Where is Popeye Today to Inspire People to Increase Spinach Consumption
There are very few cartoon characters being so ungainly and still popular even after 75 years of their launch as Popeye the sailor man. It is hard to imagine how a short, thin, almost ugly bald sailor loving an even uglier looking thin and tall girl like Olive Oyl could be so appealing to so many people around the world. May be it has to do with the rustic charm of Popeye and his courage to take on the might of Bluto, another sailor who is double his size, to save his girlfriend from being harassed. Popeye’s honesty, innocence and love for Olive capture his essence that is so very endearing to readers of this comic strip that is celebrating its diamond jubilee. The creator of the character, E. C. Segar, has shown spinach as his source of muscle strength and power and Popeye just gulps down a can of spinach before taking on Bluto or when he is trying a difficult physical task. Believe it or not, the consumption of spinach went up manifold in the country as this comic strip and later its animated version became popular in US.
In these times when getting foods with high nutritional value has become difficult and we are grappling with problems of pollution and adulteration, spinach comes across as a breath of fresh air with its abundance of vitamins, minerals, and other health benefits for us. It is a green leafy plant that is easily available in all parts of the world and much more powerful than the so called health supplements available in the market. After all, why not make use of abundantly available supplies of the super food called spinach than waster time and money on health supplements that are just making tall claims and giving us not much. Spinach has more nutrients per calorie or serving than many others combined. The earliest scientific research carried out on iron content of spinach actually made a bad mistake of making use of iron bowl to cook spinach and returned results that proclaimed 10 times more iron that was there in spinach. This mistake was realized only 50 years later and termed as bad science practice. Still, the iron content in spinach remained too high to be very beneficial for human beings, giving them muscle power and strength just like Popeye got in the comic strip Popeye the sailor man. Eating spinach, Popeye even saved sweat pea, a small baby in the film many times
However, the health benefits to us from spinach do not end here, and if we talk about the creator of Popeye, we find that he thought of spinach as a super food because of its rich vitamin A content, also called beta carotene. Perhaps, there is no other food item on earth having so many health benefits and these benefits are all the time increasing with the latest being its ability to reduce blood pressure by making nitric acid in mouth when eaten.
There is need for popularizing spinach using Popeye today.
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