Spinach Health Benefits and Easy Palak Recipes
Health Benefits of Spinach
When I was young my Mother and Grandmother used to force me to eat spinach saying that it is good for me. As kids I guess many of us grew up seeing Popeye – The Sailor Man where Popeye gulps spinach for instant energy. Spinach is known as ‘Palak’ in Hindi. Spinach belongs to the same family (Amaranthaceae-Chenopodiaceae) as the beets. Spinach is an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, manganese, foliate, magnesium, Iron, Calcium and Potassium. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin E. In addition it also has Omega-3 fatty acids, niacin and selenium.
The health benefits of spinach are numerous and its ability to help prevent or control diseases and health conditions. Spinach, like most green vegetables, contains Lutein which is protective against eye diseases. Researchers have identified compounds in spinach that function as antioxidants and as anti-cancer agents. Another study has revealed that spinach contains protein components which are used to lower blood pressure. Apart from this Spinach is also good for bone health as it contains bone-building nutrients including calcium and magnesium. Spinach is said to be good for those with heart disease, arthritis, Anemia, Tumors, Constipation, Insomnia, Obesity, Neuritis, High blood pressure, Bronchitis, Colon cancer, Prostate cancer, Breast cancer, Osteoporosis, Dyspepsia and diseases of kidneys, bladder and liver.
If served raw, Spinach is a good source of vitamin C. By overcooking it important Vitamins may be lost. Cooked spinach is a good source of iron. Iron is a mineral that it particularly important for Women and Children who have increased needs for iron. However, Spinach should be washed very well to remove sand or trace of pesticides. Although allergic reactions may occur for any food, Research show spinach as one of the foods most commonly associated with allergic reactions. Spinach also contains oxalates which may cause health problems at times. Those with existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder or thyroid problems may avoid eating spinach.
Some Healthy Spinach Recipes
- Spinach - 500gm
- Corn flour - 10gm
- Garlic paste - 1tsp
- Butter - 25gm
- Onion paste - 50gm
- Water - 300ml
- Cream - 150ml
- Salt - 2tsp
- Fresh cream for garnish
In a pan, lightly brown the corn flour on a medium flame and keep aside. Put Spinach leaves in Boiled water for 2-3 minutes. Remove the leaves and make a paste of it. Fry Onions in low flame till golden brown and make a paste of the same. Mix all ingredients well and corn flour not forming a lump and cook for approximate 3 minutes in a microwave. Garnish using fresh cream and cook it for another minute.
- 1 bunch of Palak
- 1 Cup Soaked Rice (minimum 30 minutes)
- 2 Green Chillies
- 1/4 tbsp of cumin seeds
- 6 peppercorns powdered
- 1/4 tbsp of
- 1/4 tbsp of finely chopped ginger
- 1/4 tbsp of finely chopped garlic
- 1/4 tbsp of ghee
Put the spinach and green chilies in boiled water for 3 minutes. Remove from water make a paste of it. In a kadai pour ghee and add cumin seeds, peppercorns, chopped ginger and garlic and fry it for 2-3 minutes. Add salt, turmeric powder and spinach paste to it. Add the soaked rice after draining water from the rice. Fry it for some time and then add water to it and remove to a Microwave dish. Cook it thoroughly on microwave for some time and serve it hot with papad.