Everyone probably remembers the well-known sailor named Popeye, who rescued the young lady not without eating a whole can of spinach first. Although it was a cartoonish representation of the matter, the truth is that spinach contains important health benefits and recent research found that the nitrites it contains contribute to its resistance, which is why spinach is ideal for the muscles.
The Spinacia oleracea, its scientific name, is a plant whose life cycle lasts one year, grows up to 30 centimetres and its origin dates back to Persia, from where it spread to India and later to China. The Saracens in their invasions of Europe introduced the plant in Spain and Italy, from where it reached Germany, England and France and then reached the coasts of the whole world.
There are three varieties of spinach: the savoy or curly, which is the most popular, the smooth leaf and the baby, which is a variety of smooth leaf harvested in its early development. The cooking method is very important in maintaining the nutrients in any of these. It should be boiled for a very short time, maximum one minute, and then removed from the heat. Although there are recipes in which they cook for a longer time, which gives them different flavors, the truth is that most of their properties and nutrients are lost with a long exposure to heat.
If properly cooked, spinach is rich in vitamin A, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and antioxidants. It also has remarkable concentrations of vitamin C, E and K, as well as vitamins of group B and folic acid. These compounds are associated, on the one hand, with the protection of the stomach mucosa, the improvement of eye diseases and, due to their flavonoids, carotenoids and high potassium content, they contribute significantly to brain health, especially by limiting the development of diseases. neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. Likewise, spinach has an exceptional triplet for bone health: vitamin K, calcium and magnesium.
Spinach has earned a place in the hearts of adults and children due to the effects of eating this plant in the Popeye cartoon, however this did not mean that its consumption was accepted by all because its flavor was not very well received in some children and even adults not used to consume this fruit. By not having the habit of consuming it, it became a little more difficult for this to enter the common diet of people, but as a result of the discoveries of its benefits for the body, it has gradually crept into diets.
Although the benefits of spinach will not give you super-powers or make you stronger instantly, it will bring and provide your body with many benefits that in the long term will have a positive impact on your health. The vitamins C, E and K as well as vitamins of group B and folic acid, calcium and magnesium are indispensable for the proper functioning of the body and long term lets feeling healthier.
10 benefits of spinach that you cannot miss
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea), is a wonderful leafy green vegetable often recognized as one of the most functional foods. Its tender and crispy dark green leaves are one of the favourite ingredients of chefs around the planet.
Spinach grows to about 12 inches. Tall. Although it can be grown year-round, its fresh vegetables are best available shortly after the winter season from March to May in the Northern Hemisphere, and from September to November in the southern equator.
- Rich nutritional value
The nutritional value of spinach indicates that it is a very nutrient-rich food. It is low in calories but very rich in vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients. When you eat this healthy food, you don't have to worry about your weight loss diet while enjoying its abundant nutrients.
This green leafy vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folic acid, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium and vitamin B6. Spinach is a very good source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, dietary fiber, and copper. In addition, it is a good source of selenium, niacin, and omega 3 fatty acids.
- Easy to get and grow
One of the benefits of spinach is that this great green vegetable is readily available almost everywhere in the world. Even though its abundant nutrient profile sounds like an amazing superfood, it's still easy to find on the market or easy to grow. Plus, it is affordable.
- Spinach is a versatile food
It can be eaten raw in salads (and it is much more nutritious than iceberg lettuce) or in a spinach smoothie. Or it can be cooked (very lightly) and eaten alone or added to soups and other dishes. If you eat it boiled, use as little water as possible for the shortest time.
- Contains flavonoids - anticancer substances
Spinach is loaded with flavonoids that act as antioxidants, protecting the body from free radicals. Researchers have discovered at least 13 different flavonoid compounds that act as anti-cancer substances. The various nutrients offer a lot in the way of protection from disease.
Do you remember Popeye? I would squeeze those cans of spinach in my mouth and instantly build muscle and super strength. Well, he could also have been protecting himself against various diseases and conditions.
- Spinach is healthy for the heart
Another one of the health benefits of spinach is that it is a heart healthy food. It is an excellent source of vitamins C and A, which are antioxidants that help reduce the number of free radicals in the body. Antioxidants work to prevent cholesterol from oxidizing. Additionally, folic acid is good for a cardiovascular health system, as well as magnesium, which is a mineral that helps lower high blood pressure.
- Excellent for intestinal health
Gastrointestinal health may be vigilant by eating more spinach. Beta-carotene and vitamin C work to protect colon cells from the harmful effects of free radicals. Also, DNA damage and mutations in colon cells can be prevented by the folate that is present in this green leafy vegetable.
- Spinach has anti-inflammatory properties
Some conditions that are identified as inflammatory, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, migraine, and asthma, can be helped due to the anti-inflammatory properties of some of the nutrients found in spinach.
- Benefits brain health
Studies have shown that consuming green leafy vegetables like spinach can slow the age-related decline in brain function. So, eat your spinach and keep working the crosswords to keep your brain young and agile.
- Protects eye health
Have you heard of lutein? It is a carotenoid found in spinach that protects against eye diseases such as age-related cataracts and macular degeneration. There are some indications that it might be better absorbed if eaten with a little fat, such as a sauce made with tahini, or from foods you are eating that may contain a little fat.
- Spinach contains iron
Iron mineral is especially important for menstruating women and growing children and adolescents. Compared to red meat, spinach provides far fewer calories, is free of fat and cholesterol, and is an excellent source of iron. Because iron is a component of hemoglobin that carries oxygen to all cells in the body, it is necessary for good energy.
Spinach precautions and considerations
These are 10 wonderful benefits of spinach. However, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Some people are allergic to spinach.
- Spinach is one of the foods that is high in pesticides, so it is important to eat organic spinach if you can.
- The oxalates in spinach can interfere with calcium absorption, as well as potentially crystallize it. People who have kidney or gallbladder problems may need to be more careful about eating this vegetable.
- It is possible that it can interfere with the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, although cooked it can reduce goitrogenic compounds.
- People who are prone to gout can be affected by the purines in this food.
You've been working hard to follow a healthy, low-calorie diet and improve your exercise habits, and your reward has been watching your weight go down and feeling better. Now, however, for no reason you can identify, the scale has stopped budging. You've hit a weight-loss plateau. Don't get discouraged. It's normal for weight loss to slow and even stall. By understanding what causes a weight-loss plateau, you can decide how to respond and avoid backsliding on your new healthy habits.