For the body of women, men and children is useful if the diet will be spinach - the benefits and harm, the properties of which are discussed in the article below. An annual plant native to Persia grows in a temperate climate in the Caucasus, Central Asia and southern Europe. Vegetable has a wealth of vitamins and minerals, have many useful properties - which makes it indispensable in the daily menu of each person.
What is spinach
Green leafy vegetable spinach reaches a height of 25-55 cm. The leaves contain many useful substances that are applicable in cooking, medicine, cosmetology and perfumery. What is useful spinach? Interferes with the development of hypertension, strengthens blood vessels, has a diuretic effect, reduces inflammation and swelling. Vegetable restores the thyroid gland, the central nervous system, cleanses the body from harmful toxins. Plus in the treasury of benefits is the replenishment of the lack of minerals and vitamins in the body, the normalization of digestion.
Spinach - its benefits and harms are in the following factors:
- neutralization of free radicals, accelerating the aging of the body, leading to the development of diseases of the nervous system,
- the content of vitamins A, C, polyphenolic antioxidants, lutein, carotene,
- protection against age-related retinal degeneration due to the carotenoid zeaxanthin,
- preservation of visual acuity, health of the skin, mucous membranes, prevention of oncology of the lungs and oral cavity due to vitamin A, flavonoids,
- strengthening bones, stimulating the action of osteotropes, stabilizing neurons of the brain due to the increased content of vitamin K,
- fresh greens are useful for pregnant women, it helps to prevent the occurrence of defects in the fetal neural tube during pregnancy,
- potassium helps control blood pressure, heart rate,
- omega-3 improves metabolism
- prevention of cancer of the colon, prostate,
- the value is to stimulate the production of red blood cells through the beneficial trace element copper,
- regular use is the formation of kidney stones.
Vegetable belongs to the low-calorie, so it is recommended to use it in the diet. The calorie content of raw leaves is about 22 calories per 100 g, roasted - 50 kcal per 100 g. The dietary properties of fresh spinach greens include mild laxative, diuretic effect, plus anti-inflammatory, tonic effects.
Due to the vitamin, mineral and dietary composition known spinach benefits for the body:
- saturation, nutrient supply, slag removal,
- rich in iron, helps hemoglobin to increase activity, improves the blood supply of cells with oxygen,
- improves metabolism, promotes energy production,
- enhances the health of the gums, teeth, prevents anemia, swelling,
- strengthens blood vessels, stimulates the pancreas, clears the intestines,
- useful for anemia, hypertension, diabetes, gastritis, enterocolitis - spinach has a slight diuretic, laxative, anti-inflammatory, tonic effect.
Of the varieties of the plant, the most valuable is the “strawberry type”; spinach is obvious for women:
- zinc, selenium - normalize the condition of the skin, hair,
- stimulates the function of the heart, nourishes the walls of the arteries, protects against damage,
- protects the uterus and genitals from malignant tumors,
- prevents constipation
- treats anemia, rickets, scurvy, tuberculosis, is useful in diabetes mellitus,
- increases the body's resistance to infections, helps with fatigue, absorption of drugs,
- helps to lose weight.
The beneficial effects of spinach on a man's body:
- lutein prevents the risk of atherosclerotic plaques, protects against strokes, heart attacks,
- stabilizes blood pressure, reduces the harmful effects of salt on the body,
- high protein content helps build muscle,
- strengthens the immune system due to the iodine content,
- omega-3 and folic acid salts have a positive effect on potency,
- zinc increases the production of testosterone, sperm, increases libido, improves erection, reduces the risk of prostatitis,
- Vitamin E regulates hormones, improves the work of the prostate gland, eliminating the risk of infertility.
The first to appreciate spinach was the ancient Persians. But he was well known to the entire Arab world, and in Europe he appeared only by the XIII century (in Russia - much later, by the middle of the XVIII century). Spinach is still confused with quinoa, although in fact they have only in common - belonging to the same family. And if the health benefits of spinach are scientifically confirmed, the quinoa is almost devoid of it. The appearance of spinach in Eastern Europe coincided in time with the period of the gradual withdrawal of sorcery into the background due to the growth of the achievements of scientific medicine. In addition, initially it was expensive and was considered an elite product, which was also one of the reasons for the lack of interest in spinach among the general population. The third aspect of its low popularity was (this factor is still valid) in the subtle taste - "vagueness" compared to other leafy vegetables.
