Sunday, June 16, 2013

Spinach (Bayam)

Spinach (Bayam)

1. Amaranthaceae family.

2. Scientific name: Spinacia oleracea.

3. Grown year round and fresh greens

4. Local Production - By Generation Green

  Fresh Green/Red Chemically and Pesticide Free Spinach produce weekly

 Grow together - Green and Red Spinach
 Close up view - Ready to harvest

 Grow at Neo Tiew & Tampines Community Garden

Supplied to That Health Shop & Wang Yuen Fish Soup

5. Health benefits of Spinach

  • Many phyto-nutrients that have health promotional and disease prevention properties.
  • Very low in calories and fats (100 g of raw leaves provide just 23 calories). It contains a good amount of soluble dietary fiber. A sources recommended in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs!
  • Fresh 100 g of spinach contains about 25% of daily intake of iron; one of the richest among green leafy vegetables. Iron is an important trace element required by the body for red blood cell production and as a co-factor for oxidation-reduction enzyme, cytochrome-oxidase during the cellular metabolism.
  • 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. Together these compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a healing role in aging and various disease processes.
  • Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. It thus helps protect from "age-related macular related macular disease" (ARMD), especially in the elderly.
  • In addition, vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for normal eye-sight. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin A and flavonoids also known to help the body protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • 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 by promoting osteotrophic (bone building) activity in the bone. Additionally, it also has established role in patients with Alzheimer's disease by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.
  • 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. Folates help prevent neural tube defects in the offspring.
  • 100 g of farm fresh spinach has 47% of daily recommended levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
  • Its leaves also contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper and zinc. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese and copper are used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis.
  • It is also rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.
  Regular consumption of spinach in the diet helps prevent osteoporosis (weakness of bones), iron-deficiency anemia. Besides, it is believed to protect the body from cardiovascular diseases and cancers of colon and prostate.
6. Vitamin & Minerals
A. Iron
  Is a component of haemogoglobin, the red pigment in blood that transports oxygen to the cells and removes the waste product carbon dioxide.  

How it work?
  A vital component of red blood cells. It is also needed for the production and release of energy in body. Iron plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy immune systems and helps to destroy  invading micro-organism such as viruses and bacteria.
  Iron requirements are thought to double during pregnancy, because the mother produces more red blood cells to supply the growing foetus with oxygen and nourishment.
Deficiency symptoms
- Pale skin
- White or brittle fingernails
- Tiredness
- Sleeplessness
- Loss of appetite
- Itchiness
- Frequent illness
Main Functions:
- Boost energy and reduce fatigue
- Essential for healthy blood 
- Strengthen the immune systems
- Healthy Growth and development
  Iron supplement can cause constipation and indigestion. High dosage can kill, and it is essential to keep iron tablets out of reach of children, as only a few pills can be fatal. Consult doctor before giving your child iron supplement.  
B. Vitamin A
  A fat-soluble vitamin stored in the liver, vitamin A comes in two forms: retinol, found in animals products; and beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A. It has a number of important functions and is essential for healthy skin, eyesight, growth and reproduction. 
How it works?
  Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that destroys free radicals - molecules that damage healthy cells, speed up the aging process and can cause a number of serious disease to develop. Vitamin A promotes the growth of strong teeth and bones, and keeps skin healthy. In the eye, vitamin A is essential for the formation of visual purple, a pigment that lets us see in dim light.
  Vitamin A is well known immune system booster and helps the body to fight infection. It also plays an important role in wound healing.
Deficiency Symptom
- Poor night vision
- Dandruff
- Dry, flaky skin
- Frequent cold and infection
- Mouth ulcers.
Main Function
- Antioxidant
- Boost immunity
- Essential for vision
- Healthy skin
- Fertility
  Vitamin A as retinol can cause birth defects in an unborn child and should not be taken as a supplement by pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant. Pregnant women should also avoid cod liver oil and liver, as these contain high amounts of retinol. Excessive amount of beta-carotene turn your skin yellow, but your color will return to normal if you reduce the dosage.
C. Vitamin C
  A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is also thought to boost immunity and fight a number of disease. It is water-soluble and quickly lost from your body, so a daily intake in vital.
How it works?
  Vitamin C is involved in a large number of biological processes, which is why it is essential for health. It is used to make collagen, the protein that make the skin, joints and bone strong. Vitamin C speed up wound healing, and help to form red blood cells and prevent bleeding. Your body's immune system relies on vitamin C to keep the disease fighting while blood cell active. Vitamin C also helps your body to absorb iron and folic acid effectively and turn food into energy. As one of the main anti oxidant, vitamin C helps to counteract the effect of free radicals, destructive chemicals that speed up the ageing process and cause cell damage.
Deficiency Symptom:
- Bleeding Gum
- Easy bruising
- Aches & Pain-
- Frequent colds and infection
- Red pimples on the skin
- Nosebleeds 
Main Function:
- Keep skin healthy
- Fight infection
- Protect eyesight
- Anti oxidant
  Mega dosage of vitamin C can have laxative effect.
D. Flavonoids
  Bio Flavonoids occur naturally on plants and were once referred to as vitamin P. They help the fruits and vegetables their vivid colors.
Main Function
 Is to enhance the effects of Vitamin C and to protect capillaries tube, minutes blood vessels that allow the transfer of oxygen, water and other essential nutrients between the blood and the tissues. Some bio-flavonoid are powerful antioxidants; other reduce inflammation, bleeding and infection and speed up would healing. 

E. Potassium

  Body need potassium to work properly: it helps muscles to contract, is involved in nerve function, regulates the heartbeat, transfers nutrients to cell and, most important of all, control the amount of water in body cells.

How it work?
  Potassium allows nutrients to move into body cells and waste products to move out. It helps to control the production of the hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels, and to maintain normal blood pressure.

  Potassium helps the digestive system to function properly, to eliminate waste products and ensures that fluid levels are correctly balance in your body.
Deficiency symptoms
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Muscular weakness
- Low blood pressure
- Extreme thirst
- Swollen abdomen
- Confusion & Irritability

Main Function
- Beat fatigue
- Normalizes blood pressure
- Maintains water balance within cells
- Activates enzymes that control energy production in the body.

If you have kidney problems or are taking drugs to reduce high blood pressure do not take potassium supplements without seeking advice from your doctors first.

F. Manganese

  A trace mineral that maintains the healthy functioning of the nervous system, manganese is essential for normal brain function, and is used in the treatment of many nervous system disorders. It is also needed for normal growth and development.

How it work?

  Manganese is important for healthy bones and nerves, is needed for the production of sex hormones and is involved in the production of thyroid hormones, which control the rate at which the body burns up calories. It helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and is needed to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen and minerals to all cells.

  Manganese is needed for the proper breakdown and use of food in your body. It also acts as an antioxidant by activating an enzymes that break down potentially harmful free radicals.

Deficiency Symptoms
- Poor memory
- Skin rashes
- Twitching muscles
- Painful Joint
- Dizziness

Main function
- Vital for brain function
- Improves bone strength
- Help clean out your system
-Promote wound healing

- Manganese is nit thought to be toxic, unless it is inhale (in the form of manganese dust). High doses of manganese may cause learning difficulty in children.

Updated as of 16/6/13
Generation Green

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