“I am Popeye, the sailor man”…the pipe smoking dude was a dud in his earlier days. But wanna know how he transformed himself to a dude…spinach!!! Yes, whenever Popeye was bothered, he chows down a tin of spinach which is full of iron that helped him to grow biceps. This would help him tackle the problem or enemies, which bothered him.
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Yup, that’s a lie….but I know many would have believed it without getting the facts right. But this incident happened in 1981 when Dr. T J Hamblin mentioned in his article about Popeye, his iron and spinach. It shooted up the consumption of spinach to a very good extent that it does exists even today. Many parents try to motivate their kids into eating spinach by setting popeye as the role model.
You can read about the whole story here.
But yes, even though it was a fib, it did help many to change their perspective towards green veggies and move towards a healthy lifestyle. The benefits of the crunchy and crispy spinach are multifold which will infuse your body with rich nutrients and iron.
Grown in the central and southwest Asia, spinach leaves have good amount of vitamin C that protects the phytonutrients which gives the spinach its green and refreshing look. The “glycoclycerolipids”, recently found by health experts claim it has the power to safeguard the lining system of digestive tract thereby preventing any inflammation in the system. In fact, let’s have a look at top ten benefits that spinach carries.
Detoxifies the body
Ever wondered why the spinach is lively green? It’s because it contains chlorophyll that gives the leaves the color. Moreover, chlorophyll is much needed for your liver and colon to remove the toxins. Spinach comes with anti-inflammatory properties that prevents any inflammation in the body. The anti-bacterial properties of chlorophyll helps in combating any free radicals from entering the system.
If Popeye the sailor man story works for your kid, you might as well give it a try for building muscles yourselves. Of course, you need not take the help of this story but you sure can incorporate spinach regularly for building muscles. The key is Nitrates in spinach which makes the body cells and the muscles work smoothly without causing and disruption. In fact, nitrates can motivate mitochondria which are also known as the cell’s power producers.
Intake of Iron
What would you do with all the blood in the body if you don’t have the oxygen to carry it around? Iron is one of the vital components that is available in hemoglobin and helps in carrying out oxygen to different parts of the body.
If you are having iron deficiency, you may suffer from anemia that is lack of production of blood. It can throw the body to haywire and disrupt the normal routine. It is better to start including spinach in your diet. Also, iron is vital for maintaining healthy hair, nails and skin. Do you know that single cup of cooked spinach can give you 35% of iron that is required for daily use by the body.
Do you know that the leafy vegetables you consume contain nitrates? When you consume nitrated filled food, it will mix with the saliva giving us nitrites. This can help in improving the blood circulation and balancing the blood pressure levels by entering the bloodstream.
Plus, the green bodied spinach keeps your heart happy and glee with the potent antioxidants such as Vitamin C and beta-carotene protecting it perfectly.
Adios to Inflammation
The anti-inflammatory properties such as flavonoids and carotenoids in spinach can control conditions of inflammation such as arthritis, migraines, asthma etc.
Even the ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is known for its anti-inflammatory properties which is one of the main content in spinach.
Full of flavonoids and antioxidants, spinach is an enemy for cancer and many free radicals that attack the body and cause damage. A research found that carotenoids lutein, neoxanthin and zeaxanthin that are present in spinach will reduce the risk of various cancer types such as ovarian, prostate, endometrial etc.
A clinical study conducted by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found that regular consumption of spinach can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 44%. Even the effect of carcinogens that are found in cooked meat can be shunned by using spinach in your daily food.
Blood pressure levels
Leave the over the counter medications at the counter itself. Adapt the good habit of using spinach in your diet which will help you to lower your high blood pressure levels. How? Spinach contains good amount of potassium and a very low sodium content which will tackle your high blood pressure effectively. The antihypertensive spinach works with the antioxidants and peptides that can prove beneficial for your health.
Improvement in vision
Change the way you look towards the world by incorporating spinach in your food. No need for those glasses when you chow down spinach. The carotenoids in spinach improves your vision thereby reducing the chances of cataracts, macular degeneration etc.
Since spinach is not a calorie conscious food, you can make it part of your salad dressing topping it with olive oil to reap the best benefits.
We don’t use this when we fall in love…yes, brain (no pun intended). However, you need brain for thinking about it later and for running other parts of your body. Hence, it is essential that flavonoids be included in your body and what better way than adding spinach to your food which will raise the level of brain boosting molecules. It will inhibit any brain damage from free radicals. In fact, a research conducted on animals showed that there are many other positive effects of spinach which includes improving the knowledge and motor skills.
Gaining the bone capability
A good source of vitamin K, spinach prevents bone degeneration and maintains the calcium level of your bones. Osteoclasts that breaks down the bones can be reduced by consuming spinach that motivates the osteocalcin in the body.
Do you know a cup of raw spinach comes with 72 mg of vitamin K that contributes to around 91% of your much needed food.
In today’s fast lives, many people opt for frozen spinach or canned one are probably not the best options unless it is an emergency. Opt for fresh veggies which will give you promising results. Before you cook, make sure you wash all the leaves properly removing all the dirt and chemical fertilizers that can make a drastic impact on your life.
A good health reflects a positive mind and a strong spirit. Eating right is not an obligation towards your body it also calms your mind and soul. If you like creativity in your life, you can always put in new ideas by making finger licking recipes. Since I am a vegan, I am giving you top five spinach recipes for your reference.
Simple Spanish Green Salad
The calorie free factor makes this dish quite popular. The chef adds different types of lettuce – romaine and boston mixing it up with ripe tomatoes that adds both flavor and a great color combo that gives a visual touch to your salad. To top it up with a dressing, the chef adds black pepper, olive oil, lemon juice freshly squeezed and sea salt.
Spicy Spinach with sunflower seeds
This dish is best recommended who are a fan of spicy foods but at the same time cannot help but ponder over their health. By the name itself, you know that the two base ingredients are sunflower seeds and spinach, but here is the hidden additional ingredient, Jamaican jerk spice which is a hot spice mixture that can literally burn your tongue.
Avocado & Spinach Salad with Pine Nuts
If you prefer a tangy taste for your tongue, then this is heaven for you. You need baby spinach completely dried with avocado sliced neatly and around ¼ cup pine nuts toasted gently on frying pan. With lemon juice, pepper and olive oil, you can imagine the salad is something that will test your taste buds.
Blueberry Spinach Smoothie
Alaska’s favorite, this smoothie needs to be swallowed slowly relishing each and every sip generously. You can use any type of milk you want such as cow milk, coconut milk or almond milk. A tinge of vanilla flavor coffee creamer will work wonders. Drop in the blender frozen fruits such as banana, strawberries, blueberries along with rich and fresh spinach leaves. Use honey instead of sugar and enjoy your smoothie.
Spinach Garlic Yogurt
A Yogurt with a twist, this can be a delicious challenge. The chef uses garlic, cilantro and spinach chopping them finely and throwing it lavishly to the yogurt. Make sure to squeeze spinach enough to remove excess water from it. It tastes great when it is chilled.
Now that you know how Spinach works in your body, it is about time you make it part of your daily life. This means even you can become like Popeye just by munching on a few leaves everyday. We do recommend consulting your doctor if you are using blood thinners so as to exempt any side effects.