Spinach - Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
Botanical Name :: Spinacia-olerecea
Indian Name :: Palak
The spinach is a leafy vegetable, with broad green leaves. It ranks high among all green vegetables. The leaves are cooling and very nutritive. This vegetable is a cool season annual crop which matures quickly. It has round, very smooth and delicate stem. The leaves are alternate, succulent, fleshy, very smooth and dark green in color. They are generally five to eight cm's. in length and one to one and half cm's. in width. The bottom of the leaf is shiny, with thick veins running across.
Origin and Distribution
The spinach is believed to have been first cultivated by the Arabs. The Persians cultivated it about 2,000 years ago. The Moors or the blacks took it to Spain from where it spread to other parts of the world. The word spinach actually comes from a Spanish word hispania. In India it grows in great abundance. This crop thrives best in cooler and moist climate. High humidity and cool temperature are conducive to the rapid growth of succulent, tender foliage.
Food Value of Spinach
The chemical constituents of spinach are essential amino acids, iron, vitamin A and folic acid. It is one of the cheapest vegetables which supplies the same amount of protein as one gets from the same quantity of meat, fish, eggs and chicken. Other vegetables such as tomatoes, onions and cucumbers may be added to the raw tender spinach. It will make an excellent dish with the addition of a little lemon juice and olive oil. The vitamin C content in lemon juice helps the body to absorb the entire amount of iron from the spinach consumed.
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Spinach
The leaves of spinach are demulcent or soothing agents, refrigerant or collants, diuretic and milk laxative
Uses of Spinach
Spinach is often cooked as a green vegetable, It is also used as a soup. Small, young and tender leaves of spinach can be used as raw salads. They are as appetizing as tender lettuce leaves.- The leaves of spinach are so juicy that no additional water is needed for its cooking. The leaves should first be washed in several changes of water. The water which clings to the leaves is sufficient for cooking without adding more. The leaves should always be cooked on a moderate heat. It contributes roughage, color and a bland flavor to the diet and it helps to balance the fuel foods in the menu.
It however, contains a small amount of oxalic ac.id which is ill soluble in the fluids of the alimentary tract and is harmful in gravels, gout and liver disease. Therefore, it should not be used by those suffering from these ailments.
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