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SuperFood of the Week- Spinach

By March 13, 2017Super Foods

And you ask why is spinach a superfood? Duh- it made Popeye strong!

Spinach comes from a central and southwestern Asian gene center where it may have originated from Spinacia tetranda, which is still gathered as a wild edible green in Anatolia. Spinach was unknown to the ancient Mediterranean world.

The diffusion of spinach into the Mediterranean was almost certainly the result of Arab ingenuity. Spinach, which does not grow well in hot weather, was successfully cultivated in the hot and arid Mediterranean climate by Arab agronomists through the use of sophisticated irrigation techniques probably as early as the eighth century A.D. The first references to spinach are from Sasanian Persia (about 226-640 A.D.) and we know that in 647 it was taken from Nepal to China where it was, and still is, known as the “Persian green”

Here is what you have to know about modern day spinach: The 2017 Dirty Dozen lists spinach as the 2nd most toxic conventional vegetable as reported by The Environmental Working Group. Why, you ask again?  It is due to the high levels of pesticides sprayed on this amazing superfood. If you choose conventional over organic, you may be getting sick instead of strong.

Spinach is packed with nutrients, a staple for healthy eating during the winter and spring. But new federal data shows that conventionally grown spinach has more pesticide residues by weight than all other produce tested, with three-fourths of samples tested contaminated with a neurotoxic bug killer that is banned from use on food crops in Europe. Tests detected an average of almost seven pesticides on every conventionally grown spinach sample collected in 2015, with a maximum of 16 different pesticides or breakdown products on a single sample. Four pesticides, one insecticide and three fungicides  were responsible. What?? That is Crazy! Dangerous! Unbelievable!

There is good news! Buy this amazing vegetable organic and here is what it brings to the table:

1. Loaded with Vitamins: like A, K, D, and E and a host of trace minerals.

2. Good Source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids: the kind most of us need in North America.

3. Anti-Cancer and Anti-Inflammatory Antioxidants: Researchers have identified more than a dozen different flavonoid compounds in spinach that function as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents. In a recent study on the relationship between risk of prostate cancer and vegetable intake (including such healthy vegetables as broccoli, cabbage, and brussel sprouts) only spinach showed evidence of significant protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer.

4. Alkalizes the Body: All those minerals helps to balance off the highly acid diet which most of us subject our bodies to and which drains our energy, increases obesity and a creates host of other health problems.

5. Nourishes the Eyes: The carotenoids found in spinach protect against eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

6. Strengthens the Bones: One cup of fresh spinach (or 1/6 cup of cooked spinach) contains TWICE your daily vitamin K needs. This along with the calcium and magnesium in spinach is essential to maintain healthy bones.

7. Perfect for Green Smoothies and Salads: Organic pre-washed spinach is now readily available in most grocery stores. If you haven’t yet tried a green smoothie yet and think they might taste yucky then try one with the main ingredient as spinach. Spinach is so sweet, we guarantee you will be impressed.

8. Spinach is FRESH! Studies have shown that even the artificial light in the grocery store shining on those plastic tubs of spinach can actually help keep the leaves from spoiling. This indicates the spinach is still metabolically active and fresh.

Something else to know- Fresh spinach has a ton of great vitamins, minerals and fiber but in order to reap the best benefits of iron, spinach must be heated. It doesn’t take much- sauté in olive or coconut oil and garlic on low heat and eat up- yum!!

I just heard you ask where you could get some delicious organic spinach- I’ve got the answer! Cuisine for Healing meals!

This week we have Lemon Chicken, Spinach and Brown Rice with a Veggie Melody or Lemony Spinach and Chicken Cream Soup.

Don’t be left out of the amazing benefits of this superfood. Hurry over!

Happy Healthy Eating!

Dana

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