Spinach

spinach3
A short leafy plant Spinacia Oleracea is filled with iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, antioxidants and calcium. Spinach is excellent for cleansing, purifying and restoring balance to the intestines.

History

Spinach originates from the Middle East, most likely Persia or modern-day Iran. It was brought to Spain via the Moors extension conquest somewhere between 800 AD and 1200 AD. In 13th century in Damascus (Syria), burani was a popular dish, made with spinach, yogurt, garlic, and spices. During renaissance in Italy, in the city of Castelvetro, spinach was used as the stuffing for tortelli. Cultivation of spinach began in the USA around 1806.

Popeye’s  secret weapon

Spinach has been popularized by the cartoon character Popeye, who attributes his amazing strength to a daily diet of the green leafy vegetable. In real life, potential is far less lofty. You need to add a little citrus juice to increase the absorption of the nutritive element. A myth has long been linking spinach to prosperity. Eat spinach and increase your chances of making more money. Mediterranean Jews prepare a traditional dish call shpongous, which mix sheep’s cheese and spinach. That dish is served as a dairy dish on Shavuot, the fifty days  holiday after Passover, celebrating the Palestinian harvest and the anniversary of the giving of the Law.

Availability

Currently, California & Texas are the United States’ major producers. This functional food is found all year around at your grocery store. As fresh, choose crisp and vibrantly green leaves with no sign of yellowing, wilting or bruising. There are 4 main types of spinach. Savoy sports crinkled with dark green leaves, Flat or Smooth-Leaf which is self-descriptive, Semi-Savoy whose leaves are in-between Savoy and Flat, and Flat-Leaf Baby spinach. The latter are very tender and desirable for salads. You can always find some in the frozen section idea for soup and sauce if you are in a press by time.

Cancer latest research

There are about 90 publications so far. Most studies so far were done on mutation and protection for liver in animal model. However encouraging results were shown in human breast and prostate cancers. Phytochemicals present in spinach affects cancer cell survival (which is a very good news) and inhibits inflammation – one of the four basic processes of cancer growth.

Types of Cancers affected

1. Colon cancer
2. Prostate cancer
3. Stomach cancer
4. Breast cancer

Posology

-1/2 a cup of fresh or frozen leaves. Salads are great ;but you can cook them.

Cancer protection level

Apoptosis
Angiogenesis
Inflammation
Proliferation

References

Identifying efficacious approaches to chemoprevention with chlorophyllin, purified chlorophylls and freeze-dried spinach in a mouse model of transplacental carcinogenesis. Castro DJ, Löhr CV, Fischer KA, Waters KM, Webb-Robertson BJ, Dashwood RH, Bailey GS, Williams DE. Carcinogenesis. 2009 Feb;30(2):315-20. Epub 2008 Dec 10.

Anti-tumor effect of orally administered spinach glycolipid fraction on implanted cancer cells, colon-26, in mice. Maeda N, Kokai Y, Ohtani S, Sahara H, Kumamoto-Yonezawa Y, Kuriyama I, Hada T, Sato N, Yoshida H, Mizushina Y. Lipids. 2008 Aug;43(8):741-8.

The chlorophyllin-induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells is associated with ERK deactivation and Cyclin D1 depletion.Chiu LC, Kong CK, Ooi VE. Int J Mol Med. 2005 Oct;16(4):735-40.