Acquaintance with the spinach of the peoples inhabiting Eurasia began in Western Europe, and in Russia they learned about it almost later than all. Despite the fact that spinach easily caught on in our temperate continental climate zone, many still it is a wonder. The use of spinach in the national folk medicine also did not receive a noticeable development. And because both the beneficial properties and the harm of spinach are still studied in detail only in the West. Among the most common questions asked about its use in food remains to this day: “Is it possible to eat raw spinach?” Although the answer seems to be obvious - it is possible and even sometimes desirable, as well as the closest local analogue to it Sorrel.
By chemical composition, spinach is considered one of the most valuable products in the diet of modern man, although he has many more varied, in terms of the nutritional value of analogues. The main thing here is really not to confuse it with the quinoa, since in fact it is closest to sorrel and even resembles it externally, even if they belong to different genus, species and families.
Only leaves are the edible part of spinach. Moreover, gourmets say that its spring, autumn and very young leaves taste is completely different. And the most noticeable and valuable are the following elements contained in them.
- Vitamins. In particular, A, C, E, K, five or six vitamins of group B, including folic acid, biotin and niacin, as well as the precursor of vitamin A is carotene. In practice, this means that regular consumption of spinach for food or for therapeutic purposes strengthens vision and immunity, improves skin, hair and nails, stabilizes blood clotting and the central nervous system (especially its peripheral sections).
- Micro and macro elements. Among them is iron, a common potassium-magnesium vapor in nature, which has the opposite effect on the cardiovascular system, as well as zinc, copper, manganese, sodium, calcium, phosphorus and selenium. Depending on the composition of the soil in which this particular spinach crop has grown, it may contain chromium, nickel, cobalt, and other compounds that are useful or hazardous to health. Their presence provides spinach with an active part in blood formation (although not as significant as science initially thought), regulation of muscle tone (and cardiac contractility) and vessels, synthesis of hormones and endocrine glands, and metabolism.
- Cellulose . However, in this aspect, it is not much different from the vast majority of vegetables, including salat and sorrel, which are similar to it in the way it is consumed.
- Food acids. Most of all in the leaves of oxalic acid spinach - the one that gives a piquant-sour taste and leaves of sorrel. But besides her and the already mentioned vitamin C and vitamin B5Spinach contains tartaric, malic, benzoic and some other acids. Compounds of this series are useful for their disinfecting and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, their regular use with food is necessary for people with low acidity of the stomach - to equalize the balance of environments in the digestive tract and improve digestion itself. Organic acids also serve as good antioxidants that reduce the effect of free radicals (non-standard metabolic products) on the cells and tissues of the body.
- Protein. True, only vegetable. In addition, in terms of the percentage of its content, spinach is significantly inferior to the most protein-rich legumes - soybeans, beans, peas, and so on. In any case, thanks to him, vegetarians consider spinach as one of the most “respected” vegetables.
When a plant is useless or can harm
But anti-cancer properties, contrary to popular belief, spinach does not possess. Spinach's use of weight loss, which is mentioned by many healers or even nutritionists, is causing doubts. On the one hand, cellulose, which forms all the structures of spinach leaves, is not digested either in the stomach or in the intestines, and therefore takes a place in them that food could take. As a result, hunger decreases and satiety increases. On the other hand, any fiber physically "scrapes" the digestive tract, depriving it of the walls of the mucous layer, so necessary for protection against aggressive media of the stomach and intestines.
Because diets based only on the abuse of fiber, end with peptic ulcer disease more often than the desired weight loss. Plus, the appointment of spinach in diseases such as pancreatitis and gallstone disease, although they can be heard often, the more “they miss the mark” with the risk of causing serious harm to the body.
Restrictions to receive
First of all, spinach should not be consumed in case of allergies. And it does not matter whether it or any other plant products. There are many strong provocateurs of allergic reactions in spinach leaves, starting with ascorbic acid and ending with all its chemical "relatives". And retinol does not lag behind them. Additionally, spinach contraindications concern the following diseases.
- Gastritis. Especially if it is accompanied by normal or high acidity. Gastritis is an inflammation of the walls of the stomach. Many different factors can lead to it, and part of them, moreover, remains a mystery to science. But the mucous layer in the inflamed area almost always becomes thinner, and the cells of the organ wall itself begin to produce either more hydrochloric acid or less. Because untreated gastritis is usually accompanied by a change in acidity in one direction or another, resulting in the formation of an ulcer. If the acidity is low (the patient has hypoacidosis), taking additional portions of it with spinach leaves will generally affect the state of the stomach and digestion for the better. However, it must be understood that oxalic and other acids may come into contact with the inflamed walls, causing pain. Eating spinach with high acidity will not only strengthen them, but also lead to heartburn, as well as accelerated formation of erosion.
