The benefits of spinach are legion. Even Popeye knew that to survive and flourish he would need them.
You know you are doing it right when you have to fight the bugs for the young spinach-leaves; they take their share if we do not pick early in the day. They are the equivalent of the king's tasters; you can be sure you will not be poisoned by insecticides.
They are rich in folate, potassium and lutein for your eyes.
This page was last updated by Dr Bernard Preston on 17th August, 2021.
Reviewed by Dr Jane Ackerman, DC.
First and foremost, eaten daily, it provides a substantial amount of roughage for the large bowel. Enjoy eggs Florentine like I do, every morning for breakfast, and I promise you that constipation will be a matter for the history books.
Well some raw greens too, and perhaps prunes also, may be necessary if you have a very sluggish colon.
In terms of nutrients, one cup of spinach contains all the vitamins A and K you will need the whole day long. More, it contains two-thirds of the folate, and around a quarter of the B2, B6, C and E, and calcium that your body requires.
Getting sufficient magnesium from your food has profound effects on the coronary blood vessels; it helps them to relax and dilate, reducing the chance of heart attack by a massive fifty-percent; it is one of the great benefits of spinach, one of the richest sources.
Are you suffering from osteoporosis? Then think spinach. More important, consider prevention as most women get it, and then it is too late to do much.
Are you concerned about your husband's prostate gland? You should be. It's the number-one malignant tumour that kills men. And even more than broccoli, the queen of prevention of neoplasms, spinach ranks as the best green that gives protection.
And how about your own bowels? Chronic inflammation of the intestine, with its most awkward and nasty unexpected diarrhoea, is helped by certain specific nutrients in spinach. This link to what happens in diverticulosis is worth a read.
The benefits of spinach together with garlic and onions are what make Eggs Florentine great.
These figures are the amounts in 100g of the boiled-vegetable. They are relative, not absolute values, but just to confirm that your greens contain large amounts of these important substances. They play a vital role every day in wellness such as bone strength, blood pressure and the state of your heart; capilliaries and eyes too. Ignore them at your peril; you will not get adequate amounts on a black and white diet.
Your greens also contain surprisingly large amounts of protein and the beneficial low-GI carbs that are not fattening; in short they are good food for you and your children, and your mother. Is she perhaps on the lethal tea and toast way of the elderly.
You walk into the greengrocer and you find two-packets of spinach, one with leaves looking like that on the left, and the other not dissimilar to the one on the right. Which would you choose?
That's a stupid question, eh. The one on the left of course; the spinach leaf on the right has obviously been chewed by caterpillars, grasshoppers, or some such creatures.
Not so fast now; have you asked yourself why the leaf on the left appears untouched by the bugs, but they have obviously enjoyed tucking into the one on the right? Have you considered that the unaffected-leaves may be covered with pesticide residues?
In fact neither have been sprayed. Both are organic spinach leaves from my garden, but it is midwinter and the little creatures are starving. Sixty-percent of my crop looks like the one on the right.
I feel for the farmer. He sits on the horns of a dilemma. Does he throw sixty-percent of his crop away, or does he spray them?
Or does he grow organic spinach, and charge double? How much more would you be prepared to pay, if you knew with absolute certainty that the food on the table before you was unsprayed? Of course, you never really know, unless you are personally acquainted with the farmer.
In actual fact we eat both. Once the chewed leaves have been washed and cooked, they are absolutely fine.
My point is this. After radishes, spinach is probably the easiest veggie to grow. Two-rows, a metre long, will provide you with daily organic greens for months; I know because from this little patch I harvest enough to make Eggs Florentine six days a week.
It is sobering that, despite its very real benefits, spinach is listed in the top-twelve veggies and fruits that have pesticide residues, and for good reason. The bugs know that it is wonderful stuff.
In short the authors of Popeye were not way out; but if you want good, clean spinach, perhaps a bit chewed up by the bugs, grow it yourself.
Actually that is not strictly true. In the summer two rows of a metre
each would be fine, but it is winter now and growth is very slow. So I
do supplement with a few leaves from the baby spinach patch that
normally would go into salads only.
So in winter you would need a second small patch. Do not bother if you live in Chicago where I lived for four-years whilst training as a DC. Spinach won't grow when the temperature is ten below.
In short then the benefits of spinach abound. Easy to grow, wonderful in many dishes, protection against many tumours and constipation, this is a vegetable that we should all be eating regularly; in fact daily.
