by Lauren Sorel
Now that the holiday season has wrapped up and the endless amount of feasting and dessert-making have slowed, it’s time to get some important nutrients back into the body! For many people, a common New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier or develop a lifestyle that will benefit them in the long run. One of the easiest ways to begin these goals is to incorporate spinach into the diet!
Minerals. Spinach is a good source of both calcium and potassium. It also has a high water content that is great for hydration!1
Fat soluble compounds. Spinach contains very high amounts of vitamin A (as beta carotene), a fat-soluble vitamin that has many benefits. Vitamin A plays a major role in one’s vision, protein synthesis, cell differentiation, and also reproduction and growth.2 This highly nutritious leafy vegetable gets its strong green color from the fat-soluble pigment chlorophyll, which also functions as a potent antioxidant.
Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that is also packed into spinach. Vitamin C enhances iron absorption, which helps in preventing anemia. It also assists in building and maintaining collagen, keeping hair and skin structures intact.3
Folate. Another great thing about spinach is its folate content! A lot of people don’t realize spinach has a ton of folate, but a half cup of cooked spinach actually has around 131 micrograms of folate, or about 30% of most people’s daily needs.4 Folate is highly beneficial to women who are pregnant because it reduces risk of birth defects such as: neural tube defects, oral facial defects, urinary tract defects, and heart defects. In addition, the folate in spinach can even reduce the risk of some cancers, like stomach and colon cancer.5
Bottom line, spinach is packed with so many nutrients that are great for your health! Whether it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner, spinach can easily be incorporated into the diet. You can cook it with eggs in the morning or toss it into a fruit smoothie, and even pack it into your favorite sandwich or salad. Lacking a vegetable when dinner time comes around? Sauté some spinach in a pan or mix it into your favorite pasta dish. It’s that easy! The best part about spinach is that it tastes great, cooked or raw.
Sautéed Spinach with Garlic 6
- About 4 bunches of spinach
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 2/3 garlic cloves
- 1/8 cup water
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground pepper
- 1/3 of fresh lemon (juice only)
- Cut and throw away spinach stems
- Rinse, drain and dry spinach leaves using a paper towel
- Using a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil and add in garlic cloves sautéing until golden brown
- Add in spinach a little at a time, stirring frequently and adding water for moisture
- Once all the spinach is added, add in salt and pepper
- Add lemon juice as desired
- Serve warm!
- Spinach, raw. USDA National Nutrition Database for Standard Reference. Nutrient Data Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture.
- Whitney, Eleanor Noss., and Sharon Rady Rolfes. Understanding Nutrition. Cengage Learning, 2017.
- LD, Megan Ware RDN. “Spinach: Health Benefits, Uses, and Nutritional Information.”Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 20 June 2017, medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270609.php.
- Kelly, Diana. “7 Top Foods High in Folic Acid and Folate.” Reader’s Digest, rd.com/health/wellness/foods-high-in-folic-acid-folate/.
- Brown, Judith E. Nutrition through the Life Cycle. Cengage Learning, 2017.
- “Sautéed Spinach with Garlic.” EatFresh, http://eatfresh.org/recipe/side-dish/saut%C3%A9ed-spinach-garlic#.WlfNXN-nE2x