Introduction and a little history
Spinach is said to come from Persia. It would first have been cultivated regularly when the Graeco-Roman civilisation was in power. It was introduced to Spain in 1100, and then in the 14th century across Europe, but not until 500 years ago was it introduced to England and France.
It is unsure whether it came to Europe when the Moors introduced it to Spain or whether it came from China. The oldest mention of Spinach is an old Chinese record written in A. D. 647 which names it the ‘herb of Persia’.
Popeye and Spinach
It was in 1929 that the cartoon ‘Popeye’ first became popular with its protagonist a cartoon sailor who consumed spinach by the tin full and got instant and spectacular muscle boosts from it.
However, the idea that Spinach contains enormous amounts of iron, and is good for building healthy blood and a strong body is ill-founded.
Funnily enough this belief came from an error by a researcher who placed the decimal point in the wrong place when analysing spinach. Therefore propagated inaccurate and misleading information as to the iron content of the vegetable.
That does not matter however, because spinach has plenty more beneficial elements to offer as outlined below.
The King of Vegetables (according to many health writers)
So, it’s not what it’s cracked up to be as promoted by Popeye, but it does have many benefits.
Research shows that this dark green vegetable is one of the richest sources of carotenoids, in particular beta-carotene and also a carotenoid pigment known as lutein. These compounds are potent antioxidants.
They protect the membrane of healthy cells so that oxygen harmful free radicals do not get the chance to precipitate cell mutation and inhibit their normal function. This is particularly useful for lung health, giving smokers a certain level of protection if they regularly consume this and related green leafy vegetables.
It is not only the many carotenoids, but also the abundant chlorophyll which makes spinach such a useful beneficial food. Tests in Italy comparing spinach to carrot, cauliflower, lettuce and strawberry proved spinach to be the most successful at preventing cell mutations when tested against harmful nitrosamines*.
Spinach (specifically its juice**) has been shown to help in cases of anaemia, due not only to the iron, but also folic acid and chlorophyll which are also useful for blood building and haemoglobin formation.
Spinach is an excellent source of many beneficial amino acids. Spinach is also useful for other deficiency ailments owing to its vitamins (specifically A, B, C and E) and various minerals – potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and small amounts of iodine, nickel and cobalt, in addition to the iron.
Due to this rich content of nutrients spinach juice is very useful for people convalescing from illness and for others who are generally weak or not able to eat normally. Its influence on digestion and the action of the intestines further supports its value in such situations. Spinach additionally provides useful amounts of dietary fibre.
Spinach source Note – it is important to select organic spinach (available in nearly all supermarkets) as recent food surveys found that over 75% of spinach analysed were shown to contain traces of pesticides.
Organically grown spinach does not contain any pesticides or herbicides.
The Beneficial Health Nutrients of Spinach have been shown in research to:
• Spinach helps to reduce Hypotension and provides additional benefits for the Cardiovascular System
• Spinach provides nutrients that are beneficial for our eyes and vision helping to prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration ARMD)
• Nutrients in Spinach help to prevent the development of Cataracts and may retard the development of Cataracts
• Spinach contains specific nutrients that have been found can block the formation of many forms of Malignant Cell Mutations
• Spinach contains specific nutrients that have been found to help lower Cholesterol
With regard to Spinach and Pregnancy
• Spinach is useful for pregnant women as it has been seen to help prevent Spina bifida.
• Babies as young as 1 year can usually tolerate small amounts of spinach juice.
• In order to get as much benefit from the iron in spinach it should be eaten with Vitamin C rich foods, as vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron. In this case you might want to try putting lemon juice on spinach.
** The quantity of spinach to be juiced needs only to be in small quantities, as a guide the amount of spinach normally consumed as leaf spinach with a meal
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NOTE: The information in this document is not intended to replace orthodox medical treatment. The information offered in this document is offered as additional complimentary information.