No exaggeration we eat and enjoy spinach almost every day, 52-weeks in the year from these two little patches. More have been planted and will be in production by spring.
It is astonishing how spinach responds to the first spring-rains; exuberant growth and a deepening of the colour. Perhaps it's the nitrogen in the air after stormy weather; the pool also turns green.
Folate is a vital vitamin especially for young women of child-bearing age. There are concerns in the literature about overdosing, so it's best to get it from your food.
The nutritious benefits of spinach include large amounts of folate, or vitamin B9. Without adequate levels you'll be anaemic, your infant likely to suffer from a cleft-palate or spina bifida, and die from toxic homocysteine.Benefits of folate
Potassium counterbalances the effects of sodium, which most of us enjoy too much of, in regulating the fluid balance in the body; hence it's very important in lowering blood-pressure.
Since less than two-percent of Americans are getting enough potassium, stroke and heart disease are rife. The recommended daily allowance is around 4,000mg per day.
100g of spinach contains 466 mg, and one cup has 840 mg.
Notice that frozen spinach, according to Tuft University researcher Dr Kyla Shea, has lost at least 30-percent of its potassium.
Other good sources are all greens, avocados, the squash family including watermelon, legumes and bananas. Those enjoying a well-rounded diet should not be struggling to get sufficient potassium.
If you are using organic spinach then remember to keep the liquid that your spinach is cooked in for soups and gravies.
It is a no-brainer; the choice is more of the nutritious benefits of spinach or face taking blood pressure medication.
Potassium is involved in many other important processes according to Megan Ware including the prevention of osteoporosis, the risk of stroke and loss of muscle mass in the elderly. A high intake reduces our overall mortality by 20-percent; that is massive.
Make sure granny is getting enough potassium to prevent frailty syndrome; the premature loss of vitality.
Causes of osteoporosis are a bugger, excuse the French, but this is important. It's a silent disease and, once you have it, the medical treatment is worse than the disease. Just read the fosamax reviews; the marvellous benefits of spinach are part of the solution.
This is particularly true since a ten year research project proves that calcium taken in supplements in deposited in the linings of arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke significantly; but not if enjoyed in those foods rich in the mineral.
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So it is ostrich-like behaviour in the extreme to assume you can take some medication later in life when your bones are starting to crumble; by then it is already too late.
The only option is prevention as most women who live to over seventy will be osteopaenic and a good few men too. That means regular exercise, and plenty of calcium in natural forms when you are much younger.
Starting at seventy may help but not prevent the disease.
Do not get sucked into the belief often peddled that you can only get adequate calcium from dairy products. Just a cup of spinach contains a quarter of your daily needs.
Spinach is also one of the good sources of riboflavin, or vitamin-B2. It is extremely important in the breakdown of homocysteine, a key risk factor in hip fracture. Others are dairy products, eggs and red meat. It is also produced by bacteria in those with a happy tum and diverse microbiome in the colon; for this reason we also recommend enjoying probiotic foods such as kefir on a regular basis.
According to Harvard a deficiency of riboflavin can lead to certain cancers.
I was astonished that my optician remarked recently that I must be enjoying a diet high in greens. How on earth did he know? Not a sign of cataracts or macular degeneration, said he. It is prevented by two important carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin that are richly found in your daily spinach.
Satiety reflects the notion behind having enjoyed an elegant sufficiency. More important perhaps no 11 o'clock feeling of being famished. It is snacking on carbs between meals that adds on the ounces that turn into pounds, which are then stored in all the wrong places.
Our Eggs Hilton might well seem weird, but if we miss out on our poached omelette on a foundation of fried onions, spinach and fresh green legumes, then we are famished long before lunch and start hunting for cookies or some such.
It is well researched that legumes supply that satiety and together with the benefits of spinach or kale, whatever is in season, they provide for us the perfect start to the day.
It does not take a great deal of effort in the garden to make sure that you have limas or broad beans, peas or your favourite legume in the garden throughout the year.
Choice foods for men is what gives women a realistic chance of escaping a long and lonely widowhood. One of the very important benefits of spinach is a probably unknown compound called betaine. Do not fuss about the complex biochemistry but a deficiency, and it is very common in the lousy Western diet, means serious chronic illness from heart disease to Alzheimer's.
Only if really interested, and wondering what is betaine, then read about it; in any case, if you are enjoying spinach regularly, you are home and dry.
If you steadfastly refuse to indulge in nutritious choice foods, just where are you planning to live after the big CA arrives?
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