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Eat Your Spinach

I grew up watching Popeye cartoons. I loved it when Popeye would pull out that can of spinach just in the nick of time and become nearly as strong as Superman. Problem was as a child, I never could get myself to eat spinach, and I wasn't about to unless somebody could prove that spinach could actually make me as strong as Popeye, and maybe not even then.

Flash forward quite a few years, and now I know spinach might not make you super human, but spinach is definitely a super food, and it can make you stronger among other things.

Spinach contains beta-ecdysterone which can increase muscle size and strength, and octacosanol, which promotes strength. Spinach also is rich in the amino acid glutamine, which raises growth-hormone levels and levels of protein-synthesis-boosting leucine in muscle tissue, decreases muscle breakdown and helps your immune system.

Spinach Nutritional Information

Spinach is high in antioxidants, rich in vitamin A, lutein, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids.

Eating foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin can lower your risk of macular degeneration in the eyes, and spinach is especially high in lutein.

Protection from Alzheimer's

Television's Doctor Oz and associates say that eating spinach might protect you from dementia and Alzheimer's disease. According to Doctor Oz's real age site realage.com, it's the vitamin E that does the trick. Two recent studies show that when people eat E-rich foods, risk for Alzheimer's drops by 45 percent and for dementia by 25%. Apparently, the vitamin E supplements don't contain the same kinds of vitamin E that is found in food, but they also go on to say a vitamin E supplement protects against heart disease, eye problems, and maybe even cancer.

Spinach Negatives

Spinach contains iron, but the iron in spinach is poorly absorbed by the body. Spinach contains iron absorption inhibiting substances, including high levels of oxalate which can bind to the iron to form ferrous oxalate, which renders much of the iron in spinach unusable by the body.

While it contains calcium as well, the calcium in spinach doesn't absorb in to the body very well because of its oxalate content. Oxalate is one of a number of factors that can contribute to gout and kidney stones.

The Environmental Working Group reports that spinach is one of the dozen most heavily pesticide-contaminated produce products, so make sure you buy organic spinach.

All in all spinach is definitely worth having on your plate a few times a week and probably every day for those concerned about their eye sight, and especially if you do much training in the gym and improvement in strength is your goal.

Related articles

Foods to buy organic It's important to stay healthy, and it's also important to save money so check out this page for a list of foods you need to by organic and conventional ones you can get by with.

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