Sauteed spinach with garlic in a pottery bowl. (PHOTO: iStock)
In the animated world, the green, leafy vegetable known as spinach made the character Popeye into a man of super strength. While it may not do the same for us, spinach is a wonder food filled with nutrients and health benefits.
The plant is scientifically known as Spinacia oleracea. It belongs to the amaranth family which includes beet and quinoa.
Consuming spinach promotes improved eyesight, helps prohibit the debilitating effects of the dreaded cancer and reduces blood pressure and stress, among other health benefits.
Spinach is a great source for a number of essential minerals and vitamins including folate, which contributes to the reduction of hypertension and relaxes blood vessels; vitamin A, which is good for the maintenance of the immune system and good vision; vitamin C, to tone the skin and boost immune capabilities; folic acid, necessary to keep the body’s cells functioning properly and a must have for pregnant mothers; and vitamin K1, essential to stop blood thinning.
Its iron content is also very good for consumption as it aids in the creation of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen to body tissues.
Spinach also contains several other vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6, B9 and E.
It can be eaten raw as part of a salad or can be cooked and had as a side in a meal. It can be also added in recipes for soup, and blended for consumption in a delicious smoothie.