Did you know 74 percent of the U.S.'s spinach grows in California? We have a lot to thank the Golden State for, especially this nutrient and antioxidant dense vegetable! Spinach is readily available in the majority of grocery stores and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Popeye isn't the only one who benefits from the nutrients spinach offers, nor do you have to eat wilted and boiled spinach. Incorporate fresh spinach into your diet today with our new Loaded Spinach Salad.
Recipe: Loaded Spinach Salad
- 1-2 cups spinach leaves
- 1/4 chopped egg
- 1/4 cup pickled beets
- 1/4 cup carrot slices
- 1/4 cup purple onion slices
In a salad bowl, layer the first five ingredients for the salad.
Top with creamy, low-fat ranch dressing, or your dressing of choice, before serving.
Nutrition information per serving:
178 calories, 7 g total fat, 172 mg sodium, 23 g total carbohydrates, 10 g dietary fiber, 7.4 g protein
Spinach: Packed with Power and Versatility!
The uses of spinach have matured beyond boiling and canning. Over the years, people have found new and creative ways to institute this nutrient rich vegetable into everyday meals.
Spinach, like many vegetables, can be incorporated into many dishes to boost flavor and health benefits. Apart from using spinach in our Loaded Spinach Salad recipe, this vegetable is used in dips, soups, smoothies, and tortillas. You can easily add spinach to sandwiches, wraps, and paninis, as well as in a stir-fry and homemade spinach artichoke dip. One of the newest crazes is to add spinach to smoothies because the taste is masked by fruits and yogurt. You get all the benefits within a fruity smoothie!
7 Health Benefits of Spinach
1. Protects Brain Function
A naturally rich source of flavonoids, spinach makes for great brain food. Flavonoids protect the body against free radicals, which not only cause cancer but affect brain function. Studies show people who eat foods rich in flavonoids are at a decreased risk of age-related declines in brain function.
2. Aids in Digestion
Spinach is a natural diuretic, as it is high in both fiber and water content. Both traits promote a healthy and regular digestive system.
3. Benefits Heart-Health
Folate, potassium, and fiber are great heart-healthy nutrients, all found in spinach. The Physician's Health Study followed 15,000 men without heart disease for 12 years. Men who ate two and a half servings of vegetables a day decreased their risk of developing heart disease by 25 percent. Those who ate more than two and half servings of vegetables a day decreased their risk by an additional 17 percent!
4. Promotes Strong Bones
People who regularly consume foods rich in vitamin K reduce their risk of bone fractures. Vitamin K is essential for the absorption of calcium, in turn reducing urinary excretion of vital calcium.
5. Increases Muscle Efficiency
A recent Swedish study saw a correlation between participants who consumed 300 g or more a day of spinach and a reduction in the amount of oxygen needed to power muscles during exercise. After only 3 days, the amount of oxygen needed during exercise decreased by 5 percent.
6. Prevents Cancer
Research shows a direct correlation between increased flavonoid intake, found in spinach, and a decrease in the risk of developing cancers, including breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. Research also shows the phytonutrients in spinach decrease the breaking down of DNA, tumor and cancer cell growth.
7. Supports Healthy Hair and Skin
Rich in vitamin A, spinach supports healthy skin and hair. Vitamin A protects hair's natural oils and keeps the strand moisturized. This nutrient is vital for the growth of all bodily tissues, including the skin. The vitamin C present in spinach is necessary for creating and maintaining collagen, a compound which provides structure to skin and hair.
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Try our Loaded Spinach Salad today and discover news ways to include this vegetable in your diet.
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