Researchers have identified at least 13 different flavonoid compounds in spinach that function as antioxidants and as anti-cancer agents.
A carotenoid found in spinach and other green leafy vegetables fights human prostate cancer two different ways. The carotenoid, called neoxanthin, not only induces prostate cancer cells to self-destruct, but is converted in the intestines into additional compounds, called neochromes, which put prostate cancer cells into a state of stasis, thus preventing their replication.
The vitamin K provided by spinach-almost 200% of the Daily Value in one cup of fresh spinach leaves and over 1000% of the Daily Value in one cup of boiled spinach is important for maintaining bone health. Spinach is also an excellent source of other bone-building nutrients including calcium and magnesium.
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A. These two nutrients are important antioxidants that work to reduce the amounts of free radicals in the body.
Spinach is also an excellent source of folate which is needed by the body to help convert a potentially dangerous chemical called homocysteine that can lead to heart attack or stroke if levels get too high.
In addition, spinach is an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral that can help to lower high blood pressure and protect against heart disease as well.
Spinach may help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related related declines in brain function.
Lutein, a carotenoid protective against eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and cataract, is found in green vegetables, especially spinach.