If you’re looking for a superfood that’s versatile and tastes good, look no further than spinach. While spinach grows well in fields and gardens almost anywhere, this leafy green vegetable came from the Middle East. Spinach is low in calories and sugar, high in fiber, and is highly nutritious. Here are some reasons why eating more spinach is a good idea:
– Spinach is packed with lots of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin A, which is converted from carotenoids found abundantly in spinach
- Vitamin K—all you need is two spinach leaves to supply your daily requirements of this vitamin essential for blood clotting and bone health
- Vitamin C, which is a strong anti-oxidant
- Vitamin D to keep your bones, teeth and muscles in good health
- Spinach is a vegan source of iron, needed for red blood cell health and to help circulate oxygen to your body’s tissues
- Calcium – also essential for bone health, spinach contains high levels of calcium
- Folate, also called Folic acid or Vitamin B9, which is crucial (especially for pregnant women) for cellular health and growth of new tissue
- Magnesium, a mineral necessary for muscle and nerve function, regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and a host of other body functions
- Potassium, an electrolyte that supports muscle function
Spinach has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps lower your risk for a number of diseases. The anti-inflammatory properties of spinach may help keep your brain healthy, especially as you age.Eating spinach can help lower your blood pressure, because it’s high in nitrates, which are natural chemicals that help open your blood vessels and support blood flow.
Spinach is high in antioxidants, which are compounds that offset oxidative stress that causes DNA damage, disease and accelerates aging.
Eating spinach supports the health of your eyes because it contains high levels of lutein, which can help lower your risk of macular degeneration.
How should you eat spinach? There are so many ways! You can make a spinach salad, mix it into an omelet, layer it into your favorite lasagna or stir fry it with garlic. One of my favorite ways is to mix it up into a morning green juice, with green apple ginger and lemon added to a small bunch of spinach. My other favorite spinach recipe is home-made gomae. Gomae is a Japanese side dish that comes from the words goma for sesame, and ae for sauce. Here’s my recipe; it’s quick and simple:
- 1 Bunch of spinach
- 1 tbsp of peanut butter (you can use sesame butter or tahini)
- 1/8 tsp of sesame oil
Directions: Sauté the spinach over medium heat. When it just becomes wilted, toss the spinach with the other ingredients and enjoy!
Dr. Jeda Boughton is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Registered Acupuncturist in Vancouver. She is also a Registered Herbologist and the founder of BodaHealth.