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Popeye’s Favorite: The Benefits of Spinach – Part 2

In our previous piece, we explored the benefits organic spinach has for the body. In this blog, we’ll discuss what makes up this healthy and delicious treat. There will be a plentiful amount of science up ahead, but it will all be worth knowing to fully understand just how nutritious this veggie is for you and your family.

Organic spinach is more than just delicious; it’s also incredibly healthy. We can help you learn more about the different dishes you can create with this ingredient!

Lutein

Lutein, categorized as a powerful antioxidant, is an agent found in spinach and is also part of the xanthophylls family, which are the yellow-forming agents found in plants like yellow carrots. One of the main benefits of lutein is tied to the overall improvement of the human eye and vision due to its ability to resist powerful light. Listed below are the amounts of lutein found in spinach in micrograms per every one hundred grams:

  • Raw spinach – 12,198
  • Cooked spinach – 11, 308

Zeaxanthin
While luteins and zeaxanthins are both identical chemical forms, zeaxanthins have the property of oxygen. Some of the best sources of these two are found in veggies such as kale, turnips, collard greens and romaine lettuce.

Now that we’ve moved past the science, we can explore why spinach is a powerhouse of its own in the veggie community and why people are ranting and raving about Popeye’s push for this green wonder.

Improved Vision
Zeaxanthin and luteins being labeled as mega power sources for vision has been an increasing study with doctors and researchers. Macular degeneration is a rising condition of study for scientists that have yet to pinpoint why parts of the retina and macula become diseased over time by blood leakage and other deteriorations.

However, lutein and zeaxanthin are known to improve the pigment in our eyes. To get the most out of these antioxidants, researchers suggest eating about six milligrams a day. However, in the case where macular degeneration has already occurred, researchers suggest 11-12 milligrams per day.

Lower Risk of Cancer

An NIH/AARP study of more than 490,000 discovered that those who ate more spinach were less likely to develop esophageal cancer. Thanks to the folate and fibers found in spinach, your body can defend against damaged DNA and build new cells to defend against infections and diseases. The highest concentration of fibers and folate are found in raw and lightly cooked leafy greens. Enjoy a fresh salad and don’t forget to pack on the power of spinach!

Lower Blood Pressure
Throw a handful of some fresh spinach into a sandwich! Along with fiber, folate, antioxidants and carotenoids, spinach also contains loads of calcium! According to Everydayhealth.com, “half a cup of cooked spinach provides 12% of an adult’s recommended daily calcium intake.” That’s only half a cup of cooked spinach, but remember that raw spinach contains more nutrients! Studies have shown that nitrates (also found in spinach) also help lower blood pressure.

Bone Strength and Improvement
While Popeye was definitely onto something with his prophesies that spinach makes you strong, he might have missed the mark just a bit when covering the science behind his canned snack. One thing to remember about spinach and other greens like Swiss chard and kale is that while they have great sources of calcium, which is beneficial for our bones, balancing the oxalates found in these greens is the tricky part.

Since spinach has oxalates that sometimes bind up calcium, our bodies have a harder time absorbing that calcium. A great example of getting calcium and other nutrients from spinach is by incorporating other calcium-rich sources to ensure the binding of nutrients happens cohesively.

Low Risk of Asthma
Medical studies have shown that people suffering from asthma and asthma attacks are generally deficient in potassium and magnesium. Spinach is high in both, vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin E. Therefore, spinach has been suggested as a natural remedy for those suffering from asthma.

Supplying the Best in Organic Veggies

Whether you’re loading up a fresh salad with organic spinach or adding some greens to a breakfast smoothie, we applaud you! Incorporating spinach to your meals is a smart way to balance your diet for the present and future.

Think about using organic products from Tenaza Organics in the Rio Grande Valley. Give us a call at 956.432.2983 today to learn more about the freshest and cleanest organic produce the Valley has to offer!

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