For me it is always spinach season!
As you many know spinach is one of those vegetables you either love or likely pass when offered. And that mostly likely is based on how your parents presented it to you as a child. For me, that was a lump of warm, limp, green mush, from a frozen if I was lucky. But today, I have found much pleasure form fresh spinach, which is such an easy way to get so many benefits (nutritionally) into your diet. The biggest worry today is some contaminant during the picking and packaging process. I solved that by growing my own. Especially in my TowerGarden.
And, it is always at its peak of flavor and nutrition.
Here is just a taste, of how nutritious a vegetable it really is!
Just to be clear, “Spinach may not make your biceps instantly swell like Popeye’s, but a one-cup serving of fresh spinach” does provide the following health benefits.
Benefits of Eating Spinach
- 181% of the Recommended Daily intake (RDI) for vitamin K, which the body needs for healthy blood coagulation and to metabolize calcium.
- 56% of the RDI for vitamin A, necessary for healthy vision, immune strength, and the integrity of skin and mucous membranes.
- 15% of the RDI for folate, a B vitamin that supports heart health, healthy aging, and proper fetal development.
- 14% of the RDI for vitamin C, which also aids immune function and is needed for the health of connective tissue.
- 13% of the RDI for manganese, a mineral that plays a role in bone, joint, and skin health.
- 1 g fiber, necessary for normal elimination and cardiovascular health.
All for only 7 calories!
PLUS… spinach is a snap to serve raw or cook. Here are some ideas to help you get more of this awesome leafy green into your family’s healthy eating plan:
- As a delicious base for salad. I love a nice spinach salad topped with strawberries, walnuts and goat cheese.
- Try tossing a few handfuls into soups or stews. It goes wonderfully with white beans and butternut squash.
- Tuck it inside quesadillas, sub, or sandwich.
- Power up your scrambled eggs, because it cooks really quickly,so making it is super-easy to work with.
- Add some into your fruit (Complete) smoothie. (You won’t even taste it!)
- Incorporates well into dips, quiches, and lasagna.
The Risks of Eating Spinach
Are you worried about the oxalic acid in dark leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach? Based on my research, when consumed in large quantities, this plant constituent can bind to calcium, interfering with its absorption. On the bright side, when spinach is lightly steamed, it releases any calcium bound to oxalic acid, allowing your body to use it. There should be no problem with a few spinach salads a week, but if you really binge on raw spinach, you might want to serve, at least some, of it cooked.
Are you getting all the benefits, or is some lost? Yes, like most fresh foods, that can travel thousands of miles to your market, nutrition is lost during this time. As shared by Joe Carei, via the Herald Standard, “Spinach begins to lose nutrients as soon as it is picked, so make sure your buying from a place that is getting it quickly (yes that can happen from Chile). After about seven days, it will have lost close to 25 percent of its power.” (That’s one key reason I have used my indoor Aeroponic garden tower all year. I always get fresh picked.)
To Summarize the Benefits of Spinach
Clearly the benefits out weigh the risks, of consuming Spinach. “Spinach is a superfood that is great to eat, versatile and contains many health benefits.”, Joe Carei, It is easy to grow, and serve. Plus…it has lots of powerful nutrients, photo-nutrients, anti-oxidants and fiber.
Sources and Inspiration
“What’s New and Beneficial about Spinach“, WHfood.org.
“Eat Your Spinach, Even in the Winter“, Herald Standard.