14 Benefits Of Water Spinach For Skin, Hair, And Health

This leafy vegetable is the key to a healthy body, luscious locks, and glowing complexion.

Medically reviewed by Silky Mahajan, CSN, CDE Silky Mahajan Silky MahajanCSN, CDE facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , B.Desgn, ISSA Certified Specialist In Fitness & Nutrition Tanya Choudhary B.Desgn, ISSA Certified Specialist In Fitness & Nutrition twitter_icon Experience: 2 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , BPharm, Certified Health & Wellness Coach Moksha Gandhi BPharm, Certified Health & Wellness Coach Experience: 2 years
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If you are here wondering about water spinach benefits, we got you covered! Unlike its name, the water spinach vine is not really spinach nor is it related to it anyway! Water spinach belongs to the morning glory family and is otherwise known as swamp spinach,ong choy or Chinese water spinach! These have hollow long vine-like stems and flowers similar in shape and appearance to morning glory, that is why they are also called water morning glory! While your regular spinach has more rounded leaves and short stalks, water spinach has longer stems with more triangular-shaped leaves! Popularly known as ‘kangkong’, water spinach is a semi-aquatic perennial plant mostly found in tropical and subtropical regions. These are generally found in two varieties— the “Ching Quat” with green stem, white flowers, and narrow leaves, and the ‘Pak Quat’ with pink flowers and arrow-shaped leaves. It is also known as water convolvulus, as it belongs to the Convolvulaceae family. While most parts of water spinach are edible, it is usually the shoot tips and leaves that are commonly consumed for their nutritional benefits! With an abundance of water, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and other important minerals, water spinach can be consumed raw or cooked! Salads and juices are popular ways to get the most of this green leafy plant! To help you know more about water spinach and its many benefits, we have summed up all its benefits in one place! Read on to know how water spinach can help improve your skin, hair, and overall health altogether!

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: Water Spinach

What Is It?
Water spinach is a semi-aquatic perennial plant with long stems and triangular leaves.

What Are Its Benefits?
It helps in the treatment of jaundice, liver problems, anemia, and digestive issues. It also aids in anti-aging and the management of acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Who Can Use It?
Everyone can safely consume it unless they are allergic.

How Often?
It can be consumed in moderation every day.

Caution
Avoid consuming if you are on any blood thinners as it can lead to drug interactions.

Health Benefits of Water Spinach

All dark green leafy vegetables are packed with nutrients and water spinach is no exception. The leaves of water spinach are extremely nutritious, containing abundant quantities of vitamins and minerals. They are excellent sources of dietary fiber, protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C which are evidence of its various health benefits given below:

1. Reduces Cholesterol:

It is an excellent option for those individuals who want to lose weight and reduce cholesterol naturally. Research conducted on rats has proved that consumption of water spinach has resulted in a reduction in cholesterol levels as well as Triglycoside. Thus, this vegetable has a major role to play in the reduction of cholesterol levels.

2. Treatment of Jaundice and Liver Problems:

Water spinach for treatment of liver problems
Image: Shutterstock

Water spinach has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of jaundice and liver problems. Research has proved that the extract of this plant can provide protection against chemical-induced liver damage due to its modulation of detoxification enzymes; antioxidant and free radical scavenger properties.

3. Useful in treating Anaemia:

Being rich in iron, the young water spinach leaves are extremely beneficial for people with anemia and pregnant women who require iron in their diets. Iron is an important mineral that is needed by the body, particularly by the red blood cells, to form hemoglobin.

4. Treatment of Indigestion and Constipation:

Water spinach for treatment of indigestion and constipation
Image: Shutterstock

Water spinach is rich in fiber and hence, it aids in digestion, providing relief from different digestive disorders naturally. Its mild laxative properties are beneficial for people suffering from indigestion and constipation. Juice from boiled spinach can loosen constipation. This vegetable is also used in the treatment of intestinal worm infestation. It contains latex which is used as a purgative agent.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Water spinach is widely used in the Unani medicine system to relieve flatulence, boost digestive health, and reduce inflammation.

5. Anti Diabetic:

Research has demonstrated that regular consumption of water spinach helps in developing resistance against diabetes-induced oxidative stress. It is also used in the treatment of diabetes in pregnant women.

