In praise of spinach

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manas
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In praise of spinach

Postby manas » Mon May 12, 2014 4:05 am

Hello all,

lately I started buying this lovely organically grown spinach, and have been having a bowl of the leaves at lunchtime most days. First I carefully wash the leaves to remove any grits of soil, then simply mix through some olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and a crushed clove of garlic. I find that if I really take my time with chewing it properly, until it is really ground down, before swallowing it, that not only is the taste fully revealed, but I digest it much better. (I recall an old Indian proverb (was it?), "chew your food well, for your stomach has no teeth.") Whether I have carbs with this salad, or protein-dominant foods, either way it combines perfectly and leaves me feeling really good!

I read once that dark green leafy vegetables are good for flexibility, I am going to keep going with this and see how my body responds to it long-term. Anyway just thought I would share this discovery, might be old news for some but I really never knew that when prepared and eaten in the right way, raw spinach could taste so darned good. (Popeye was missing out a little, getting it from a can; but when you're out at sea a can of it might be the best you can get at the time.)

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cooran
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Re: In praise of spinach

Postby cooran » Mon May 12, 2014 5:07 am

Hello manas,

Spinach is great!

What are the health benefits of spinach?
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270609.php

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Re: In praise of spinach

Postby Mkoll » Mon May 12, 2014 5:08 am

Yikes, raw spinach? Eating the fully grown, high nutrient density dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, collards) raw makes me feel like a cow. They take forever to chew. Glad you like it though!

Some lemon juice might spruce up your recipe as well as add more nutritional benefits.

Dark green leafies are good for the body in many, many ways and are really something almost all of us should be eating more of, whether raw or cooked.
Peace,
James

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Re: In praise of spinach

Postby lyndon taylor » Mon May 12, 2014 5:44 am

My friend discovered juicing and ended up going a little overboard and actually getting sick, evidently spinach and kale are high in oxalic acid, which is a poison in higher doses, I know, as its used to clean cracks on violins and the warnings say highly toxic, obviously the levels aren't violin repair high in eating kale, but it can mess with your digestive enzymes, you might want to do a little research on oxalic acid, in other words more than one or two servings a day may not be healthy.
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Re: In praise of spinach

Postby Mkoll » Mon May 12, 2014 6:29 am

Oxalates shouldn't be a problem unless you have relatively rare health conditions, in which case you probably already know about restricting oxalate intake. Or you're eating spinach like a cow eats grass!

Their possible connection to kidney stones is somewhat worrysome, which is why I don't eat spinach as much as kale, collards, and chard. Plus, organic spinach is usually almost twice the cost of the other three where I live.

Oxalates and health
Conditions that require strict oxalate restriction

There are a few, relatively rare health conditions that require strict oxalate restriction. These conditions include absorptive hypercalciuria type II, enteric hyperoxaluria, and primary hyperoxaluria. Dietary oxalates are usually restricted to 50 milligrams per day under these circumstances. (Please note: these relatively rare health conditions are different than a more common condition called nephrolithiasis in which kidney stones are formed, 80% from calcium and oxalate). What does 50 milligrams of oxalate look like in terms of food? One cup of raw spinach in leaf form (not chopped) weighs about one ounce, and contains about 200 milligrams of oxalate, so 50 milligrams for the day would permit a person to consume only 1/4 cup of raw spinach (and no other oxalate sources could be eaten during the day).
Oxalates and kidney stones

The formation of kidney stones containing oxalate is an area of controversy in clinical nutrition with respect to dietary restriction of oxalate. About 80% of kidney stones formed by adults in the U.S. are calcium oxalate stones. It is not clear from the research, however, that restriction of dietary oxalate helps prevent formation of calcium oxalate stones in individuals who have previously formed such stones. Since intake of dietary oxalate accounts for only 10-15% of the oxalate that is found in the urine of individuals who form calcium oxalate stones, many researchers believe that dietary restriction cannot significantly reduce risk of stone formation.

In addition to the above observation, recent research studies have shown that intake of protein, calcium, and water influence calcium oxalate affect stone formation as much as, or more than intake of oxalate. Finally, some foods that have traditionally been assumed to increase stone formation because of their oxalate content (like black tea) actually appear in more recent research to have a preventive effect. For all of the above reasons, when healthcare providers recommend restriction of dietary oxalates to prevent calcium oxalate stone formation in individuals who have previously formed stones, they often suggest "limiting" or "reducing" oxalate intake rather than setting a specific milligram amount that should not be exceeded. "Reduce as much as can be tolerated" is another way that recommendations are often stated.
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Peace,
James

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Re: In praise of spinach

Postby TheNoBSBuddhist » Mon May 12, 2014 11:56 am

You might like to investigate dandelion leaves too. Not the very jagged ones but the rounder more evenly-edged ones.

