What is Spinach
Spinach is a green, leafy plant having originated in Asia but today found in all parts of the world. Arab traders took the plant to India and China, and later to Europe and Americas. Spinach leaves and stem have long been eaten as a vegetable and the plant is considered a super food because of the presence of iron and vitamin A in high quantities. Spinach has been a subject of research for more than hundred years and scientists have been singing praises of the health benefits of the green plant since ages. One cartoon strip and the movie have its hero Popeye eat spinach to gain super strength to overcome obstacles and to beat his arch rival Bluto.
Do you know about SPIDES, or what it is? It stands for Spinach, Popeye, Iron, Decimal Error Story, and continued as a myth for very many years. It was in the last quarter of 19th century that scientist Professor Von Bunge carried out research on the iron content of spinach and misplaced a decimal point that continued to for long indicating presence of iron10 times its actual value for more than 50 years when the mistake was finally rectified. However, the myth served the purpose of popularizing spinach in the country as a very powerful food and its demand increased many times. Talking about Popeye the sailor man, created by E. C. Segar, he ate spinach in his fights against Bluto not for high iron content but for it high Vitamin A content that turned Popeye into a super hero.
Spinach is full of not just iron and vitamin A but also important minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamins like B2, and B6, copper, phosphorous, zinc etc. It is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids also, making it a super food for human beings. Boiling it was thought to be detrimental to its folate content but today, microwaving spinach is thought to be better as it saves entire folate content.
In warm countries like India, spinach is sold fresh but it is also sold frozen and in canned form in countries like US, Canada, Australia, and entire Europe. Spinach has been thought to provide muscle strength and the tests carried out on human beings and the research has corroborated this fact. Patients after surgeries are recommended spinach juice to regain muscle strength by doctors which reflects the super food status of spinach.
In the cartoon series Popeye the sailor man, Popeye has been shown a lean man who has a girlfriend in Olive Oyl. Bluto is another sailor who has eyes on Olive and tries to impress her to become his girlfriend. Popeye is often angry because of his endeavors and takes him on despite the fact that Bluto is double his size and is also more powerful than him. Spinach it is that comes to the rescue of Popeye who is shown gulping down the contents of cans of spinach every time he has to take on Bluto to save his girlfriend. Sweat pea is another character in the series whom many believe to be a son of Popeye.
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