5. Spinach may help to prevent and reduce high blood pressure
Spinach is one of the highest dietary sources of naturally occurring nitrates, and there is substantial evidence that dietary nitrate intake helps increase the widening of blood vessels, or vasodilation, which improves blood flow.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
A study investigated the effects of consuming spinach as an inorganic source of nitrate for 7 days on arterial stiffness in 27 healthy individuals between the ages of 18 and 50 years old.
For the placebo-controlled, crossover study, the individuals were randomly allocated to consume either a high-nitrate spinach or low-nitrate asparagus soup for 7 days.
The study results showed that consumption of high-nitrate spinach soup containing approximately 845 mg of nitrate reduced postprandial arterial stiffness and central systolic blood pressure after 7 days of consumption.
Relative to baseline, consumption of high-nitrate spinach significantly reduced central systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure at on day 1 and day 7 of the study.
Overall, the study provides evidence for the potential use of dietary nitrate found in vegetables such as spinach as an effective method for helping reduce blood pressure and maintaining cardiovascular health.