This green-leaf vegetable originates in the Middle East. Traders brought it to Europe over a thousand years ago, and it has been a favorite food source ever since. Some people will instantly associate spinach with the Popeye the Sailor Man cartoon character. Popeye became a firm children's favorite in the mid-twentieth century. Since Popeye's superhuman strength came from eating spinach, the cartoon became a very effective sales campaign for the vegetable. Children who would otherwise have left spinach on their plate became eager to eat their share. While adults realize that spinach cannot transform anyone into a superhero, it is a rich source of nourishment and has many medicinal applications.
It is a challenge to find other plants that can compete with spinach in terms of the range of valuable vitamins and minerals they contain. For example, spinach is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, and iron. It also serves as an excellent source of vitamins A, B6 and C and niacin and folate. This is far from a complete least of all the important elements that spinach brings to healthy bodies. Another significant fact about spinach is that it has a very low amount of fat.
The cartoons illustrate how eating spinach causes Popeye to develop huge muscles on his arms. The physical transformation of spinach eaters lacks this drama in real life, but the cartoonist's association between spinach and muscle building is not simply a whim of fancy. Spinach contains a compound called Factor C0-Q10 that has muscle-strengthening properties. This could help those arm muscles develop, but scientists find that it is especially beneficial for the heart muscles. C0-Q10 is already in use for certain heart disease treatments.
If you ask people to name a vegetable that is good for eyesight, the carrot is the one they are most probably going to mention. Folk tradition contains the belief that carrots help you see in the dark, but maybe spinach has comparable properties. Researchers have discovered that it contains lutein and other elements that protect against vision loss. There is scientific evidence that eating spinach can stop the progress of the Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) that damages the vision of the over 60's age group.
Diet changes can lower the chance of stomach ulcers. Spinach is one of several vegetables that someone who often suffers from stomach ulcers ought to start eating regularly. It includes compounds that guard the stomach's mucous membrane against damage, and this reduces the possibility of getting an ulcer. Spinach eaters also benefit because its glycoglycerolipid chemicals help to toughen the lining of the digestive tract and this reduces the risks of getting inflammations in this area.
The improvement in living standards across the western world has brought a range of new health problems in its wake, and the obesity issue is climbing higher up this list. While many recognize the need to diet, it is a challenge to make healthy meal plans while keeping weight down. Spinach is an ideal food for someone in this position. It is extremely low in fat and calorie content, but it is also packed full of nutrition.
A lack of iron in the blood leads to people becoming anemic. Those who develop this condition feel drained of energy, and they frequently suffer from headaches and dizziness. Women during the menstrual cycle and young people are amongst the most at risk. Doctors acknowledge that spinach provides a valuable source of iron. Some recommend eating red meat to boost iron but eating spinach has many health advantages over getting iron from red meat — spinach is low in fat, and it lacks cholesterol content.
People have vainly sought for thousands of years an elixir of life to keep them young looking. Nobody claims that eating spinach enables a fifty-year-old to maintain the appearance of a twenty-year-old, but it does possess some anti-aging properties. The generous amounts of antioxidants in a portion of spinach improve the body's capabilities to resist the attacks of free radical compounds against cell tissue. Thus it is possible to protect the skin against aging damage and retain a more youthful appearance that little bit longer.
The nutrients and antioxidants derived from eating spinach have a key role in maintaining hair condition. In particular, its calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium minerals combine with vitamins B, C, and E to promote hair growth. The boost to iron levels also removes one of the more common hair loss causes. Also, spinach helps combat hair loss because its folate content enables the body to produce more red blood cells, and the iron ensures a good oxygen supply to these cells.
A connection between eating spinach and relieving arthritis sufferings does not automatically spring to mind, but studies of its inflammatory properties show how it has this potential benefit. Scientists have detected over twelve anti-inflammatory materials in the vegetable. Few vegetables match the powers of spinach in this area. Natural medicine experts state that besides easing arthritic and gout pains, it protects the heart from inflammation, and might even have a role in cancer prevention.
Pregnant women do well to include spinach in their diet. Spinach supplies folate that is essential for normal fetal development. Spina bifida and other serious congenital disabilities sometimes develop due to a lack of folate. Spinach also benefits women through its high vitamin A content. This vitamin aids fetal lung development. Even after birth, it makes sense to continue to add spinach to meals because babies can also receive vitamin A via breastfeeding.
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