Here is Why Spinach is The World’s Healthiest Food and How to Cook It
Experts say that this easily digestible food, at least once a week should be available on the table, especially for people with low energy level. However, it must be cooked in a certain way, and in some cases to limit or avoid its consumption.
WHY IS SPINACH HEALTHY?
Spinach has a high nutritional value, with a large amount of easily digestible protein.
Plenty of vitamins
It is a rich source of folic acid, and other B vitamins, which play an important role in carbohydrate metabolism and the nervous system. It abounds in vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system and helps the absorption of iron and beta-carotene (provitamin A), which maintains healthy skin and mucous membranes. Vitamin K, important for bone health, in a cup of fresh spinach is contained almost twice the amount of the daily recommended intake, and if is cooked – six more times!
Most have potassium, which increases the secretion of water from the body and thus facilitates the work of the kidneys and the heart. A cup of cooked spinach contains about 40 percent of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium, which helps prevent heart disease and blood vessels. Abounds in calcium, important for the growth of healthy bones and teeth, and iron – in a cup of cooked spinach there is about 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance. Smaller quantities are represented phosphorus, manganese, copper, zinc and iodine.
They are very important for the elimination of toxic and waste substances from the body. Because of the ability to absorb water, contribute to the feeling of satiety, but are useful for regulating body weight and, therefore, indispensable to diet therapy.
Spinach is rich in substances that fight free radicals in the body. These are, above all, vitamin C and beta-carotene, and lutein and zeaxanthin – carotenoids who care about the health of the eyes. Lutein is particularly successful in the fight against cataracts and macular degeneration. Scientists have found in spinach several flavonoids that are attributed as antioxidant and anticancer activities.
The preservation of mental function
Experimental studies have shown that consumption of spinach act protective when it comes to brain oxidative stress, and that reduces degradation of brain function due to aging. Nutrition laboratory animals spinach significantly increase their learning ability and motor function. For most it can to thank vitamin E, it is good to eat spinach seasoned with oil (preferably olive), in order to increase the bioavailability of this vitamins.
It is not recommended for
● Spinach in large quantities is not recommended for people suffering from disorders of the thyroid gland – as nitrates, or goitrogens and may interfere with her work.
● Because of the significant amounts of oxalate, people who have problems with kidney stones and gall from consumption should refrain , because crystals of oxalic acid potentiate their creation.
● Oxalate can interfere with the absorption of calcium, but people who take supplements of this mineral suggests that spinach eat at least two to three hours before intake of calcium.
● It is recommended moderate consumption when it comes to kids, because the larger amounts of oxalic acid can cause a lack of calcium in the body, to which children are especially vulnerable to development.
● Due to the large amounts of uric acid and purine, people suffering from gout, rheumatism and arthritis should avoid the spinach.
Misconceptions regarding IRON
Long time it has been regarded as the best choice spinach iron, which comes from Dr. E. von Wolf, in 1870. His “calculation” was unchecked until 1973, when it was discovered that the actual amount of iron in spinach was actually just a tenth of what he claimed – because of misspelled decimal. However, spinach contains a relatively large amount of this element.
The weaker efficiency
Iron in spinach is in the non-heme form, which is slow and poorly absorbed in our intestines of heme form, which is located in foods of animal origin, mainly in red meat.
Few know that in spinach there are substances that are blocking the absorption of this important mineral. The spinach contains a large amount of phytate, chemical substances to extent prevent the entry of iron into the bloodstream. Therefore, if you lose a greater amount of blood, or if your doctor advised an additional intake of iron in the body, you will have a greater benefit if you eat chicken liver. But, if you are a fan of spinach, eat with him slices of orange or lemon, citrus fruit contains vitamins and acids that are counter-operation of phytate, and encourage the absorption of iron in the blood stream.
How to cook the spinach?
* Before cooking, be sure to need to remove stems and larger lateral veins on the leaves, because they are so rich in oxalic acid.
* In order to preserve the vitamins and minerals it needs to cook steamed, or in a very small amount of boiling water (not in cold), about five minutes.
* Water from cooking should be discarded because it is saturated with nitrates, which are under the influence of bacteria that convert it to nitrite. Therefore, spinach must be prepared just before eating.
* If the heat-treated, should not be kept for longer – even in the refrigerator, or to heat up for the second installment.
* It should be prepared with milk – to remove oxalic acid, which binds to calcium and creates calcium oxalate, and thus removed from the body. It can be used and with some dairy products (yogurt, sour cream, fresh cheese). For the same purpose, it is good to consume with lemon juice.
Use in cooking
Fresh spinach can be eaten as a salad, because of the abundance of vitamin C, seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice. Spinach is prepared soups, stews, fillings, sauces, mashed. He goes best with boiled potatoes, also has great taste with cheese (curd cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese), yogurt or sour cream. Well combined with meat, fish, root vegetables and legumes. It is used in the preparation of various types of pasta – noodles, lasagna and gnocchi. It is great combination with bechamel sauce, and can be added to scrambled eggs, with a little Parmesan cheese, or in omelet.
* If you want to keep a fresh green spinach, immediately after cooking it briefly plunge into cold water.
* Beautiful and healthy hair, skin and nails are the result of more frequent consumption of spinach, because of the abundance of vitamin B complex.