Spinach is an amazing food. It is one I try to include in my diet every day.
It is low in calories and fat and yet packed with nutrients such as:
- beta carotene: an antioxidant and precursor for vitamin A in the body
- vitamin K: important factor in blood clotting
- folic acid: important for heart health and the prevention of neural tube defects
- vitamin C: an antioxidant, important for wound healing, and helps with the absorption of iron
- iron: part of hemoglobin (which carries O2 in the body) and myoglobin (with carries O2 for muscles)
- and many more!
Are you looking for ways to add this amazing food to your diet?
Let’s start with salads. You can start any salad with a spinach base (and kale too!), then add veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, cheese, lean proteins, and more. You could make a different salad every day for months just by adding different combinations of toppings. Here are some ideas of things you can add:
- veggies: peppers, tomatoes, snow peas, cucumber, mushrooms, onions, etc.
- fruit: apple, pear, mango, grapes, pomegranate seeds, avocado, blueberries, etc.
- nuts: almonds, walnuts, or pecans
- seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, or chia
- beans: dried or fresh soybeans/edamame, white beans, red beans, black beans
- other proteins: hard boiled egg, diced chicken, salmon, tuna, shrimp
- cheese: feta, goat, Gorgonzola, Parmesan, cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, etc.
The toppings and combinations are truly endless!
While salads are a great (and easy) place to start, but there are so many more options as well.
- Shakes: add in fresh or frozen spinach (or kale) to your next shake/smoothie.
- Scrambled eggs: add a large handful of spinach and diced feta in just as the eggs are done cooking.
- Soups/Stews/Sauces: add in a handful at the end or as a topping if you want it to stay fresh; or add it in and blend everything together if you want the nutrients but not the texture.
- Lasagna: replace the meat layers in lasagna with layers of frozen spinach
- With sauteed veggies: I love to saute peppers, onion, mushrooms, and spinach together and then add a Tbsp of pesto and a sprinkle of goat cheese and pine nuts. SO DELISH!!!!
Hope these give you some fun ideas to incorporate this “superfood” into your diet in the coming weeks.
Until next time…stay healthy!