Do you remember Popeye? He was the goofy cartoon character who understood the power of spinach.
Popeye had it going on. He was brave, he was cute, he was strong and he had Olive Oyl. And Popeye really loved his spinach.
In fact, spinach was his secret weapon. With spinach he could do anything, immediately pumping up his strength to fight evil and save the day or show off other unbelievable feats and talents. What a great message for children that food could give them strength and the conviction they could achieve anything.
When Popeye first appeared in 1929 in a comic strip and later in 1936 cartoons, the sales of spinach rose by over a third. The effect of his muscles growing immediately from scrawny to huge was perhaps a misconception of the amount of iron in spinach. Apparently, a scientist had placed the decimal point in the wrong place thus associating spinach with huge amounts of iron. However, the positive image of spinach containing iron was still correct.
Popeye wasn’t wrong. Spinach is an incredibly “good-for-you food.”
Popeye would love that March 26 is National Spinach Day.
Popeye was on to something. 9 reasons to love spinach:
- Inexpensive and easy to find. Available fresh, frozen or as Popeye prefers, in a can.
- Easy to grow Check out these great tips to grow spinach.
- Found in all sorts of recipes from stir -ry to soups, or smoothies and salads. Type “spinach” in your DinnerTime Recipe Search Box for recipes including spinach. Remember to “favorite” the ones you love.
- Helps my Diet
One cup of spinach has nearly 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber, which helps digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating. Calorie friendly at only 7 calories per cup.
- Reduces risk of Cancer
Flavonoids — a phytonutrient with anti-cancer properties is abundant in spinach.
- Strengthens the immune system
The antioxidants from vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium present in spinach all help fight against diseases such as high blood pressure, artery disease and onset of osteoporosis. Plus, vitamin A protects and strengthens the white blood cells that fight infection.
- Keeps Vision strong
Both antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are especially plentiful in spinach and protect the eye from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
- Keeps Skin fresh and healthy
Vitamin A in spinach promotes healthy skin by fighting psoriasis, keratinization, acne and even wrinkles.
- Keeps our Brains working well
The abundance of vitamin K in spinach contributes toward a healthy nervous system and brain function.
Clearly, Popeye knew a good thing when he ate it. Your muscles may not pump up to “Popeye” size, but you will help your body in many important ways.