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May 13, 2009
In our childhood, my brother was crazy for Popeye the Sailor Man known for his love to spinach which makes him physically stronger. I have to say that our mom used to take advantage of this situation and was making us eat a lot of spinach. She used to cook a special chicken wrapped in spinach leaves and very delicious spinach soups. It is easy to guess that after this “extensive treatment” I am not much of a spinach lover. But it is impossible to deny great nutritional value of this miraculous vegetable.
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is one of the most useful and delicious green vegetables, a flowering plant from the family of Amaranthaceae. It originates from ancient Persia and for more than 15 centuries it has been used in many cuisines of the world as a component for salads, souses, omelets and other meals. In the Middle Ages, spinach leaves were used with sugar and known for the property of spinach to open the bowels. Spinach was the most favorite food of Catherine de Medici. In our times, this leafy vegetable is very popular since it can be combined with a great number of other foods and is very easy to cultivate.
100 g of spinach has 23 kCal, 92.3 g water, 3.6 g carbohydrate, 2.3 g proteins, 0.6 g dietary fiber and 0.4 g fats. Spinach is a rich source of calcium and iron, Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E and K. It contains potassium, folate, magnesium, manganese, cooper, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, dietary fiber, tryptophan, folic acid and omega-3 fatty acid, as well as great amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids. For decades, spinach was mistakenly considered to be the richest natural source of iron. In the nineteenth century, Dr. E. von Wolf was recording the results of his study and misplaced a decimal point in his writing. His records were indicating that 100 g of spinach contain 35 mg of iron. Only in 1937 the information was questioned by the German chemists, who fond out that there are only 3.5 mg of iron in 100 g of spinach.
Only a cup of boiled spinach a day can provide you with great amounts of nutrients and useful elements. Those people who eat spinach regularly have very strong bones and quite low risks of developing such diseases as osteoporosis, arthritis and others. Due to the high content of Vitamins A and C, regular consumption of spinach guarantees everyone an excellent cardiovascular protection, healthy levels of good cholesterol, proper functioning of bowels and colon, strong blood vessels and low risks of having a stroke, a heart attack or other related serious health problem. According to a research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, the peptides contained in spinach have positive effects on blood pressure.
Besides, spinach can boost our mental function, improve our motor skills and learning abilities. According to the specialists from the National Institute of Aging, spinach is one of the most effective leafy vegetables which can postopne aging and cognitive decline due to the high content of Vitamin E. Spinach can improve our eyesight and give us lots of energy and vitality due to the high content of iron. Finally, this vegetable should be a regular guest on the tables of modern men and women since it has perfect properties to lower the risks of having prostate cancer (due to the high content of carotenoids) and ovarian cancers (due to the high content of flavonoids).Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.