Pick young leaves. Wash carefully (as with your spinach) then remove the midrib by grasping the base firmly between thumb and forefinger of one hand, and stripping the leaf up the rib, with the other.
Slice finely, dress to taste. Very good with an omelette or lightly-fried chicken breast.
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Re: In praise of spinach

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon May 12, 2014 4:22 pm

Usually when I eat salad, instead of using lettuce as the main ingredient I use spinach.

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Re: In praise of spinach

Postby m0rl0ck » Mon May 12, 2014 7:48 pm

I like it too. Its a little bland by itself to my taste but mixed 50/50 with spring greens with just a little garlic and virgin olive oil and some salt is a great salad.
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Re: In praise of spinach

Postby Kim OHara » Mon May 12, 2014 9:52 pm

You can also eat "micro-greens" as the ABC's gardening show called them - basically seedlings of any of the leafy greens. The young leaves are very tender and flavours aren't quite so strong. Visit http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/video/ and view "The Patch, Date: 10/05/2014, Tino plants out the last two beds in The Patch" for more.

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Re: In praise of spinach

Postby lojong1 » Tue May 13, 2014 5:08 pm

Y'all might have Lamb's quarters growing wild near home. It's a good alternative.

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Re: In praise of spinach

Postby manas » Wed May 14, 2014 1:57 pm

Mkoll wrote:Yikes, raw spinach? Eating the fully grown, high nutrient density dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, collards) raw makes me feel like a cow. They take forever to chew. Glad you like it though!

Some lemon juice might spruce up your recipe as well as add more nutritional benefits.

Dark green leafies are good for the body in many, many ways and are really something almost all of us should be eating more of, whether raw or cooked.


Hi Mlkoll,

I have another idea regarding how to dress them to make them more palatable: it would be to create a kind of 'sauce' by blending together some mashed up avacado with the oil and vinegar - the result would be that every leaf would be in effect coated with this yummy dressing and would probably taste much milder, and less 'intense' as I know all the dark greens you mentioned can do most times. A pinch of sea salt in the dressing might help too in making the experience more enjoyable.

:anjali:

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Re: In praise of spinach

Postby manas » Wed May 14, 2014 2:12 pm

Hi everyone,

thanks for the feedback, I wasn't sure if others would share my enthusiasm for a daily serve of dark green leafies, but it appears others are already onto it as well. About the oxalates, I should mention that yes when I said a bowl a day I did not mean a humungous amount, I meant a modest sized serving size, to accompany the rest of the meal. I mean anything in excess can be bad for us, even something that is usually good for us, can be harmful if we overdo it, right? But overall, all the books on health and nutrition I've either read or consulted stressed the importance of having some dark green leaves every day. And I do agree that mixing some milder, other types of leaves through the mix is a good idea too, and would make the experience more palatable for many. In my case I've been chewing from time to time on raw leaves such as barley greens and dandelion, which are far more bitter than spinach, and so by comparison eating spinach raw and on it's own doesn't seem too hard to do, although remember if the dressing is really good, it is possible to enjoy this also...

manas :anjali:

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Re: In praise of spinach

Postby Mkoll » Wed May 14, 2014 3:02 pm

manas wrote:
Mkoll wrote:Yikes, raw spinach? Eating the fully grown, high nutrient density dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, collards) raw makes me feel like a cow. They take forever to chew. Glad you like it though!

Some lemon juice might spruce up your recipe as well as add more nutritional benefits.

Dark green leafies are good for the body in many, many ways and are really something almost all of us should be eating more of, whether raw or cooked.


Hi Mlkoll,

I have another idea regarding how to dress them to make them more palatable: it would be to create a kind of 'sauce' by blending together some mashed up avacado with the oil and vinegar - the result would be that every leaf would be in effect coated with this yummy dressing and would probably taste much milder, and less 'intense' as I know all the dark greens you mentioned can do most times. A pinch of sea salt in the dressing might help too in making the experience more enjoyable.

:anjali:


Mmm..avocado tastes great and is supposed to be one of the healthier fats. I'll probably try that sometime, though I will stick to baby spinach for salads!
Peace,
James


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