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Spinach Sustenance

Spinach Sustenance Greens

Filled with Flavonoids

Researchers have also identified at least 13 different flavonoid compounds in spinach that function as antioxidants and as anti-cancer agents.

Raw spinach has a mild, slightly sweet taste that can be refreshing in salads, while its flavor becomes more acidic and robust when it is cooked. Calorie for calorie, leafy green vegetables like spinach provide more nutrients than any other food. Enjoy it steamed or stir-fried, or make a fresh, crunchy spinach salad.

Spinach

Eat more of this super green to help reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration  External Link, cancer, heart disease and neural tube defects.

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people 65 years and older. Lutein and zeaxantin are two carotenoids supplied by spinach that may reduce the risk of this type of macular degeneration and help keep your eyes healthy.

Other sources of lutein and zeaxantin are collards, mustard greens, red chili peppers and sweet red bell peppers.

Carotenoids and the antioxidant vitamins C and E in spinach are also believed to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and cataracts. And the healthy dose of potassium and calcium found in spinach can help regulate your blood pressure. For atherosclerosis  External Link and diabetic heart disease, few foods compare to spinach in their number of health-helpful nutrients.

The benefits of spinach don't stop there! Spinach and other leafy greens also provide folic acid, which is known to reduce the risk of neural tube defect and heart disease. Some studies have shown that the compounds in spinach may even improve your memory!

Choosing Spinach

Choose spinach that has vibrant deep green leaves no signs of yellowing in the stems. The leaves should look (and be) fresh and tender, not wilted or bruised. Avoid any that have a slimy coating as this is an indication of decay.

Washing Spinach

Spinach, bunched or prepackaged, needs to be washed very well before eating. The leaves and stems collect a lot of sand and soil. Before washing, trim off the roots and separate the leaves. Place the spinach in a large bowl of tepid water and swish the leaves around with your hands as this will allow any dirt to become dislodged. Remove the leaves from the water, empty your bowl, refill with clean water and repeat this process until no dirt remains in the water (usually two to three times will do the trick). If you're going to use it in a salad or want its "crunch" on a sandwich, use a salad spinner to dry the spinach. If you're going to be cooking it, you needn't dry it.

Enjoying Spinach:

  • Toss spinach, romaine lettuce and red peppers into your next salad for a nutritional boost.
  • Enjoy spinach steamed or stir-fried, or make a fresh, crunchy spinach salad.
  • Pine nuts are a great addition to cooked spinach.
  • Toss steamed spinach with pressed garlic, fresh lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese.
  • Add layers of steamed spinach to your next lasagna recipe.

Cold Fighting Curry Green Leaf Soup

Add 1/2 cup finely shredded spinach, 1 tablespoon finely diced red onion, 2 teaspoons curry powder and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne to soup bowl. Cover with 1-1/2 cup hot vegetable broth.

Notable Nutrients in 1/2-cup boiled spinach

Boiled Spinach on Plate

  • Calories: 21
  • Vitamin A: 89,433 IU (189 percent DV)
  • Folate: 132 micrograms (33 percent DV)*
  • Vitamin C: 9 milligrams (15 percent DV)
  • Vitamin K: 444 micrograms (555 percent DV)
  • Copper: 0.31 milligrams (16 percent DV)*
  • Iron: 3.2 milligrams (18% DV)*
  • Magnesium: 79 milligrams (20 percent DV)*
  • Potassium: 429 milligrams (12 percent DV)
  • Fiber: 4.3 grams (17 percent DV)
  • Beta Carotene: 5,659 micrograms

This leafy green vegetable is packed full of nutrients. It's such a versatile food that it could make a different appearance on your table every day for a week, in salads, as a steamed veggie, in main dishes, even dessert!

How about having spinach IN your salad and ON your salad? Plus, then try this Spinach Salad Dressing Recipe. Or, try tossing steamed spinach with pressed garlic, fresh lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese.

October is Spinach Lover's Month and Spinach Day is March 26th.

Spinach Garlic Pasta Recipe Card

Spinach Garlic Pasta Recipe Card

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