If eating better and staying healthy are priorities on your personal to-do list, adding in spinach could be a fun and nutritional way to improve your overall health.
It also has a plethora of vitamins and minerals that support your immune system to help ward off viruses and toxins.
Spinach offers endless benefits
Spinach – or Persian green – is nutrient rich, containing high levels of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron and calcium.
This popular green vegetable also is a great source of fiber to aid in digestion. It is very high in insoluble fiber, adding bulk to stool to ward off constipation.
Chrisanne Urban, a Marshfield Clinic Health System dietitian, cautions that spinach consumption also comes with a downside. “It is high in vitamin K, which can cause blood clotting and may interfere with any medicine that causes blood thinning,” she said. “It is high in oxalates and some people’s body cannot tolerate them, causing kidney stones.”
Preparation options increase menu-planning fun
Spinach is nutrient-dense whether you eat it raw or cooked. However, like many vegetables, you can lose some nutrients by cooking. That being said, cooked spinach is more dense so you have the potential to eat more of it per helping, which increases the number of nutrients consumed.
Eating it closest as possible to harvest provides optimal nutritional value. “After the eighth day of picking, it loses half of its major nutrients,” Urban said.
Four fun facts
A relative of beets and quinoa, spinach is a leafy green flowering plant native to central and western Asia.
Below are four fun facts:
- It is made up of 91% water.
- China is the worldwide leader in production.
- In the United States, California produces 75% of spinach for American consumption.
- In medieval days, artists would use the green pigment as ink or paint.
For a great cooking idea to incorporate this leafy green vegetable into your diet, check out this recipe.Print Recipe