Spinach is one of the best foods you can eat. In fact, when I looked up the top ten Superfoods, Spinach was usually on the list. In fact, I was thrilled to find out that most of the foods that I am ‘featuring this year, the year of the Whole Foods Articles’ were on the list. So stay tune every week for more articles on whole foods and let me know if there is a food that you would like me to feature.
Spinach is loaded with nutrients. There are a variety of ways you can incorporate your daily dose of spinach in your meals. The peak season for spinach is April and May, so I would suggest buying some fresh while you can. There are three basic varieties of spinach: Savory Spinach, which is dark green in color and has curly leaves. Flat or Smooth Leaf Spinach, has flat, broad and smooth textured leaves. Semi-Savory Spinach has a similar texture to that of savory, however, it is easier to clean. Other names commonly used for spinach include chard and orache. I learned some very interesting facts from my research on spinach. I learned about the nutritional benefits of eating spinach. I learned about how it can help heal the body of disease. And I learned of some interesting warnings about the consumption of spinach.
Spinach is notorious for its many vitamins and minerals. Spinach is rich in a chemical known as lutein. Lutein is a compound that has antioxidant properties and is critical for eye health. It is also a superb source of vitamins A, B complex, C, E, K, carotenes, folate, manganese, calcium, iron, iodine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, some trace elements and many valuable amino acids. In fact 100 g of fresh spinach contains about 25% of daily intake of iron and 402% of daily vitamin-K requirements. This green leafy vegetable also contain good amounts of many B-complex vitamins like vitamin- B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin, folates and niacin.
The best way to enjoy all the health benefits of spinach is in the form of its fresh juice. Spinach and its juices have a wide variety of medicinal qualities. It can ease and counteract the symptoms of acidosis, anemia, anti-inflammatory disease, atherosclerosis, bleeding gums, cancers, digestive tract problems, disease in the eye, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, pregnancy and provide lactation support.
However, there are warnings of spinach having oxalic acid, and that its consumption should be limited. The presence of oxalic acid in food is said to prevent absorption of calcium and iron. In its raw form, the oxalic acid is ORGANIC and is abundant in enzymes. Not only is the organic form beneficial, it is also essential for the physiological functions of the body. Only when spinach is cooked and processed does the oxalic acid turn to its INORGANIC form and become harmful. Therefore, limit your consumption of cooked or processed spinach.
This is because the reheating of spinach left-over may cause conversion of nitrates in to nitrites and nitrosamines by certain bacteria that thrive on pre-prepared nitrate-rich foods, such as spinach and many other green vegetables. These poisonous compounds may be harmful to our health, especially in children. Very interesting!
However, the best part about spinach is that it is gluten free and full of nutrients to help keep our bodies strong. It is about $3 for a bushel of organic spinach, so it is relatively inexpensive for the amount of nutrients it provides. And according to my research, fresh is much better than frozen, however I like to have frozen on hand so I can sneak it into my meals without anyone knowing it.
Here are some easy ways to get YOUR family to eat spinach.
1. Add ½ cup to your morning smoothie.
2. Add ¼ cup to your omelets.
3. Sprinkle some on top of your vegetable pizzas
4. Add ½ cup to your tomato sauce.
5. Mix it in with other greens in a salad.
6. Layer it into your lasagna or other casseroles.
7. Place some on top of your next deli sandwich.
8. Add it to a vegetable or meat sauté.
Here is an easy recipe for a Spinach Cheese Omelet
¼ cup spinach
1 slice of chedder rice cheese
1/8 tsp pepper
In a small bowl, combined the above ingredients and wisk thoroughly.
Then pour ingredients into a small 6 inch non-stick frying pan.
Cook thoroughly over medium heat.
Flip and place in the oven for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.
Flip onto a plate. Serve with gluten free toast!