The power of spinach in a healthy diet
For many years, nutritionists and mothers have known about the awesome power of spinach and its importance to a healthy diet. After all, there is a reason your mother always encouraged you to eat your spinach, and Popeye can certainly attest to the awesome power of this food.
Spinach is packed full of such important nutrients as vitamin C, calcium and beta carotene. In addition, spinach is one of the richest plant sources of iron, and it should be part of a healthy diet for everyone, from the youngest child to the oldest adult.
The benefits of spinach
One of the most significant benefits of spinach in the diet is that it is a very rich source of insoluble fiber. Most Americans eat a diet that is deficient in fiber, and this lack of fiber can lead to a number of serious medical complications, including stomach problems, intestinal issues and even some forms of cancer.
The insoluble fiber contained in spinach has also been associated with protecting the heart and other vital organs from damage. In addition to the value of spinach as a possible heart diseases fighter, recent studies have shown real promise in using spinach as a cancer fighter. The nutrients and fiber in spinach are thought to provide protection against such common cancer killers as breast cancer and lung cancer.
Spinach and cancer protection
One reason for this strong cancer fighting ability is the high level of vitamin E contained in this delicious vegetable. Vitamin E has long been thought to provide protection against cancer, and the high levels of vitamin E in spinach make it one of the best sources of this strong antioxidant vitamin.
Spinach is also a rich source of lutein and zeaxanthin. These substances are important carotenoids, and like the other well known carotenoid, beta carotene, they are excellent antioxidants, which help to protect the body from the effects of free radicals and cell breakdown.
Finding the best spinach
Another great thing about spinach is that it is easy to buy, available virtually everywhere, and quite reasonable in price. Fresh spinach is available in just about every supermarket and grocery store chain, and it is available for a significant portion of the year in most parts of the country.
In addition to its availability, spinach is quite reasonably priced compared to many other common fruits and vegetables. Spinach can even be grown in the home garden quite easily, as it grows quite well in many areas of the country.
Whether you choose store bought spinach or buy your own, however, it is important to select the greenest and healthiest looking spinach for your recipes. It is also important to not cook spinach longer than necessary, as some of the vital nutrients can be lost through overcooking or excessive heat. It is best to quickly steam the spinach to preserve its nutritional value.
With all the benefits spinach has to offer, it is surprising that more people do not enjoy this wonderful food. Spinach is versatile, and it can be used in a wide variety of recipes, from soups to salads, from side dishes to main courses. There is a reason why spinach has such a reputation as a health food; it seems that the reputation is more than deserved.