6. Protection against Heart Diseases:

Water spinach offers protection against heart diseases
Image: Shutterstock

Water spinach has certain essential nutrients like vitamins A and C as well as a high concentration of beta-carotene. These nutrients act as antioxidants to reduce free radicals in the body, thus preventing cholesterol from becoming oxidized. Oxidized cholesterol sticks to the blood vessel walls, causing blocked arteries, heart attack, or stroke. Besides, folate contained in water spinach helps to convert a potentially dangerous chemical called homocysteine, which in high levels can lead to heart attack or stroke. Magnesium is a mineral that lowers blood pressure and provides protection against heart disease as well.

7. Prevention of Cancer:

Being loaded with 13 different types of antioxidant compounds, water spinach is a perfect diet for cancer prevention. These antioxidants are known to eliminate free radicals from the body, thus altering the conditions in which cancer cells multiply and strengthening the natural cell environment. This vegetable is said to be most beneficial in preventing colorectal and stomach cancers and skin and breast cancers.

8. Beneficial for Eyes:

Water spinach improves eye health
Image: Shutterstock

Water spinach has a high content of carotenoids, vitamin A and lutein. These nutrients are vital for eye health. Spinach also boosts glutathione levels, which plays an important role in preventing cataracts.

9. Boosts the Body’s Immunity:

Being a storehouse of nutrients, this leafy green vegetable is an inexpensive and natural way of boosting the body’s immunity in comparison to vitamin C supplements. Consumption of this green leafy vegetable on a regular basis boosts your body’s immune system and promotes the healthy development of bones. It also contributes to a healthy body by neutralizing and eliminating toxins.

10. Other Benefits:

In addition to the benefits given above, water spinach is effective in treating ulcers, menstrual pains, toothache, launched urination, nosebleed, etc. It acts as a sedative for people who have insomnia or sleeping difficulty. Selenium and Zinc in it help the nerves to relax, which helps in sound sleep. The juice of spinach mixed with water is used as a cold compress to treat fever. Being anti-venom, it is used to promote vomiting in case of poisoning.

11. Healing Properties:

Green leafy veggies like water spinach are rich in chemical antioxidants which prevent free radical damage of cells in the body, making the skin cells more resistant from damage from exposure to the sun and minimizing wrinkling to a significant extent. It this way regular consumption of this vegetable can prevent and reverse ageing.

Skin Benefits of Water Spinach

12. Rejuvenates Skin:

Water spinach rejuvenates the skin
Image: Shutterstock

The buds of water spinach can be used as poultice to treat skin diseases such as ringworm, athletes foot etc. This vegetable also helps in the prevention of skin cancer and is used in the treatment of acne, eczema and psoriasis.

13. Anti-aging Benefits:

Green leafy veggies like water spinach are rich in chemical antioxidants which prevent free radical damage to cells in the body, making the skin cells more resistant to damage from exposure to the sun and minimizing wrinkling to a significant extent. In this way, regular consumption of this vegetable can prevent and reverse aging.

14. Treatment of Skin Diseases:

The buds of water spinach can be used as poultice to treat skin diseases such as ringworm, athlete's footi  A fungal skin infection that occurs when the feet become too sweaty in tight-fitting shoes, causing an itching sensation between the toes. , etc. This vegetable also helps in the prevention of skin cancer and is used in the treatment of acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

The benefits of water spinach for the skin have been known for a long time. As stated earlier, this vegetable is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, carotenoidsi  Useful pigments that produce orange, yellow, and red pigments in plants and offer antioxidants to improve the human immune system. , and luteini  A major carotenoid (a pigment) in the eyes that protects the tissues from UV rays as a light filter and reduces inflammation. . These minerals are vital for healthy and glowing skin. Consuming water spinach on a regular basis helps to maintain radiant and healthy skin.

Hair Benefits of Water Spinach

As we all know, proper nutrition is a prerequisite for maintaining a healthy scalp and hair. The wide array of nutrients contained in water spinach is beneficial for your hair. Spinach juice is beneficial for hair growth and prevents hair loss besides improving the quality and texture of your hair.

Water Spinach Recipes

Water spinach can be added to curries, salads, and smoothies. You can make a drink combining spinach and lettuce juices for getting healthy and lustrous hair. Here is a water spinach recipe that is healthy and delicious!

  • Wash the spinach and lettuce leaves properly. Alternatively, you can use cabbage leaves in place of lettuce. Slice a lemon and put it in the juicer along with the leaves.
  • Grind the leaves in a mixer or a grinder and place the mixture in a muslin sieve to squeeze out the juice.
  • You can enhance the flavor of this drink by adding lemon juice or spices. Black pepper is preferable as it is beneficial for your hair besides providing a spicy flavor to the drink.
  • You should drink a glass of water spinach juice every day for maximum results.

