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The 6 Healthiest Ways to Eat Spinach

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Everyone knows that leafy greens are good for you. In particular, many tout the health benefits of spinach, for its iron, its vitamins…you get the idea. There is, however, lots of debate surrounding the best way to eat spinach, or incorporate it into your diet. Here is a breakdown of some nutritional information, and some ideas of how to easily include this leafy green in your meals.

Just how healthy is Spinach?

Spinach really is just as healthy as you suspect it is. It’s rich in both vitamins and minerals, and is also a source of antioxidants. Among the many vitamins present in large quantities, spinach is a good source of vitamins K, A, and C, all of which are important in creating healthy bones. Spinach is an important source of vitamin B2 and omega-3 fatty acids, which are imperative to a healthy diet.

Spinach also contains phytonutrients, plant-based, naturally occurring chemicals that aren’t essential to survival like vitamins and minerals, but are proving to work wonders in disease prevention. They are found mostly in fruits and vegetables, also whole grains, nuts and beans. Spinach contains several of them, meaning that it has the ability to fight cancer, act as an anti-inflammatory, and help with cardiovascular problems.

There is some speculation, however, that spinach may not be best consumed when raw. Certainly, a higher level of its iron content is accessible once it has been slightly cooked. Spinach also has a high content of oxalic acid, which, when being digested, binds to calcium making it hard to digest. There is an easy remedy to make spinach’s nutrients more digestible, though. It is as simple as boiling it or steaming it. Just remember, don’t keep the water left over for vegetable stalk, as the water will now be high in acidity levels! Raw spinach is, however, higher is vitamin C and potassium. A rotation of a variety of leafy greens, including raw and cooked spinach, are therefore ideal for a healthy diet.

Spinach belongs to a whole family of foods that are considered super foods. Beets, chard, kale, quinoa are all in the same family, called the chenepod family,  and have been linked to nervous system health. This plants- especially spinach- are at the cutting edge of studies, as they may contain levels of nutrients unavailable to us in other foods. Incorporating all of them into our diets might just prove to be a very smart decision.

6 easy ideas on how to eat spinach:

Spinach really is a versatile food. While many children might turn their noses up at their leafy greens, there are so many ways of cooking and preparing it, that there should be at least one way of making it work for everyone.

1. Smoothies: spinach may be added to all number of smoothie combinations to make a super food breakfast. Try it with mango, berries, or orange and pineapple juice for a sweeter combination. To make your yummy beverage thicker in consistency, try avocados, coconut oil or milk, soy (or any other dairy free) yoghurt, or even add a handful of nuts. The options are limitless! Remember, though, that rotating your greens is important for optimal health benefits, and that it is not just spinach that makes a great green smoothie; kale is another great option!

2. Salads: a small amount of baby spinach is always delicious mixed with other salad greens, spring mixtures, fresh veggies, nuts and fruits! Baby spinach also adds texture and flavour to the mix, not just a boost in nutrients.

3. Lightly wilted: quickly wilting spinach over the stop top is perfect for a warm spinach salad, or delicious on its own, or with a bit of bread,  with a bit of olive oil and garlic. Don’t forget a dash of salt!

4. Slightly boiled: boiling your spinach for even just one minute maximizes health benefits and then makes it a really easy addition to pastas, on top of potatoes, you name it. Spinach and tomato sauce is a match made in heaven.

5. Fried: frying, is of course, an easy way of preparing any sort of vegetables. Add your other favorites for a quick stir-fry, or try something a bit more challenging like spanakopita.

6. In a curry: Dahl, an indian dish prepared mostly with spices, lentils, and onions, is all the yummier with some spinach added in. As far as Indian cuisine goes, this dish is easy and super flavorful. Lentils, spinach, and brown rice are also a perfect nutritious, and high in protein, vegan meal option.

Check out some amazing Spinach recipes below. Happy cooking!

1. Toasted Quinoa Vegetable Stacks with Green Goddess Dressing

Click here for the recipe.

Toasted Quinoa Vegetable Stacks with Green Goddess Dressing

2. Pan Fried Tofu with Ginger, Spinach and Mushrooms

Click here for the recipe.

Recipe: Pan Fried Tofu tossed with Ginger Spinach and Mushrooms

3. Cheezy Spinach and Cilantro Rice

Click here for the recipe.

Cheezy Spinach & Cilantro Rice vegan recipe

4. Spinach Dip

Click here for the recipe.

ogpspinachdip

5. Ramp and Spinach Pesto Pasta

Click here for the recipe.

Recipe: Ramp and Spinach Pesto Pasta

6. Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

Click here for the recipe.

spanakopita greek spinach pie

7. Spinach Quesadillas with Strawberry-Spring Onion Salsa

Click here for the recipe.

Recipe: Spinach Quesadillas with Strawberry-Spring Onion Salsa

8. Indian Cashew Spinach

Click here for a recipe.

Indian Cashew Swiss Chard, Kale or Spinach

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