As everyone knows, Popeye owed his grotesquely oversized forearms to frequent consumption of spinach. What exactly motivated Popeye’s creator E.C. Segar to give his most popular character such a peculiar appetite has long been the subject of speculation. In any case, the oft-cited claim that Segar grossly overestimated the value of iron in the vegetable is almost certainly apocryphal.
While spinach is rich in iron, its greatest nutritional selling point may be as a terrific source of vitamin A. Vitamin A plays a variety of roles in the body, including maintenance of good vision and efficient production of new blood cells. At regulated levels it is also very important in healthy fetal development and breastfeeding.
While grapes are favoured for their wonderful taste and adaptability into various other kinds of food and drink, they are also extremely healthy in a variety of ways. Grapes are high in vitamin K, which helps promote proper blood clotting among other benefits, and vitamin C, one of the most popular and essential vitamins we consume regularly.
Grapes are also high in both water content and fibre – recommended for helping to keep your bowels open for business, so to speak.
It is widely believed that consumption of grapes may also help prevent heart disease due to a high presence of antioxident polyphenols, however, this has yet to be proven conclusively.
Like spinach and strength, carrots seem to be inexorably linked to the belief that they promote healthy eyesight, particularly night vision. While the nutritional benefits of carrots are plentiful, there’s no research to suggest that eating them in abundance will help you see in the dark.
According to modern lore, this myth was first spread by British RAF personnel in World War II. Hoping to cover the development and success of a newfangled nocturnal radar system, the RAF began spreading rumours that excessive carrot consumption had contributed to their pilot’s improved nighttime performance. The Germans, apparently, bought it.
It’s common knowledge that bananas are high in potassium, but just what the heck is potassium, anyway?
In terms of nutrition potassium is a mineral that does not occur naturally in the body, but produces a wide range of health benefits when consumed, including promoting the conduction of electrical impulses, maintenance of blood pressure, and healthy digestion.
However, too much potassium can cause hyperkalemia, a condition that reveals itself in arrhythmic heart palpitations, and can be fatal if not treated.
One of the most generally unloved common vegetables, broccoli is also relatively new. It didn’t become “popular” at North American dinner tables until as recently as the 1920s.
If any food proves the adage “if it tastes bad, it must be good for you,” it’s broccoli. It contains numerous anti-cancer nutrients (best preserved when eaten raw), and like spinach, can promote healthy eyesight with its high amounts of luiten.