The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)has confirmed that spinach is rich in the antioxidants beta-carotene and lutein.
The antioxidant beta-carotene constitutes 0.0019 per cent of the spinach by mass and lutein 0.0033 per cent. Although relatively small amounts, spinach contains far more of the two combined antioxidants than most other fruits, vegetables and active ingredients encorporated into skincare.
Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A in the body and is needed for healthy sight, skin and hair. Lutein is a pigment found in the retina and may help guard against eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. Among its other attributes, spinach also contains 1.55 per cent dietary fiber by weight.
Antioxidants are believed to fight the formation of free radicals, highly reactive molecules that can damage DNA and are implicated in the development of certain diseases.
NIST reached its conclusions after using the Standard Reference Material (SRM) 2385 that consists of small jars of slurried spinach - pure spinach that has been blanched, pureed and passed through filter screens.
Founded in 1901, NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency within the US Commerce department's technology administration.
More studies will be carried out to learn the extent of the green vegetables skincare properties.