Popeye's Green Wonder
Spinach is Popeye's favourite food all right, but just try giving it to the kids. Spinach is a dark green vegetable and has lots of vitamins and minerals, which protects us from various life threatening diseases. The antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E found in spinach reduce the risk of cancer, heart diseases and cataract. It has highest amount of Chlorophyll among all green vegetables, a substance, which stimulates hemoglobin and red cell production. Age-related blindness in older people is very common. Lutein and Zeaxantin are two pigments supplied by spinach that keeps the eyes healthy in old age.
The healthy dose of potassium and calcium found in spinach helps regulate blood pressure. The benefits of spinach don't stop here! Spinach and other leafy greens also provide folic acid that reduces the risk of birth defects. Spinach is a good source of iron and can be medicinal for anaemic conditions.
Spinach should be bright green in colour. Do not buy spinach, which is yellowish or rotten. Sometimes, spinach is sprayed with water to make it look fresh, but you can actually gauge its freshness when it is dry. Avoid buying leaves that have holes in them; it means they are infested by insects. Always wash spinach thoroughly before using. Soak it in water for 10 - 15 minutes before you scrub it and dry. Storing Spinach Make sure that the leaves are completely dry. Wrap the spinach leaves in a tissue paper. Put it in an airtight bag and keep it in the refrigerator, if you are not using it immediately. Otherwise, use it within 2-3 days.
Spinach as Staple
Have cooked spinach as a regular vegetable in your diet. Here is a quick way to include this much-valuable greens to your daily diet.
Two Simple Curd-based Recipes:
1. Spinach Vegetable
1 bunch of finely chopped spinach
Take curd in a bowl and mix the spices (and salt) in it. Heat oil in a pan. Add spinach to it and cook for other 2-3 minutes. Don't overcook or it will loss its nutritional value. Add the curd mixture. Remove from fire after a few seconds.
2. Spinach Raita
Alternately, boil spinach in water to blanch it. Drain water and add these leaves to curds. Spice it with cumin powder, a pinch of rock salt and green chilli or red chilli powder, according to personal taste. Add salt to taste. If the curd is on the sour side, you can add a pinch of sugar, too.
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