When we think of spinach, many of us think of Popeye, who would guzzle a can of spinach and instantly develop bulging muscles and super-strength to save the day. While this may not be exactly accurate, it does have a few tricks up its sleeve, and some interesting facts that you may not have known. We share some of these here.
Spinach can reduce cravings and make you eat less
Apart from being a great source of vitamins and minerals, it can also promote weight loss by keeping us fuller for longer. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that compounds in the photosynthesis cells promote the release of satiety hormones. I guess this explains why Popeye was never fat!
Spinach can neutralize explosives
You didn’t read that wrong! The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory study found that nitro reductase enzymes, which are naturally found in spinach, can eat, digest, and even transform explosives, such as TNT. The enzymes have a reactivity effect that degrades explosives and turns them into low toxicity byproducts that can be further reduced to harmless products like carbon dioxide and water. We don’t suggest trying this one at home.
Juicing or blending may provide more health benefits
While many of us enjoy creamed spinach, or cooked in a variety of other ways, research has shown that by blending or liquefying fresh spinach in a blender or juicer, you are releasing the beta-carotene that is stored in cell membranes. This makes it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients and enjoy all the benefits of those antioxidants.
Organic fruits and vegetables might be more expensive, but when it comes to spinach, it’s worth that extra money. The Environmental Working Group has shown that it is one of the topmost contaminated foods, often harboring many pesticides.
Including more spinach in your diet reduces the likelihood of developing ulcers
It has been shown that spinach has the ability to protect the mucous membrane of our stomachs, which decreases the occurrence of gastric ulcers. It also boosts the strength of the digestive tract lining, which helps to prevent inflammation in that part of our bodies, which may cause harm.
Spinach is one of the vegetables we include in our dishes at ANAT, for both its taste and its health benefits. Be sure to include it in your next meal with us!