Many of us equate the word “spinach” with the caricature of Popeye, eating a can of spinach and immediately having the strength of 10 men. Even though Popeye is a cartoon, the message about spinach is true: spinach provides more nutrients than any other food. It can help protect us from osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer and arthritis, just to name a few.
• Anti-oxidants that act as anti-cancer agents, called flavonoids. A reduced risk of ovarian cancer.
• Carotenoid, which triggers prostate cancer cells to self-destruct and prevents them from replicating.
• Vitamin K, which is important in maintaining bone health.
• Vitamin C and Vitamin A, which are anti-oxidants that help to stop cholesterol from attaching to the arterial walls and, therefore, decrease the chance of heart attack and stroke.
• Vitamin C, which, along with beta-carotene, helps to protect the colon from damaging effects of free radicals that can cause cancer.
• Vitamin C, Vitamin K beta-carotene and riboflavin, which all have anti-inflammatory properties. These properties are important in diseases such as asthma, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis and migraines.
• Vitamin E, which helps slow the loss of mental function.
• Lutein, which protects against eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
• Iron, which is key for production of energy.
While spinach will not give you super-human strength the minute you eat it (like it did for Popeye), it will enhance your health and vitality. Eat healthy and live well!
Try this delicious spinach recipe from Chef Carla at St. George Village:
Strawberry Spinach Salad
1 (6-ounce) packages fresh baby spinach
1 pints fresh strawberries, sliced
Sesame-Poppy Seed dressing
Toppings: chopped cooked bacon, chopped fresh broccoli, blanched sugar snap peas, sliced red onion
Combine baby spinach and strawberries in a large bowl; toss with 1/4 cup Sesame-Poppy Seed dressing just before serving. Serve with remaining dressing and desired toppings. Serves 4 to 5.