Spinach

spinachSpinach Extract is one of the ingredients of Dr. Grossman's Advanced Vision Support Formula.

Spinach is one of the heros of the vegetable world for those concerned about their vision. It is chock full of vitamins and nutrients which are essential for good vision health. Like other dark leafy greens such as kale (the #1 source), it is richly endowed with the cartenoids which are so important in protecting the eye against oxidative damage.

Let's take a look.

  • Raw spinach Raw spinach contains oxalic acid which breaks down with heat. Oxalic acid binds itself to some nutrients making us less able to absorb them. This includes iron and calcium and some other micronutrients. On the other hand, raw spinach contains micronutrients which are more absorbable taken raw including vitamin C, folate, B2, B3, and potassium.
  • Cooked spinach Without the binding effect of oxalic acid not only is more calcium and iron bioavailable but important vision vitamins such as vitamins A, E, B1, protein and the essential vision carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
  • Daily values. The daily values are significant. For example,3.5 oz of spinach contains 59% of vitamin A needs, 34% of vitamin C, and 13% of vitamin E. It also provides 460% of vitamin K - the vitamin that is involved in the clotting process, and 49% of folate.1
  • Pesticides. It is important to grow your own or only buy organic spinach. It is one of a dozen most heavily pesticide-contaminated foods. In addition, according to wikipedia, non-organic spinach may be high in cadmium contamination.1
  • Phytonutrients. We especially appreciate spinach for its high levels of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. If it is cooked only briefly, as in sauteeing or 5-minute steaming the levels of carotenoids are not much depreciated. In addition, spinach is a rich source of chlorophyll with implications for treatment for obesity due to specific processes initiated by chlorphyll in the body.

Spinach reduces inflammation

Spinach contains large amounts not only of carotenoids but bioflavonoids. It includes other lesser known carotenoids such as neoxanthin and violaxanthin. The carotenoids support macular pigment thickness and density which protects the eye from oxidative stress caused by UV radiation. Researchers find that an extract of spinach, glycolipid, suppresses vascular inflammation.2

Interestingly, the greater the amount of blue light under which greens are grown, the greater the concentration of carotenoids.3

Footnotes

1. Wikipedia, spinach article
2. M. Ishii, T. Nakahara, et al, Glycolipids from spinach suppress LPS-induced vascular inflammation through eNOS and NK-_B signaling, Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, April, 2017.
3. G. Samuoliene, et al, Blue light dosage affects carotenoids and tocopherols in microgreens, Food Chemistry, August, 2017.