Popeye did not teach the world to eat spinach. He taught us to eat canned food. Luckily we know now that you can get sick of canned food by oxidation of metals. Chemical reactions with the plastic coating cause bisphenol A to create a new danger for health. Healthy minded people turn away from cans and eat fresh food. Fresh spinach of today is much more tasteful and healthy than canned spinach from the fifties of the last century.
Spinach deserves its place in the top 10 of most healthy vegetables. 180 gram of spinach, the amount you eat in one meal, is enough for 1110% of the RDA of vitamin K. In the same amount, there is 377% for the RDA of vitamin A. Furthermore it contains 65% of the RDA of folic acid. It is a great source of vitamins B2, C, B6, E and the minerals manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, and copper. A study shows it is a great source of bio-available magnesium.
Oxidative stress reducing vegetable
All the nutrients together have proven to reduce oxidative stress. Many western diseases like obesity, diabetes type 2, cardiovascular diseases and cancer are related to oxidative stress. There is tryptophan in spinach. This substance triggers the making of serotonin, the happiness hormone. So we need spinach badly to keep us from misery.
Lowers cancer risk
Eating this delicious vegetable lowers cancer risk, especially the risk for prostate cancer. This is mainly because of the high percentages of omega 3 and omega 6 fats in this leafy vegetable. Nobel Prize winner and scientist Otto Warburg did research from 1925 till 1965 about this subject, and he found out that a shortage of omega 3 sets the conditions to develop cancer tumors. When you are interested and want to read the scientific background about this not widely accepted a vision of omega 3 and cancer, you can read the book ´The hidden story about Cancer´ by Brian Peskin. Spinach has been acknowledged as a potential anti-cancer agent by scientists.
A, C and E
Vitamin A, C, and E help to build up the immune system or life energy which is maybe a better concept. The natural vitamins work for humans, in contrast to synthetic vitamins. Natural vitamins have a synergetic effect which means: their effect is stronger by the presence of each other and all other flavonoids in vegetables.
Vitamin K is good to build up your bones. It is also a substance that stops dementia and Alzheimer from developing. Vitamin K is a major important vitamin for the brain. Together with calcium, vitamin K is responsible for osteocalcin production which is the main process in building bones. This leafy vegetable contains a whole lot of vitamin K. Therefore eating spinach is a good way to prevent osteoporosis. Research from 2005 shows that this leafy vegetable work as a neuroprotective agent. In the same study also spirulina and blueberries showed neuroprotective properties. To make vitamin K better bio-available, it is advised to eat it together with real butter, coconut cream or other fatty foods.
Pepsin and pepsin-pancreatin in spinach have blood pressure lowering properties. These substances control enzyme reactions in the body which in the end take care of lower blood pressure. More well known is the effect of pepsin to help digestion. Synthesized pepsin is a component of some expensive supplement formulas. Spinach provides you with enough pepsin for one meal.
How do you benefit medicinally from spinach?
Don´t boil spinach too long! 5 minutes is more than enough. When you make a mash of potatoes, you can put a fine cut, raw leaves in them to make a traditional Dutch spinach mash or spine ie-stamppot. It´s a great idea to top up your sandwich with some fresh leaves. You may add the leaves to a salad and enjoy your medicine!!
- Neurprotective: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15817266
- Against oxidative stress: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3999804/
- Source of magnesium: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8926539
- Bisphenol A: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2774166/
- Vitamin K bones: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3321262/
- Natural vitamin vs synthetic: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3847730/
- Cancer: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16081275