Popeye wasn’t the only one who knew the benefits of powering down some spinach! But his canned stuff doesn’t compare to the fresh spinach available from our own gardens, farmers markets and grocery stores today. Spinach is one of the most nutrient dense and delicious greens, and couldn’t be easier to integrate into our diets.
KEY PHYTONUTRIENTS AND HEALTH BENEFITS
Research is confirming that spinach is packed with potent phytochemicals. Naturally, its green color lets you know its rich in the blue-green pigment, chlorophyll. Like parsley, spinach is rich in apigenin, one of the most potent anti-cancer phytochemicals discovered yet. Hidden in those green leaves are carotenoids like lutein, which help protect against cataracts and macular degeneration with its resulting blindness. Zeaxanthin, another potent cancer-fighting compound is present in spinach.
A recent study showed that women with the highest intake of spinach (2 servings per week) had the lowest incidence of breast cancer. Spinach has been demonstrated in human studies to reduce cravings and induce satiety in obese individuals. Spinach has been used to help correct anemia, osteoporosis, macular degeneration and hypertension. It has a high concentration of iron, as well as magnesium, potassium and calcium. It’s also rich in vitamins A, C, K, and folic acid.
Spinach is rich in oxalic acid, which is why your tongue may have that dry, chalky feeling after eating it. Oxalic acid predisposes some people to the development of oxalic acid kidney stones. To prevent this, rotate other greens through your diet. Spinach is also rich in “purines”, a nucleic acid that can aggravate gout, an arthritic condition that is remedied by avoiding purine-containing foods. Finally, spinach is on the Environmental Working Groups “Dirty Dozen”, meaning that commercial spinach contains high levels of pesticides and herbicides, so eat organic spinach whenever possible.
- Easy Morning Scramble
- Sunday Frittata
- Spinach with Garam Masala
- Countless salads to come!