Usually, for most people, first thing that comes to mind when they hear the word “spinach” is Popeye’s favorite vegetable. Indeed, it is difficult to talk about spinach without thinking about Popeye. In the series, Popeye have always used it to boost his physical strength multiple times and gain prominent muscles. That is what spinach can do to your physique in cartoon. But, what about its benefit in real life?
Well, spinach is a very popular vegetable in the history of humankind. The Popeye series may contribute to the plant’s popularity. But before the series even existed, it has been used by many people. This plant has been long cultivated mainly for its leaves. Many folks used it as a primary ingredient for their cooking. Spinach salad, spinach soup, and spinach are some popular dishes primarily made of spinach, hence their names.
There are many products made of spinach sold in the markets. It is a sign that spinach can be a source of your income. On a side note, if you really like spinach because you are a fan of Popeye (or because of any reason) you may want to go to China since they are the world’s largest producer of spinach. (See also : Benefits of Spinach for Weight Loss)
Now, are there other uses of spinach apart from as a common source of food? Well, spinach has many chemical substances that can affect you skin and hair in a positive way. This writing will lists all the benefits of spinach for skin and hair. First, let’s have a look at nutritional values of spinach :
Nutritional Values of Spinach
This section will lists nutritional values of every 100 g (3.5 oz) of spinach. Please note that this is raw spinach we are talking about, and the percentages shown below are approximately calculated using US recommendations for adults.
- Energy : 97 kJ (23 kcal)
- Carbohydrates : 3.6 g
- Sugars : 0.4 g
- Dietary fiber : 2.2 g
- Fat : 0.4 g
- Protein : 2.9 g
- Vitamin A equivalents : 469 μg (59%)
- beta-Carotene : 5626 μg (52%)
- lutein zeaxanthin : 12198 μg
- Vitamin A : 9377 IU
- Thiamine (B1) : 0.078 mg (7%)
- Riboflavin (B2) : 0.189 mg (16%)
- Niacin (B3) : 0.724 mg (5%)
- Vitamin B6 : 0.195 mg (15%)
- Folate (B9) : 194 μg (49%)
- Vitamin C : 28 mg (34%)
- Vitamin E : 2 mg (13%)
- Vitamin K : 483 μg (460%)
- Calcium : 99 mg (10%)
- Iron : 2.71 mg (21%)
- Magnesium : 79 mg (22%)
- Manganese : 0.897 mg (43%)
- Phosphorus : 49 mg (7%)
- Potassium : 558 mg (12%)
- Sodium : 79 mg (5%)
- Zinc : 0.53 mg (6%)
- Water : 91.4 g
If you think about it, you will realize spinach is rich in profitable nutrients that benefit the health of your body. Undoubtedly, this means your skin and hair will also benefit from those nutrients. Some of the nutrients that good for your skin are the vitamins and the minerals.
Meanwhile, for hair treatment, the iron will do the trick. These following sections will mention the benefits of spinach for skin and hair. (Also read : Health Benefits of Komatsuna)
Benefits of Spinach for Skin and Hair Health
We will divide it into two sections, benefits for skin, and benefits for hair. This done so that you won’t get confused. Check it out about the benefits of spinach for skin and hair:
1. Get rid of acne
Irritated by the acne on your face? Don’t worry, you can apply spinach as a face mask. Just soak spinach in a little water, then apply it on your face for about 20 minutes. By doing this, the dirt, oil and inflammation in your skin will be removed. It also gives your skin a refreshing sensation from the inside. (You may want to read : Health Benefits of Red Spinach)
2. Can be used as a natural sunscreen
To protect your skin from ultra violet light, you can use spinach. By doing this, you will prevent premature aging and skin cancer.
3. Remove free radicals from your body
Because spinach contains many anti-oxidants, when consumed, it will remove free radicals from your body. Free radicals cause many skin problems and premature aging. So, if they are removed completely, your skin will look healthy and youthful. (Also read : Beauty Benefits of Bitter Gourd Juice)
4. Lighten up dark skin
If you ever have problem with the complexion of your skin, you can use spinach to restore your skin color. Spinach will minimize any taint on your skin, so your skin will look brighter. Vitamin K and folates play important here.
5. Minimize damages done in your skin
Because of numerous amount of vitamin A and vitamin C, spinach will accelerate the regeneration of your damaged skin. In addition, it will also makes your skin looks more radiant.
Benefits of spinach for hair health
Here are more benefits of spinach for skin and hair health:
6. Stimulates hair growth
Because the amount of the vitamins and the minerals in spinach is abundant, eating spinach regularly will help in stimulating hair growth for anyone whose hair is balding. Iron helps improving the blood circulation, thereby making distribution of oxygen in your blood to hair follicle done faster. This is important aspect for healthy hair grow and to strengthen hair follicle as well as to minimize hair fall. (Also read : Benefits of Fish Oil For Hair Loss)
7. Minimize hair loss
Good news for balding people. Most case of hair loss is caused by the lack of iron. As stated in the previous point, iron strengthen hair follicle by accelerating the distribution of oxygen in your blood to your hair. The lack of iron in your body is often associated with anemia, which is a factor of hair loss.
You can also find iron in banana, but consuming banana is not as effective as consuming spinach. The iron in spinach assist in carrying oxygen to your hair, while the folates, also found in spinach, assist the production of red blood cells. All of these processes will minimize the amount of hair abandoning your head.
Cautions of Spinach
There are two cases of food-borne illness outbreak in United States involving spinach throughout the history. In September 2006, spinach contamined with E.coli was accidentally distributed to public markets. This event causes the death of 5 persons and 95 were poisoned and have to go through emergency treatment in hospital.
On August 30, 2007, 8000 cartons of spinach from Salinas Valley, California were ordered back to the shipper after the presence of Salmonella was detected upon routine investigation. We can base our precautions before using spinach on these two events.
Make sure not to eat uncooked fresh spinach or other products that contain spinach unless you buy it directly from a farm with high level of hygiene. Also, if you decide to cook it, make sure to set the temperature to reasonable degree, thereby killing bacteria and other harmful microscopic organisms that may contained in the spinach.