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Was Popeye Right?

Aug 17, 2007
The other day I was doing some research on discovering which raw foods have the highest alkaline mineral content. The major alkaline minerals are calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. Any raw foods that are high in those minerals will be alkaline forming.

As you may or may not know, it's very important to keep your body properly mineralized and at the same time functioning at the proper blood pH level of about 7.4.

Eating a cooked food diet will make you more acidic. Also eating too much fat in the diet will make you more acidic, because fat interferes with the body's ability to deliver oxygen to the cells. Also nuts and seeds tend to be higher in the acid forming minerals of chlorine, phosphorous and sulfur. A high protein diet will also make you more acidic.

Keep in mind that it's also possible to be too alkaline. The key here is the proper balance.

A Common Dietary Mistake:

A mistake almost all people make is in not eating enough raw and mineral rich leafy green vegetables. This is vital to your health. When you consume a high quantity of mineral rich foods, you'll notice that your cravings for junk foods will go down dramatically.

We must eat lots of fruit to fuel ourselves, but fruit alone is not enough for us to thrive in the long term. We also need a food that is like a supplement, it's not high in calories but it is high in nutrients. Dark, leafy green vegetables are high in minerals, vitamins, fiber etc.

Finding a way to enjoy eating leafy greens and even more important, finding a way to properly absorb the nutrients from these foods is vitally important.

Victoria Boutenko and her "Raw Family" started seeing their health deteriorate after many years of being raw. It turns out they didn't really like eating greens. After extensive research she eventually realized that the lacks of greens in their diet was why their health was less than optimal.

In her book, "Greens For Life," Victoria talks about a way in which anyone on any diet can improve their health. By simply adding a quart of delicious green smoothies to their diets.

Learn All About Popeye's Super Food:

The first food I analyzed for its alkaline mineral content was celery. Then I analyzed spinach and found it was much higher than celery in alkaline minerals.

In fact, spinach was high not just in minerals but in virtually every major beneficial nutrient as well. Maybe that is why Popeye was so strong when he ate his spinach.

Let me give you a quick rundown of the alkaline minerals in 25-calorie servings of celery, spinach, kale, romaine lettuce and banana.

Celery

Calcium: 62.0 mg
Magnesium 17.0 mg
Potassium 403 mg
Sodium 124.0 mg

Spinach

Calcium: 109 mg
Magnesium 87.0 mg
Potassium 614 mg
Sodium 87.0 mg

Kale

Calcium: 68.0 mg
Magnesium 17.0 mg
Potassium 224 mg
Sodium 22.0 mg

Romaine Lettuce

Calcium 48.0 mg
Magnesium 20.0 mg
Potassium 358.0 mg
Sodium 12.0 mg

Banana

Calcium: 1.0 mg
Magnesium 8.0 mg
Potassium 100 mg
Sodium 0.0 mg

As you can see, all of these green vegetables are alkaline forming foods, but spinach is the overall winner. Even celery is higher in alkaline minerals than kale is. That was a surprise to me.

Spinach also has a better than perfect amino acid score of 119. Thirty percent of the calories from spinach come from protein.

It's high in dietary fiber and its sodium is of course in the organic form, which our bodies utilize naturally. It's the inorganic form of sodium which is toxic to us and every cell in the body.

Sea Salt Is Not A Health Food, No Matter What You've Read About It:

Sea salt or rock salt is not a health food no matter how many unabsorbable trace minerals it has. If you drink a glass of seawater you are going to get severely dehydrated, drink enough of it and you'll die.

Why would consuming the salt, minus the water make it any healthier for you? This is just another marketing gimmick to get you to buy something which actually damages your health.

Spinach is also very high in these vitamins: A, C, E, K, B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate. Spinach is quite high in these other minerals as well: iron, zinc, copper and manganese.

What many people don't realize is that per calorie, spinach has over six times more potassium than bananas do. In fact, most of the green vegetables I tested had a higher potassium level per calories than bananas.

This is not to say you shouldn't eat bananas, it's just to point out that we've been taught to think of bananas as the highest source of potassium when they really aren't. In fact, there are a number of other fruits that are much higher in potassium than bananas.

** No Need To Worry About The Oxalic Acid In Raw Spinach **

Some people are concerned that they'll leach calcium by eating spinach. It turns out this is quite unlikely to be a problem for most people.

Here's a quote from Dr. Gabriel Cousens book "Conscious Eating," on this very point.

"In one extensive study on children put on a high-spinach diet and other high-oxalate foods, no evidence of any alteration of calcium, vitamin D, or phosphorous metabolism was found. It is possible, however, if a person has a low calcium intake or poor calcium metabolism, that a high-oxalate diet could cause a calcium deficiency."

Another factor is whether the spinach is cooked or raw. In the raw form it's believed the oxalic acid will not bind with the calcium. In other words, eat as much spinach as you want as long as it's raw.

Did you know that many other raw foods naturally contain oxalic acid? Foods like sesame seeds, nuts, citrus fruit, tomatoes, asparagus, beets, Swiss chard, dandelion greens and cranberries. So if you haven't been worrying about the oxalic acid content in these foods, I don't think you need to worry about it by increasing your consumption of spinach.

** How To Add More Spinach To Your Diet And Enjoy It **

I've been adding more spinach to my diet by putting it in my smoothies. I've found that it doesn't change the taste very much at all. And by blending the spinach in my Vitamix, I make the nutrients from the spinach more absorbable.

Most people don't take the time they need to chew properly. Even if you are eating big salads, you are likely not absorbing the nutrients from the vegetables well enough, unless you've chewed every mouthful down to its liquid form.

Banana, Blueberry and Spinach Smoothie:

3 ounces water. Add more or less depending on how thick or thin you want your smoothie to be.

3 or more bananas

4 ounces of fresh or frozen blueberries

3 or more ounces of raw spinach

This makes for a delicious smoothie and at the same time you are making sure to get extra mineral and nutrient rich food into your body.

It doesn't matter what diet you are on, adding green smoothies to your diet will improve your health and happiness.
About the Author
Roger Haeske is a Radiant Health Coach and the founder of http://HowToGoRaw.com. To learn more about Green Smoothies, Blended Salads, Blended Soups and Puddings and how and why they'll improve your health then visit http://www.HowToGoRaw.com/GreenCleanse1.html
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