The Nutritional Value of Spinach
Spinach is a green leafy plant eaten as a vegetable in all parts of the world for its high nutritional value. It is considered to be a powerhouse of strength and energy and a rich source of minerals and vitamins. So beneficial is spinach in all forms and dishes that the plant that originated in west Asia sand taken to all parts of the world from there is today not only sold fresh but also sold in frozen and canned forms to increase its shelf life. We all know how Popeye the sailor man gulps down a can of spinach before his fight with Bluto to gain muscle power and strength.
Popeye was right. Eating spinach does improve one’s strength and muscle power though not to the levels shown in the cartoon film that has been so popular for the last so many years. There have been lots of researches done on this green vegetable and till now, it was the high iron content in spinach that was considered as the reason of it being called a super food. But latest researches have found that its property of providing strength is due to the presence of inorganic nitrate.
Volunteers in the study were given nitrate in the amount they would get from a plate of spinach, and the scientists observed that their need for oxygen was reduced while their muscle performance increased. These scientists are of the view that this finding could explain the health benefits of fruits and vegetables as much remains unclear as to what is the mechanism behind such benefits.
The benefits of spinach keep on unfolding even though mankind thought enough research has been done on this miracle of a food item. Even the creator of the cartoon film Popeye may not have an inkling of what this amazing super food could do while associating spinach with the central character playing the role of a sailor man. Popeye’s girlfriend is seen troubled by another sailor Bluto who happens to be twice the size of our lean hero. However, with the help of spinach, Popeye easily overcomes the strength of Bluto and saves his girlfriend.
The inorganic nitrate that has been found to be responsible for the super strength of spinach interacts with bacteria found inside our mouth producing nitric acid. Nitric acid molecule has been found to help in lowering blood pressure.
E.C Segar, the creator of Popeye the sailor man, did not know much about the health benefits of spinach except its high vitamin A content. But the way Popeye got transformed to perform seemingly impossible tasks after gulping down cans of spinach made spinach very popular in the country and its consumption increased manifold. Talking of Popeye, did you know that there is a little baby in the cartoon comic strip called sweet pea? Many wrongly think of the little baby born of Popeye and Olive Oyl, his girlfriend.
Popeye or not, the fact remains that spinach is a super food with lots of health benefits and needs to be popularized further to fight various diseases and malnutrition.
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