Lutein: antioxidants in spinach
Spinach contains – like many other dark green leafy vegetables – large amounts of carotenoids, such as Lutein. This fat-soluble plant material is one of the antioxidants, so it protects against oxidative Stress and has an anti-inflammatory effect. It is known also that Lutein has a protective to the health of the eyes.
Lutein inhibits inflammation
With chronic diseases, such as the widespread atherosclerosis, chronic inflammatory processes are associated is always that the increase the risk for a heart attack or other complications. A diet rich in anti-inflammatory substances such as Lutein, beta-carotene, Curcumin, etc. – is, therefore, in chronic inflammatory diseases is particularly important.
Swedish researchers from Linköping University had in previous studies already show that Lutein in patients with coronary heart disease is the inflammatory reactions in the cells of the immune system to weaken. Also, the scientists discovered that this can immune store cells, the Lutein, so that the body can create a lutein stock.
Lutein is sensitive to heat
Then checked the Team in and around Lena Jonasson, Professor and heart specialist at the Linköping University, the extent to which different preparation forms the lutein content of spinach affected. The results of this investigation appeared in the first Food-Chemistry-issue of the year 2019.
Like many other vital substances, including Lutein is heat sensitive. Jonassons Team tested different temperatures, different cooking times and also cold preparation forms.
Lutein content decreases during cooking and Fry
Baby spinach was stir-fried, steamed and boiled, then studied the lutein content. In the course of cooking, the lutein content decreased. The longer the spinach was cooked, the less Lutein was included.
The spinach is fried at high temperatures, then a large part of Lutein is already after two minutes, reduced. Spinach is warmed up in the microwave, then the lutein content increases slightly, since the microwaves of the cell structure of the Plant is destroyed that more Lutein will be set as usual.
The best form of Preparation for spinach: The spinach-Smoothie
“Best of all, it is, however, the spinach at all, not to heat it in the Form of Smoothies to take,” says study author Rosanna Chung. It recommends, in addition, a little fat to add, since Lutein is fat-soluble. In the presence of fat, it is not only better from the cell, it can also be used by the body better.
The easiest Smoothie recipe with spinach is this:
50 g of spinach with 125 ml of freshly squeezed O-juice, 1 small banana and 1 to 2 TBSP. Almond butter mix and enjoy.
More spinach-Smoothies can be found in our PSL-cooking Studio.
Lutein is found in green leafy vegetables, but also all the red, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits. A list of lutein-rich foods, you can find here.