- Stomach ulcers. Or intestines. Already finished erosion of the digestive organs with any localization by itself excludes eating foods containing irritants like spices, acids (including vinegar), and so on. From such food, the patient feels pain increased many times, acute spasms, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and bleeding may occur.
- Gout In principle, gout is called a violation of the metabolism of uric acid - one of the breakdown products of protein, a concentrate of sodium salts. In other words, uric acid does not enter the body from the outside and has no relation to the composition of spinach. It is formed in itself in the process of digesting proteins from food. Nevertheless, gout as a pathology affects the exchange of many acids, not limited only to urinary. Their exchange in the patient’s body is also not without problems, or even openly disturbed. In addition, all acids, including food, are excreted from the body in the same way - through the kidneys. And their activity in gout is disturbed due to the accumulation of sand in them first, and after - and stones formed by reddish urates (salts of uric acid). This is why no one will guarantee improvement, instead of a sharp deterioration in the course of gout, when taking spinach, and official medicine does not recommend this combination.
- Oxalaturia. But oxalates, unlike urates, are salts of oxalic acid, which sorrel and spinach are so rich with. The presence of oxalate sand or kidney stones is a direct and strict contraindication to receive not only spinach, but also any vegetables / fruits with a pronounced sour taste, including parsley, lingonberries, currants and citrus fruits.
Procurement and methods of use
In the treatment of many diseases, including skin, the healing properties of spinach juice are especially valuable. Unfortunately, it can be obtained only from its fresh leaves - even fresh frozen ones are not suitable. Nevertheless, in conditions where we still have no choice, freezing fresh spinach leaves in the fresh form is the best way to prepare spinach for the winter.
The main problem with spinach is that both vitamins and food acids in its composition are extremely unstable to heat. Meanwhile, if we remove them, spinach on our table will save only some trace elements and fiber, which will reduce its nutritional and therapeutic value by more than half.
Therefore, it is best to eat spinach fresh - even if its leaves are already slightly dried up. You can boil it, much of the dishes with it even require it. There is almost no benefit from boiled spinach.
Regarding whether it is possible to freeze spinach at home, it should be said that it is a good choice for both freezing and storing in this form. However, there is one caveat: despite the fact that spinach has not spread in our country due to its mild taste, freezing will make it even more baked. And yet, if this is the only way to make a stock of your favorite product for the winter, you can pure washed sheets of spinach in a blender, and then decompose the slurry into ordinary ice molds. There is another recipe for such a blank: divide them whole into portions of 20-30 sheets, put them in plastic bags, tie them tightly, simultaneously squeezing them in bulk, and fold them into the freezer.
- two medium oranges,
- 200 g fresh strawberries,
- 200 g fresh grapes of “kishmish”,
- 200 g spinach leaves without twigs.
- Cut the zest from the oranges, divide them into slices and cut into large pieces.
- Disassemble the clusters of grapes, wash the berries under running water.
- Remove the stalks from the strawberries, wash them too, and put all the prepared fruits in the blender / food processor bowl.
- Separate the spinach leaves from the twigs (if any), rinse under running water, squeeze and add the leaves to the fruit.
- Beat all ingredients together at high speed for a minute.
Nutritious curd cheese
- half a liter of natural yogurt without additives and dyes,
- 200 g fresh spinach,
- salt and other herbs to taste.
- Cover a medium-density colander with a clean, lint-free cloth. Salt the yogurt, mix and place in a colander.
- Put a colander in another empty dish of a suitable size, then remove for a day on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, so that all the whey from the yoghurt mass of the glass.
- Wash and chop the selected herbs, as well as spinach leaves without sprigs, add to the resulting cheese cheese, mix again.
- seven to ten fresh leaves of spinach without cuttings,
- a teaspoon of almond oil.
- Wash the spinach leaves, separating their twigs, if any. Fold the leaves into the bowl of the blender and chop to a pasty consistency.
- Slightly squeeze the resulting paste through the gauze folded three times, add almond oil to the remaining green mass, mix until smooth.