Glycoglycerolipids: Any glycolipid containing at least one sugar residue linked directly to the glycerol moiety (as defined by Wiktionary)
Let me break that down for you. First off, glyco is refering to sugar, glycerol and lipids to fat. These are fat based molecules found in chloroplasts, the sub-units in plant cells that convert light to food. And as it turns out, they’re good for us!
A few studies conducted over the past several years seemed to show some impressive benefits from glycoglycerolipids. One such experiment involved treating intestinal mucosal (gut lining) injuries in rats. Glycolipid extracts had anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects. There have also been studies on the anti-cancer affects of glycoglycerolipids. As reported on SFGate, a group of Japanese nutritional researchers found that these lipids slowed or blocked the proliferation of cancer cells and tumors.
So how can you get glycoglycerolipids in your diet? A great way to start is spinach, as it has a very high concentration of them. Try to eat it raw. Here are a few ways:
- Incorporate into a salad
- Blend into a smoothie (you really can’t taste it)
- Finely chop, like you would herbs, and sprinkle over food
- Use it on sandwiches like you would lettuce
Glycolipids aren’t just contained in spinach, they are found in a variety of plant foods, so be sure to eat your fruits, and especially your veggies!
- PubMed.gov – Protective effects of glycoglycerolipids extracted from spinach on 5-fluorouracil induced intestinal mucosal injury
- PubMed.gov – Anti-cancer effect of spinach glycoglycerolipids as angiogenesis inhibitors based on the selective inhibition of DNA polymerase activity
- SFGate – The Advantages of Spinach
- WHFoods.com – Spinach
featured image credit: blue.tofu via flickr