Spinach is seen both as a life force and a cause for sheer rebellion, depending on whom you ask. The enthusiast might be the token health nut in your friend circle and the pessimist is likely your 7-year-old daughter and most grown men. However, whichever side of the spinach argument you fall on, there’s no denying it’s insanely healthy for you.
Health benefits: Spinach is one of the best foods you can add to your diet as it’s loaded with essential vitamins and nutrients like iron, vitamin C, niacin, calcium and vitamin B. It’s also an excellent source of free-radical fighting antioxidants, and contains folate, fiber, lutein and potassium, which are all essential for maintaining a healthy heart.
Helpful tip: Did you know that microgreens can pack up to 40 times more nutrients than their mature counterparts? For this reason, stick to baby spinach when possible. And if you really want to be an over-achiever, organic is best since the whole green in consumed.
Nutritional statistics: 1 cup contains approximately 7 calories, 0 g fat, 24 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 1 g protein, 56% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A, and 14% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C.
Cooking methods: Spinach is extremely versatile when it comes to cooking. While it makes a terrific salad base as is, it can also be added fresh to green smoothies without affecting the flavor one bit. You can also enjoy it in dips, like the spinach and artichoke dip below. Or steamed and served as a stand-alone side or pureed into a soup. The options are seemingly endless.
Coconut Quinoa Spinach Salad by Sprouted Kitchen
Garlicky Greens Bruschetta with Olive Tapenade by The First Mess
If you’re still on the fence about spinach, consider this our passion argument for trying it! Besides, with tasty recipes like these you can begin incorporating more nutrient-dense greens into your diet without sacrificing a bit on flavor. Who knows, before long you could be a spinach enthusiast, too!
January 27th, 2013