The health benefits of spinach are legion. Even Popeye survived and flourished on 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.
It is rich in folate, potassium and lutein for your eyes.
This page was last updated by Dr Bernard Preston on 17th August, 2019.
Reviewed by Dr Jane Ackerman, DC.
First and foremost, eaten daily, it provides a healthy 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, 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 in your diet has profound effects on the coronary blood vessels; it helps them to relax and dilate, reducing the chance of heart attack my a massive fifty percent; it is one of the great health benefits of spinach, one of the richest sources.
Are you suffering from osteoporosis? Think spinach. More important, think 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 cancer that kills men. And even more than broccoli, the queen of prevention, spinach ranks as the only green that gives protection.
And how about your own bowels? Chronic inflammation of the intestine, with it's most awkward and nasty unexpected diarrhoea, is helped by certain specific nutrients in spinach.
Health benefits of spinach with garlic and onions makes great eggs Florentine.
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 in your every day health such as bone strength, blood pressure, health of your heart, blood vessels and eyes. Ignore them at your peril; you will not get adequate amounts on a black and white diet.
They also contain surprisingly large amounts of protein and the healthy low GI carbs that are not fattening; in short they are good food for you and your children, and your mother; she might be on the lethal tea and toast diet.
You walk into the green grocer 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 creature.
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 untouched 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 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 good stuff.
In short, the authors of Popeye were not far 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 chiropractor. Spinach won't grow when the temperature is ten below.
In short then, the health benefits of spinach abound. Easy to grow, wonderful in many dishes, protection against many cancers and constipation, this is a vegetable that we should all be eating regularly. No exaggeration, we eat and enjoy spinach almost every day of the week, 52 weeks in the year from these two little patches. More have been planted and will be in production by spring.
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 health 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 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 health 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 the 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 health benefits of spinach is 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.
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.
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's 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 health 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 health 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 healthy choice foods, just where are you planning to live after the big CA arrives?
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