Superfood Spotlight: Spinach

The next Superfood I am going to talk about is spinach.  These beautiful leafy greens are loaded with vitamins and minerals that can contribute greatly to your health.  Let’s chat about why these leaves are so good for you…
  • Plenty of Antioxidants and Anti-inflammatories :  Ones prevalent in spinach are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, beta-carotene, and zinc.  These contribute to the decreased risk of several blood vessel- related problems such as atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.  Additionally, these antioxidants create an anti-inflammatory effect and help fight free-radicals that potentially cause cancer.
  • Great for your eyes!  Antixoidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown to aid in eye health.  There is some research that shows it might be absorbed better if you eat it with a little fat, such as a small amount of olive oil .
  • Vitamin K:  In one cup of boiled spinach, you will receive 1110% DV of Vitamin K.  This vitamin is very good for you bones because it fights osteoclasts, which are the cells that break down bone.
  • Magnesium:  In one cup of boiled spinach, you will receive 39% DV of magnesium.  Magnesium has been shown to protect against heart disease and helps lower blood pressure.
  • Iron:  In one cup of boiled spinach, you will receive 36% DV of iron. Iron helps carry oxygen to your cells, providing you with energy.  I have low iron levels and spinach is what I eat to keep up my iron!  Spinach is a great alternative for red meat as an iron source because you fore-go the saturated fats and cholesterol.

Cooking Spinach:

Spinach is easy to incorporate to any meal.  You can eat it raw, sautée it, boil it, and mix it in smoothies.

I just learned that because of the high level of nutrients, there is a high content of oxalic acid.  Oxalic acid can prevent the absorption of calcium, iron and other minerals.  Some say it is best to boil spinach for just one minute to lower the acid content.  Although you may lose a little Vitamin C in the hot water, you will be able to absorb the other minerals more effectively.

Here are some other ways I incorporate spinach into my meals!
You can throw it in just about anything… enjoy!
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