Popeye was right. You’ll be strong to the finish if you eat your spinach!
When I was a kid the sight of spinach was less than appealing. I was of the mindset that if it was green, it couldn’t possibly taste good. Today spinach is one of my very favorite foods. As a parent of a child who also believes that if it is green it must not be good, my trick has been to add spinach to his morning smoothies. The taste of his favorite flavors remains unchanged, and he will benefit from its many fantastic healthy properties. One day I am sure that it will be among his favorite foods too.
It is important to choose organic spinach, as it is listed consistently listed as one of the most pesticide-contaminated, fruits and vegetables, according to an analysis of U.S. government data. The many health benefits of spinach should not be compromised by pesticides, so look for an organic version at a store, local farm, or CSA near you. We also do quite a bit of frozen spinach in my home, adding it to smoothies on a regular basis.
12 Reasons Why You Should Eat Spinach Regularly
Known as a nutritional powerhouse, spinach is loaded with calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B, Vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, fiber, and folate. Need I say any more??
Tasty and healthy, spinach is a terrific choice for people who:
Are trying to lose weight.
It has been found that spinach can reduce hunger and cravings by encouraging the release of satiety hormones. Eating spinach can also reduce the cravings many people experience for unhealthy foods. Less hunger and fewer cravings? Pass the spinach, please!
Don’t want to get sick.
Green vegetables are vital for a fully functioning immune system to help fight off those germs and illnesses. They ensure that immune cells in both the gut and the skin are functioning optimally.
Have high blood pressure.
The same food cravings study mentioned above also found that people who eat spinach are less likely to crave salty foods too. Fewer salty foods contributes to lower blood pressure and a healthier heart.
Are into fitness.
Want a better workout? Eat your spinach! Studies show the people who eat spinach need to consume less oxygen while exercising. Less oxygen used means more cardiovascular efficiency in your workout and more stamina too.
Want quicker reflexes.
That Popeye was so darn smart! Spinach can make your reflexes sharper. Believe it or not, studies show that drivers who have recently eaten tyrosine-rich foods, such as spinach and eggs, are able to stop faster than drivers who have not.
Hope to protect their eyes.
Most people think of carrots for eye health, but spinach is a key player too. Spinach is rich in lutein, which is thought to help protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. Along with eaxanthin, lutein can also help prevent cataracts and boost eye health. If you have weak eyes, poor eyesight or a history of eye disease, add spinach to your regular meals.
Have trust issues.
Seriously! Yes, it may sound silly, but spinach contains tryptophan, and studies have shown that trust in others increases after eating food that are rich in tryptophan. Do you trust me on that one? Well, you should!
Have a history of type 2 diabetes.
Spinach can help in lowering your blood sugar levels. In fact, eating one and a half extra servings of green leafy vegetables such as spinach each day reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Want to keep their mental abilities sharp.
Spinach is rich in vitamin K, which has been proven to slow cognitive decline. Studies show that people who consume green leafy vegetables have a significant decrease in their rate of cognitive decline. I don’t know about you, but I sure am going to put up a fight against losing my mind if I can help it.
Have weak stomachs.
The many spinach health benefits include keeping your stomach healthy. The nitrates found in organic spinach are known protect the stomach, which reduces the risk of problems such as gastric ulcers and gastrointestinal damage.
Want to increase male fertility.
Couples going through fertility will do just about anything to make sure that their bodies are working optimally. (I know this from personal experience.) It turns out that oxidative stress can affect semen quality, but molecules present in foods such as citrus fruits, peppers and spinach have shown to lower those levels and improve sperm quality.
Don’t want cancer.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that if you load up on spinach you won’t ever get cancer, though consuming it sure can be helpful. Studies have shown that eating spinach may help protect against prostate cancer, skin cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer. That’s a lot of cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research has said that one of the top foods containing carotenoids that “probably protect against cancers of the mouth, pharynx and larynx” is spinach. Healthy, tasty and reduces the likelihood of getting cancer? Excuse me while I go to the store to buy more spinach.
You see, that Popeye fella really did know what he was talking about. The health benefits of spinach are really undeniable. So be strong to the finish and go eat your spinach!
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