Who is Olive in Popeye: It is same as asking Who was Helen of Troy
If you are a kid, there is no point asking this silly question as you have been watching the cartoon film Popeye the sailor man for so many years. Of course you know that Olive is the love of Popeye who would go to any length to keep her as his lady love. Popeye is shown gullible and so often falls to the guiles of Bluto, another sailor who happens to be an adversary of Popeye. Bluto is much stronger and bigger than Popeye, and is able to impress Olive with his antics. Popeye tries to save Olive in vein until he realizes it is time to gulp some spinach and gain some muscle power to be able to overcome the might of Bluto.
But why discuss who Olive is? Probably the question has become relevant in times when we are facing the problems of obesity, pollution and shortcomings of nutrients in our food than ever before. This is the diamond jubilee year of the magnificent Popeye comic strip as it was first introduced by its creator E. C. Segar who tried to give a secret weapon to its central character. And the weapon given to Popeye is so wonderful and good for all of us that the comic strip is appealing to us even today. Popeye gulps down the contents of a can when he needs muscular strength and power. No point to guess what is there in the can he empties frequently to beat Bluto to save his love. He eats spinach that was thought by Segar to be full of vitamin A, scientifically known as beta carotene. Little did Segar realize at that time that spinach was a super food being full of essential nutrients for human beings? There is probably no other food item that has been a subject of scientific research so many times. And the good thing is that its myriad benefits are still unfolding. There is no doubt about high iron and vitamin A content of spinach but the benefits do not end there. Spinach has many other vitamins, minerals, metals, and even omega fatty acids that are so very essential for our body and mind.
What is great about spinach is that it is readily available in all parts of the world despite originating in South West Asia. Today it is grown in nearly all climates and all parts of the world. Another factor in its favor is that it is cheap and readily available as fresh, frozen and in canned forms. One can eat the leaves of spinach in raw form in salads by adding a little olive oil (not the Olive Oyl of Popeye the sailor man!) though spinach is eaten best as a soup or curry by boiling it in a bit of water. Today people can have the benefits of spinach by microwaving washed spinach in a few minutes and then mixing the leaves in a mixer.
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