Spinach

Ah, spinach. These dark leafy greens are packed with nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. I started eating a lot of spinach when I went plant based thinking I'd be able to get my daily iron intake. And while I did, I got so much more. Spinach provides high amounts of iron, magnesium, folate, vitamin K, vitamin A, potassium, and fiber and is also a great source for health benefits in a number of issues. According to an article by Medical News Today spinach helps with diabetes management, cancer prevention, asthma prevention, lowering blood pressure, bone health, promoting regularity, and having healthy skin and hair.

Spinach

Cooked vs. Raw

Did you know cooked spinach actually gives you 3x as much nutrients as raw spinach? This is because the body has an easier time breaking down cooked spinach versus raw and is able to absorb all the nutrients. Plus 1 cup of cooked spinach is actually closer to 3 cups of raw (because it gets smaller when it is cooked), so you're actually eating MORE spinach when its cooked.

Now, I know a lot of people don't like cooked spinach for several reasons - it can be slimy, chewy, and sometimes it leaves a weird feeling on your teeth. I have a couple of easy tips to incorporate cooked spinach into your meals and you won't even notice its there.

  • Cook and cool spinach and then use it with basil in making a pesto
  • Make spinach ravioli 
  • Chop it up small and toss it in soups, chilis, and stews
  • Add it to a lasagne in a layers (recipe coming shortly)
  • Add it to your Green Smoothie (recipe here)

Nutrients

Spinach is one of the best sources of dietary magnesium, which is necessary for energy metabolism, maintaining muscle and nerve function, heart rhythm, a healthy immune system and maintaining blood pressure.

Here's the breakdown for 1 cup of raw spinach:

  • 0.1 grams of fat
  • 0 mg of cholesterol
  • 167 mg of potassium - helps heart, brain, kidney, and muscle tissue health
  • 0.7 grams of fiber
  • 56% daily value of Vitamin A - strong eyes, vision, helps heart, lungs, and kidney function
  • High in Vitamin K - fights cancer
  • High in Magnesium - helps prevent high blood pressure

My best advice to get you to eat more spinach is to replace all your salad greens with spinach. Any salad, sandwich, or burger topping you'd use lettuce in, replace it with spinach - its that easy!