I’m Popeye the Sailor Man

“I’m Popeye the Sailor Man”. If you’re old enough you’ve now got the Popeye theme song bouncing around in your head. You are welcome!

The second line of the song is “I’m strong to the finich, ‘cause I eat my spinach”. The important point is that Popeye was eating and singing the praises of spinach in the 1930’s. There was one episode that I just found (thank you YouTube) that shows Popeye educating his nephews on the nutritional benefits of spinach. I know, it’s crazy but true.

You may be wondering what got me searching for Popeye cartoons today…well, I love spinach. If my mother is reading this she may be picking herself up from the floor right now. As a kid I believed that baked beans were a vegetable, and green leafy stuff belonged outside, on trees, in forests. This “love” of spinach did not exist when I was a kid, or even a younger adult for that matter.

I will admit, I still don’t like the taste of spinach, but I’ve come to appreciate the benefits of consuming it regularly. It is low in calories and fat free. A 1-cup serving of raw spinach contains only 7 calories. Spinach is rich in Vitamin K and A. Vitamin K is important for blood clotting, and Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision, immune function, and skin and bone health. When it comes to the minerals that our bodies need, spinach contains moderate amounts of potassium, iron and magnesium. All of that, and so few calories. Thank you Mother Nature.

Thank you to the person who decided that harvesting spinach at an early stage was a good idea. Baby spinach, with it’s smaller leaves, tender texture and sweeter taste is my choice. I mix it into as many dishes as I can. Scrambled eggs, soups, tomato sauces, smoothies, and even refried beans. It’s true; cut it up small enough and it’s barely recognizable. I can easily eat 1 – 5 cups of it in a day. Baby spinach is also great in salads.

The other beautiful thing about spinach is that it can be frozen. I get to thank my Mom for this trick. If you’ve got some in the fridge that is starting to go “off”, steam it, and then freeze it. Then next time you’re making a tomato sauce toss it in. It’s that easy. That bit of knowledge was not included in any of the Popeye cartoons I watched today. Maybe I missed that episode.

Be sure to add spinach to your grocery list. You may not grow muscles like Popeye did, but there’ll be all kinds of other benefits coming your way. Regardless, you can still sing the song…. “I’m Popeye the sailor man…”

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