You Got to eat your Spinach Baby!!
I make a lot of green smoothies for myself and my family. They are so delicious and good for you. Recently, I had a homework assignment to research the benefits of green leafy vegetables for my juicing club. I was astounded by the nutritional benefits! So much so, I decided to post my findings and do a three part series on super greens. Here is the first part of the series on spinach.
Spinach is nature’s #1 source of Alpha Lipoic Acid, a potent antioxident and cancer fighter. It helps stabilize blood sugar levels, helps prevent heart attacks and cataracts and plays an anti-aging role by preserving mental function. In other words, spinach is good for your heart, your brain, and your vision!
Spinach contains polyphenols (a group of phytonutrients) that are:
They are powerful protectors of Cardio-vascular health, immune system enhancers, pain relievers, cancer preventers, and more.
Spinach also contains nature’s most potent source of Cartenoid Antioxidants: Lutein, which forms part of the lense and retina in the human eye, and Zeaxanthin. These are powerful fighters against cataracts and macular degeneration.
Spinach contains the recently discovered Co-Enzyme Q10, which is mostly found in animal meats. There are only 2 known sources in vegetables, spinach and broccoli. Co-Enzyme Q10 is found in every cell of the body. It helps convert food into energy and is a powerful anti-oxidant.
Now listen up all you Vegetarians out there. The next time your meat eater friends give you a hard time, let them know that Spinach contains 6 grams of protein per cup, the richest source of protein of all plant foods. One cup provides 12% of your recommended daily requirements. How do you think Popeye got all those muscles?!
Vitamins and Minerals found in Spinach:
- Vitamin A – Helps the skin, eyes, throat, nose, lungs, digestive & urinary tract fight off infection.
- Beta-Carotene- One of richest sources besides carrots. Body converts into Vitamin A in the liver & intestines.
- Vitamin B1 – Thiamine. Converts glucose into muscular & nerve energy.
- Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin. Maintenance & repair of mucous membranes and body tissues.
- Vitamin B3 – Niacin. Healthy brain & nervous system.
- Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid. Nourishes nervous system.
- Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine. Manufactures brain chemicals, blood formation and energy production.
- Vitamin Bc – Folate. Helps prevent birth defects and essential for blood formation and transmission of genetic code.
- Vitamin C – Keeps the immune system strong, protects your body from infection, and quicken’s the body’s ability to repair wounds.
- Vitamin E – Reduces cholesterol and thins blood by preventing blood platelets from clumping in arteries.
- Vitamin K – Ensures healthy bones and helps you maintain healthy blood clotting.
Spinach also contains moderate amounts of Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium, Sodium, and Zinc.
Wow! How do we even survive without eating spinach? Now here are some easy ways to add more spinach into your diet!
- Add chopped spinach to an omelette
- Saute with a little Olive Oil and fresh garlic
- Green Smoothie of course! (Go to my favorites page for an easy delicious recipe)
- Top spinach with feta cheese, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and an olive oil/balsmic vinegar dressing.
If you would like to do more research on the benefits of spinach check out these websites: http://www.livestrong.com, GreenMedInfo, http://www.nutrition-and-you.com.