Do you eat a variety of greens each week?
Admittedly, most people don’t consume enough to gain the full benefit.
Spinach is something I hadn’t been eating much of lately, so I wanted to revamp some my older recipes.
Why is spinach beneficial for health?
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including iron vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6.
It’s also a very good source of dietary fiber, copper, protein, phosphorous, zinc and vitamin E.
Difficulties in absorption
#1 The bioavailability of iron in the body is dependent on its absorption.
Iron from spinach is absorbed slowly, and this absorption varies depending on the presence of binders, such as fibre, or enhancers, such as vitamin C.
#2 Spinach also contains high levels of oxalate, which binds to iron causing it to be removed from the body.
Therefore, if you’re not vegetarian, iron from animal sources is best. To enhance the absorption of iron have with a source of vitamin C.
#3 Spinach has a high calcium content.
However, the oxalate binds with calcium decreasing its absorption. It is thought that only 5% of the calcium in spinach is absorbed.
However, regardless of the above, spinach is still an extremely worthwhile source of other vitamins and minerals.
Methods for cooking/eating:
- Steamed in little water
- Sautéed in pan with small amount of olive oil
- Microwaved without water
- Quickly boiled in little water
15 simple recipe and snack suggestions:
- Blend into cheese for lasagna, or add to lasagna in layers.
- Add to brownies, cookies or cakes as part of the fat and/or liquid in the recipe.
- Add chopped spinach to soufflés and omelets.
- Try a spinach and potato pie.
- Blend into hummus, or other healthy dips.
- Make pesto with equal amounts of spinach and basil.
- Add to meatballs and burgers.
- Stuff pasta and chicken breasts with spinach.
- Make a spinach leaf salad.
- Season spinach with nutmeg, mint, or roasted cumin.
- Add spinach to beaten eggs just before scrambling.
- Sauté a few cloves of garlic in olive oil, add spinach and toss until slightly wilted.
- Add chopped spinach to pasta sauce at the end of cooking.
- Rolled tortilla wheels – mix frozen chopped spinach, low fat cream cheese, garlic, red pepper, mayo. Layer onto a flat tortilla. Roll it up and slice off in rounds.
- Spinach dip served with warm crusty bread. To make the dip mix spinach, low fat sour cream, and reduced salt onion soup mix.
What are your suggestions for adding more greens to your diet?