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Spinach has been shown to be effective in improving health for a variety of reasons. Spinach is high in fiber. One cup of spinach has nearly 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber. A diet that is high in fiber helps aid digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and prevents people from overeating.
Research has shown that flavonoids– a phytonutrient have anti-cancer properties. Spinach is abundant in flavanoids. Flavanoids can slow down cell division in human stomach and skin cancer cells. Research has shown that flavanoids provide protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer.
Spinach can help lower blood pressure by inhibiting the angiotensin I-converting enzyme, peptides. Folate in spinach is good for a healthy cardiovascular system. Magnesium in spinach is a mineral that helps to lower high blood pressure.
Lutein is a carotenoid found in spinach that is protective against eye diseases. There is some indication lutein might be absorbed better if you eat it with a little fat. Both antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are especially plentiful in spinach and protect the eye from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Spinach is good for our skin. It containshigh amounts of vitamin A. Vitamin A promotes healthy skin by allowing for proper moisture retention in the epidermis. Eating spinach can help in fighting psoriasis, keratinization, acne and help to prevent early onset of wrinkles. Spinach is also a good source of selenium, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids. Spinach promotes healthy brain and nervous system.
Arthritis sufferers will be glad to know that spinach can help reduce inflammation and pain. Neoxanthin and violaxanthin are two anti-inflammatory epoxyxanthophylls that are found in spinach. These play an important role in controlling inflammation.
Spinach is high in vitamins and nutrients. The vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium present in spinach all serve as powerful antioxidants that combat the onset of osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure. Spinach is also an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6. It’s a very good source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, dietary fiber, and copper.
The abundance of vitamin K in spinach helps to provide an essential part for the synthesis of sphingolipids. Sphingolipids are the crucial fat that make up the Myelin sheath around our nerves. Vitamin K is also an important part of the process of carboxylation. Carboxylation produces the matrix Gla protein that prevents calcium from forming in our body tissues. Eating one cup of spinach contributes to this process that fights atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke.
The vitamin A in spinach can help us fight infection. One cup of spinach contains over 337% of the RDA of vitamin A. Vitamin A protects and strengthens mucous membranes, respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts. Vitamin A also is a key component of lymphocytes (or white blood cells) that fight infection.
Spinach can be very helpful in preventing osteoporosis. If spinach is boiled, one cup provides over 1000% of the RDA of vitamin K that can prevent excess activation of osteoclasts. Osteoclasts are the cells that break down bones. Spinach can also increase the synthesis of osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is the protein that is essential for maintaining the bone density and strength.
Are there any reasons why someone should not eat spinach?
- Some people are allergic to spinach. If you have not eaten it before, eat a small amount to see if you are allergic to it.
- Spinach can be a high pesticide-containing food, so it’s important to always wash spinach and eat organic spinach.
- The oxalates in spinach may interfere with the absorption of calcium, and could crystallize. People who have kidney or gallbladder problems may want to think carefully about choosing to eat spinach.
- People with thyroid problems should consult their doctor about eating spinach. It’s possible that it can interfere with proper thyroid gland functioning. However, many people with thyroid problems choose to cook spinach. Cooking spinach can reduce the goitrogenic compounds.
- Spinach contains purines. Gout-prone people might choose not to eat spinach because they may be affected by the purines in this food.
- Low in calories
- High in vitamin A
- High in vitamin K
- High in magnesium
- High in fiber
- Protein source
- Calcium source
- Antioxidant source
- Cancer preventative
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers cholesterol
- High folate level
- Increases brain function
- Promotes healthy vision
- Increases circulation
- Helps immune system
- Helps fight infection
- Promotes healthy skin
- High in flavanoids
- Vitamin E source
- Beta-carotene source
- Zinc source
- Increases bone density
Disclaimer: The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.