All About Spinach
In maintaining a healthy lifestyle, loading up on fruits and veggies is one step you can’t skip. One particular veggie that works hard when it comes to fueling your body is spinach. For optimum health, it’s recommended you consume one serving, or one cup, of dark leafy green vegetables every day. Some spinach leaves added to your sandwich or a colorful strawberry spinach salad definitely fulfills that recommendation. Read on to find out more about spinach’s benefits and recipes to incorporate this super veggie into your weekly menu.
The leafy vegetable originated in the Middle East, most likely in the vicinity of ancient Persia. It then continued to travel east through India and finally to China, landing there in the mid 600s. Currently, China produces more than 80 percent of the world’s supply of spinach, with the United States coming in at second. There are three modern-day variations of spinach: savoy, semi-savoy, and flat-leaf. The savoy has the most crinkled leaves, and the flat-leaf, as the name implies, has a much smoother appearance.
Spinach is a nutrient-dense veggie, delivering a powerful amount of vitamins and minerals to our systems. Among the many benefits of eating spinach, it’s high in folic acid, making it a great superfood for expectant moms, as folic acid is needed for healthy neural tube development in babies. Spinach also contains antioxidants, which has been shown to lower your risk of certain cancers. The leafy greens made famous by the cartoon “Popeye” is also high in magnesium, which promotes many healthy functions in the body like metabolism, heart rate and nerve activity. If that wasn’t enough, consuming spinach on a regular basis can help to lower blood pressure and promote bone health and regularity. Incorporate this into your healthy meals planning.
A spinach salad loaded with protein like chicken or salmon, plus some fruit and nuts is a lunch that’s hard to beat. Spinach in a smoothie is also a great way to get those green, leafy veggies in your diet. The smoothie may have an unappealing color, but the taste is camouflaged. This makes an awesome spinach smoothie . Here’s a quick easy recipe to try:
1 cup seedless green grapes
1 cup packed baby spinach
1/2 cup ice
1/4 cup coconut milk
Place in blender, blend until smooth and frothy. Awesomeness in a glass!!!
You can also include some spinach in your next pasta dish, or simply cook it by itself for a side dish. When cooking spinach and kale, cook until the leaves turn a bright green color and are slightly wilted. How about an easy sautéed spinach recipe with savory garlic to add to your next dinner. It can even liven up ordinary dishes, adding a twist on the classic egg drop soup.
When you’re buying more produce, it’s handy to have the do and don’t list of fruits and veggies: those that you should purchase organic, and those that are fine to buy conventional or local. Because spinach doesn’t have a thick outer skin, it’s more susceptible to pesticide residue. Head to the organic section when stocking up on your spinach supply. Remember this list the next time you shop:
The Clean 15: Most Sprayed With Pesticides:
Sweet corn Peaches & Nectarines
Sweet peas (frozen) Spinach
Onions Sweet Peppers
Mango Cherry Tomatoes
Papayas Snap Peas (imported)
Grapefruit Mustard/Collard Greens
Sweet potatoes Hot Peppers
So channel your inner Popeye, and add some meals to your menu this week that incorporate spinach. It’s yet another positive choice that you can make on your way to building a healthy lifestyle.