The Food Coach

Healthy Food Database - English Spinach

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Popeye was said to get his strength from spinach because of its high level of iron which is needed to take oxygen to muscles. Spinach is not actually a great source of iron as its iron content is bound up with oxalic acid which can't be used by the body. It does have many other health benefits and is delicious. English spinach has bright green, thick, soft, oval to arrow-shaped leaves and green stems, both of which are eaten.

Buy in bunches or loose as salad greens. Look for bright green, fresh leaves that are not wilting.
Remove the string from the bunch and refrigerate in a plastic bag in the crisper for up to 3 days. Never wash before storing.
Wash bunches of spinach thoroughly before cooking. Fill a basin with cold water and drop the leaves in, gently swilling the water around with your hands. Repeat a couple of times. Dry in a salad spinner before cooking.
Category: Vegetable
In Season: all year
To Buy: Buy in bunches or loose as salad greens. Look for bright green, fresh leaves that are not wilting. Note: Frozen spinach has lower levels of salicylates than fresh.
To Store: Remove the string from the bunch and refrigerate in a plastic bag in the crisper for up to 3 days. Never wash before storing.
Tips & Tricks: Wash bunches of spinach thoroughly before cooking. Fill a basin with cold water and drop the leaves in, gently swilling the water around with your hands. Repeat a couple of times. Dry in a salad spinner before cooking.

Nutrition (1 Cup):

Weight (grams): 35
Carbohydrates, g: 0.2
Fat (g): 0.1
Monosaturated Fat , g: 0.0
Vitamin C: Antioxidant, anti inflammatory and immune-boosting, this vitamin has a range of uses. Is essential for collagen formation, therefore plays a role in wound healing. Fights infection and protects against free radical damage. Vitamin C helps maintain normal cholesterol levels, promotes the absorption of iron and counters the effects of stress as it is concentrated in the adrenal glands.

Contraindications:
Large doses can cause diaorrhea or gas.
Iron, mg: Main function is synthesis of red blood cells, thus delivering oxygen around the body and maintaining all bodily functions.

Contraindications:
Excess accumulation may play a role in development of heart disease.
Potassium: Needed for normal growth and muscle and nerve contraction. Together with sodium regulates water and fluid balance in the body.
Amines: Amines come the breakdown or fermentation of proteins. High amounts are found in cheese, chocolate, wine, beer and yeast extracts. Smaller amounts are present in some fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, avocados, bananas.

For those with sensitivities, low foods are almost never a problem, moderate and high foods may cause reactions, depending on how sensitive you are and how much is eaten. Very high foods will most often cause unwanted symptoms in sensitive individuals. Very High
Glutamates: Glutamate is found naturally in many foods, as part of protein. It enhances the flavour of food, which is why foods rich in natural glutamates such as tomatoes, mushrooms and cheeses are commonly used in meals. Pure monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used as an additive to artificially flavour many processed foods, and should be avoided, especially in sensitive individuals as it can cause serious adverse reactions. Natural
Energy (kJ): 30
Protein (g): 0.8
Saturated Fat, g : 0.0
Vitamin A: Often called the "anti-infective" vitamin, it protects the mucous membranes of the body, reducing chance of infection and enhancing the immune system's response. Necessary for growth and maintenenance of bones, teeth and body tissues and healthy foetal development, this vitamin is also important for night vision.

Contraindications:
Taken in excess will accumulate in the body.
Vitamin K: Vitamin K is used in the body to control blood clotting and is essential for synthesizing the liver protein that controls the clotting. It is involved in creating the important prothrombin, which is the precursor to thrombin - a very important factor in blood clotting. It is also involved in bone formation and repair. In the intestines it also assists in converting glucose to glycogen, this can then be stored in the liver. There are some indications that Vitamin K may decrease the incidence or severity of osteoporosis and slow bone loss. 

Contraindications:
Be careful not to take too much Vitamin K in the last stages of pregnancy, since it could be toxic for the baby.
Folic Acid: Important during pregnancy as this vitamin is involved in the duplication of chromosomes, preventing birth defects. Lowers the risk of heart disease and is necessary for proper brain and gut function.
Antioxidants:
Salicylates: Naturally occurring plant chemicals found in several fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices, jams, honey, yeast extracts, tea and coffee, juices, beer and wines. Also present in flavourings, perfumes, scented toiletries and some medications.

For those with sensitivities, low foods are almost never a problem, moderate and high foods may cause reactions, depending on how sensitive you are and how much is eaten. Very high foods will most often cause unwanted symptoms in sensitive individuals. Very high

Cooking:

Cooking Tips: Steam or cook in a pan with sufficient water to just cover it. Cook until it's completely wilted. Drain any extra moisture from it by rolling it in a sushi mat , or pressing it firmly through a sieve with a wooden spoon.

Benefits the Following Health Conditions:*

Anaemia
Eye Problems
Low Energy
Menopause
Detoxifying
Cold and Flus
Immune Deficiencies
Malnutrition
Premature Aging

* This information is sourced by a qualified naturopath. It is non prescriptive and not intended as a cure for the condition. Recommended intake is not provided. It is no substitute for the advice and treatment of a professional practitioner.

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