Baby Boomers…Do you remember this song?
"I'm Popeye the Sailor Man,
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.
I'm strong to the finich
Cause I eats me spinach.
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man."
Popeye the Sailor has done more for the reputation and popularity of spinach than anyone could imagine.
A once woefully ignored vegetable, when the Popeye cartoon first aired in the 1930’s indulgence in the green leafy plant rose 33% by U.S. consumers.
Everyone wanted to share in the mighty strength and massive muscles that Popeye developed every time he squeezed open a new can.
And what was the reason for this incredible brawny transformation?
The iron, of course.
The belief that spinach created strength and muscles was based on a simple miscalculation by the German nutritional chemist, Emil von Wolf back in the 1890’s when he mistaken promoted that there was 35 milligrams of iron in every serving of spinach rather than the now realized 3.5 milligrams.
Heck yes, this made spinach look like a wonder veggie.
That’s what author and Popeye creator E. C. Segar thought when he wrote the behavioral quirk of munching cans of spinach into his minor character’s design back in the 1930’s.
This created a worldwide misconception that spinach was indeed a wonder vegetable, remarkably high in iron and capable of making a tower of brawn and bulging muscle out of anyone who ate it.
All blue blooded men across our country wanted to look like Popeye.
I certainly remember as a kid “having to eat my spinach” which back in the late 50’s and early 60’s was nothing more than tasteless and lifeless, soggy blobs of dark green slime scooped from a can found in the dark recesses of our pantry.
Even the repeated trickery by Mom telling me that I would “grow up to be big and strong like Popeye” didn't help when trying to force down a fork full of the gelatinous mess.
Dad always just copied Popeye’s favorite line when it was his turn to support Mom.
“You’ll eats your spinach and likes it.”
So, ironically, in the 1940’s scientists began to notice that even though the iron content of spinach was basically average, the green leafy vegetable offered an abundance of other healthy attributes.
For instance, scientists have discovered that spinach is high in Folates which can add to strength building.
Folates build red blood production and skin cell production.
They also strengthen bones, sharpen nerve endings and help prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
- Spinach is a store house for many phyto-nutrients that have health promotion and disease prevention properties.
- Very low in calories and fats (100 g of raw leaves provide just 23 calories), its leaves hold a good amount of soluble dietary fiber helpful in controlling cholesterol and weight reduction programs.
- Fresh leaves are rich source of several vital anti-oxidant vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, and flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin and beta-carotene.
- Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, helps protect from age-related macular disease.
- Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for normal eye-sight.
- Spinach leaves are an excellent source of vitamin K. 100 g of fresh greens provides 402% of daily vitamin-K requirements. Vitamin K plays a vital role in strengthening the bone mass.
- This green leafy vegetable also contains good amounts of many B-complex vitamins such as vitamin-B6(pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin, folates and niacin.
- 100 g of farm fresh spinach has 47% of daily recommended levels of vitamin C.
- Its leaves also contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper and zinc.
- It is also good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Maybe it wasn't the iron that gave him his superhuman strength but the combination of the other helpful ingredients that spinach supplies.
And thank goodness you can get fresh spinach right from the farm now-a-days instead of having to stare down another plateful of that nasty green goop from our youth.
Hmmm…..you know a nice crisp salad sounds good right about now.
Won’t you join me?
It's easy to tell them about it.
Forward it on to them or just email them my blog link at www.survive55.com.
The more Baby Boomers we can help, the better place we make this world !!!
Thanks for joining me..........................................................