Ling, a YouTuber, expresses her enthusiasm for water spinach in one of her vlogs. She exclaims, “I love them, and they’re very unique. They have the tender shoots, the leaves, and the stems hollow… and [they’re] very crunchy (i).” She goes on to share a delicious water spinach stir fry recipe which she describes as “perfectly garlicky and crunchy.”

Besides juice, there are other delectable dishes you can prepare with water spinach. Let us learn how to make it below:

Water Spinach Stir Fry

What You Need

  • 300 grams of water spinach
  • 3 sliced garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup of sliced shallots
  • 1½ tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • ¾ tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • Cold water as needed

How To Prepare

  1. Clean the water spinach by soaking it in a large bowl of cold water.
  2. Change the water a few times until the spinach is fully cleaned.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat.
  4. Saute shallots for 10 seconds.
  5. Add garlic and keep sauteeing just until fragrant.
  6. Add oyster sauce, stir and then add water spinach.
  7. Stir fry for about 20-30 seconds until the leaves begin to wilt.
  8. Serve hot!
protip_icon Quick Tip
The young stems of water spinach are incredibly succulent. You may boil or saute them and use them in stews, curries, and stir-fries.

Infographic: Health Benefits Of Water Spinach

There is nothing better than water spinach for your diet. You can add it to your salads or blend it to make a nutritious green juice. Like its regular counterpart, water spinach is rich in nutrients that support your overall health in many ways.

Take a look at the infographic below to discover all the health benefits of eating this crunchy, delicious green vegetable.

health benefits of water spinach (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Water spinach is a water-rich dark green leafy vegetable with a high nutritional profile. Water spinach benefits your health in many ways. Its high antioxidant, dietary fiber, and protein content may help treat several ailments. It may reduce cholesterol levels, help treat jaundice and liver problems, support anemia treatment, aid in digestion, and protect against heart disease. In addition, regular consumption of this leafy veggie may help rejuvenate skin and improve your hair texture. Hence, include this wonderful leafy vegetable in your diet and enjoy its benefits. However, avoid consuming water spinach if you are on any blood-thinner medications or warfarin. It contains abundant vitamin K and may interfere with the action of blood-thinning medications.

Image source: 1

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the popular name for water spinach?

Water spinach is also popularly known as kangkong, river spinach, Chinese spinach, swamp morning-glory, Chinese watercress, swamp cabbage, and water bindweed.

Can I eat water spinach every day?

Yes, you can eat water spinach every day. It is loaded with many vitamins and minerals that promote overall health.

Is kangkong a medicinal plant?

Yes, kangkong is a medicinal plant. It may have anti-cholesterol and anti-diabetic properties. In Ayurveda, it is known to aid in the treatment of jaundice and liver problems. However, more research is warranted in this regard.

Is water spinach better than spinach?

Water spinach and spinach have fairly comparable nutrients. Water spinach contains marginally fewer calories and less fat than spinach, whereas spinach contains marginally more proteins and fiber than water spinach. In terms of mineral content, spinach has more calcium, potassium, and iron than water spinach (1), (2).

What does Chinese water spinach taste like?

Chinese water spinach has a mildly bitter taste (when eaten raw) and a texture similar to romaine lettuce.

Is water spinach high in uric acid?

Water spinach contains moderate quantities of purine (which gets converted into uric acid in the body), like many other green vegetables. However, blanching it before cooking can significantly reduce purine levels.

Key Takeaways

  • Consuming water spinach may reduce signs of aging as it has antioxidant properties.
  • Water spinach has essential nutrients, which may help in hair growth and reduce hair loss.
  • Water spinach may also help in managing weight as it has high fiber content.
  • Water spinach extract is beneficial if taken for jaundice and liver issues.
water spinach_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Explore the incredible health benefits of water spinach and how it can boost your overall well-being. Discover the nutritional advantages and tasty ways to incorporate it into your diet. Click on this video now to enhance your health journey with water spinach!

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Silky Mahajan

Silky MahajanMSc, CSN, CDE

Silky has been practicing nutrition for more than 14 years and is an active member of the Indian Dietetics Association (IDA). She has a masters degree in nutrition and dietetics and is a Certified Sports Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator.   Under sports nutrition, she widely covers most nutrition aspects, such as carbohydrate loading, hydration strategy, energy, endurance, muscle building,...read full bio

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