5 Evidence-Based Benefits of Spinach Juice
Notably, you aren't limited to tossing it into salads and sides. Juicing fresh spinach has become a popular way to enjoy this green veggie.
In fact, spinach juice is linked to an array of impressive health benefits.
Here are 5 of the top science-backed benefits of spinach juice.
1. High in Antioxidants
Drinking spinach juice is a great way to boost your antioxidant intake.
Antioxidants neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals, thus protecting you against oxidative stress and chronic disease.
In particular, spinach is a good source of the antioxidants lutein, beta carotene, coumaric acid, violaxanthin, and ferulic acid.
Animal studies reveal similar findings, tying spinach to oxidative stress prevention.
Spinach juice is high in antioxidants, which can help prevent oxidative damage and safeguard against chronic illnesses.
2. May Improve Eye Health
Spinach juice is loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants necessary for maintaining healthy vision.
Some research suggests that these compounds help protect against age-related macular degeneration, a common condition that can cause progressive vision loss.
A review of six studies linked increased intake of zeaxanthin and lutein to a lower risk of cataracts, an eye condition that clouds and blurs the lens of your eye.
What's more, spinach juice is high in vitamin A, which is important for eye health. A deficiency in this vitamin can cause dry eyes and night blindness.
Although the exact amount varies based on how much water you use and whether you add other ingredients, juicing 4 cups (120 grams) of raw spinach generally produces about 1 cup (240 mL) of juice.
In turn, this amount of juice provides nearly 63% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin A.
Spinach juice is rich in vitamin A and antioxidants like zeaxanthin and lutein, all of which promote healthy vision.
3. May Decrease Cancer Cell Growth
Although more human research is needed, some studies suggest that certain compounds in spinach may help combat cancer cell growth.
In a 2-week study in mice, spinach juice reduced the volume of colon cancer tumors by 56%.
Another mouse study showed that monogalactosyl diacylglycerol (MGDG), a spinach compound, enhanced the effects of radiation therapy to kill pancreatic cancer cells.
Furthermore, human studies indicate that eating more leafy greens lowers your risk of lung, prostate, breast, and colorectal cancer.
Nonetheless, these studies are focused on overall leafy green intake rather than spinach juice specifically. Thus, additional studies are needed.
Animal studies note that some compounds in spinach may decrease cancer cell growth, while human research associates leafy greens with a lower risk of certain cancers. All the same, further research is necessary.
4. May Reduce Blood Pressure
Spinach juice is high in naturally occurring nitrates, a type of compound that can help dilate your blood vessels. In turn, this may lower blood pressure and boost blood flow.
A 7-day study in 27 people found that eating spinach soup daily decreased blood pressure and arterial stiffness, compared with a control group.
In another small study, 30 people who ate nitrate-rich spinach experienced lower systolic blood pressure (the upper number of a reading) and improved nitric oxide status.
One cup (240 mL) of spinach juice also packs over 14% of the DV for potassium — a mineral involved in regulating blood pressure by controlling the amount of sodium excreted through your urine.
Spinach is high in nitrates and potassium, which may improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure.
5. May Promote Healthy Hair and Skin
Spinach juice is a great source of vitamin A, with nearly 63% of the DV in 1 cup (240 mL).
This vitamin helps regulate skin cell generation and produce mucous to protect against infections.
One cup (240 mL) of spinach juice also contains about 38% of the DV for vitamin C, which is an essential water-soluble vitamin that doubles as an antioxidant.
Studies show that vitamin C protects your skin against oxidative stress, inflammation, and skin damage, all of which can accelerate signs of aging. Furthermore, it helps synthesize collagen, a connective tissue protein that promotes wound healing and skin elasticity.
What's more, vitamin C may increase iron absorption and even help prevent hair loss associated with iron deficiency.
Spinach juice is high in vitamins A and C, two important micronutrients that can promote skin and hair health.
Potential Side Effects
While spinach juice is associated with some benefits, there are a few drawbacks to consider.
For starters, most of the available research is focused on spinach itself — not the juice. Thus, further studies on the juice are needed.
Additionally, juicing removes most of the fiber from spinach, which could curb some of its benefits.
Studies show that fiber may help improve blood sugar control, weight loss, and blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It may also protect against several digestive disorders, including hemorrhoids, constipation, acid reflux, and diverticulitis.
Spinach is likewise high in vitamin K, large amounts of which can interfere with blood thinners like warfarin. If you're taking blood thinners, consult a healthcare professional before adding spinach juice to your daily routine.
It's also important to carefully read labels if you purchase store-bought juices, as some varieties may be high in added sugar.
Finally, keep in mind that spinach juice should not be used as a meal replacement, as it's lacking in many of the nutrients necessary for a balanced diet.
Rather, you should drink it to supplement a healthy diet, enjoying it alongside a variety of other whole fruits and vegetables.
Juicing removes most of the fiber from spinach, which may inhibit some of its health benefits. Furthermore, you shouldn't use spinach juice as a meal replacement.
The Bottom Line
Spinach juice is high in antioxidants and beneficial compounds that may protect your vision, decrease blood pressure, and improve hair and skin health.
However, it's low in fiber and isn't an appropriate meal replacement, as it's lacking in important nutrients like protein and healthy fats.
If you drink spinach juice, be sure to enjoy it alongside other whole, nutritious foods as part of a balanced diet.
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