in spinach that actually suppresses the appetite.  Find out more about how this works and how to add more spinach to your diet in my FREE web class.

Green Smoothie Secrets FREE Online Web Class

17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits;  Green Smoothie Secrets FREE Web Class

Would you like to find out how I lost 56 pounds in 6 months with green smoothies? And how you can drop a dress size this month doing the same thing? My FREE online web class reveals all of my secrets so come and join us.

How Healthy Is Raw Spinach?

Half a cup of spinach is 1 serving of veges & fruits
Please feel free to share this infographic on social media or your website with a link back to this post

5 Best Spinach Resources

I’ve compiled a list of helpful resources that will help you take things to the next level:

These 50+ healthy spinach recipes are gluten free, vegan, dairy free, quick, easy and delicious. What most people don’t know about spinach is...

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All of these spinach salad recipes are raw, vegan and gluten free, perfect for reducing inflammation and sending nutrients sky rocketing.

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This Coconut Mango Spinach Smoothie is a grain free smoothie made more filling with the use of hemp seeds.

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Keep your leafy greens fresh by freezing them for your smoothies and recipes. Find out how to freeze spinach 3 different ways.

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If you’ve never tried fruit ice cream you’ve been missing out. Here I take it to another level with this simple spinach ice cream. It’s sweet, gorgeous and very healthy

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17 Surprising Spinach Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits

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Conclusion

Hands down, spinach is indeed the ultimate source of almost anything beneficial for your health.

The fact that I was able to list more than 17 items of powerful spinach nutrition just goes to show that it’s more than just a “Popeye effect”.

If you don’t wish to suffer from illnesses that may prevent you from living life to the fullest, I  suggest that you start including this super veggie into your diet to help improve your overall health.

And if you are looking to lose some weight, spinach has also been proven to help with this.

I hope that through this article, I’m able to give you an idea of how powerful spinach can be for your dietary needs.

Links:

Katherine Kyle @ Green Thickies

Founder at Green Thickies
Katherine lost 56 pounds and recovered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with Green Thickies.
Read Katherine's inspiring comeback story, From Fat and Fatigued To Lean and Loving Life In 4 Months.
Send Katherine a message on Instagram, Facebook, or email here.

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