Remember Popeye’s love of spinach? Turns out, he was onto something because the nutrient-packed superfood is even healthier than you thought it was.
It improves blood glucose levels
There’s a reason (actually, many reasons) why spinach is called a diabetic superfood. Just one cup has 40 percent of your recommended daily serving of magnesium, which can help regulate blood sugars. The leafy greens the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid, which lowers glucose levels and boosts insulin sensitivity. Its low glycemic index keeps you safe from unexpected blood sugar spikes. (Don’t miss these other 15 best superfoods for diabetics.) Plus, non-diabetics can also reap the benefits of spinach. Researchers in England found that eating 1.15 servings (a little more than a cup) of spinach every day can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by 14 percent.
It reduces your cancer risk
Adding more spinach to your diet is just one of many simple ways you can prevent cancer. Along with leafy veggies like kale, lettuce, and chard, spinach contains carotenoids, pigments found in plants that act as antioxidants to eliminate potentially dangerous free radicals. According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, foods with carotenoids can help prevent cancers of the mouth, pharynx, and larynx. They may even be able to slow the spread of breast cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, and skin cancer. Don’t miss these other 37 ways to lower your risk of cancer.
It lowers blood pressure
You can keep a high blood pressure in check using natural remedies—like these 18 drug-free blood pressure treatments—and stocking up on foods that work into the DASH diet. Significant amounts of potassium, folate, and magnesium put spinach in this important category. (Find out the foods that lower high blood pressure.) In some cases, these lifestyle changes alone aren’t enough, and your doctor may put you on medication.