This month we are celebrating everything green! Green living, growing green food, plants as power and fermented foods. We are kicking off March with a conversation about a simple, green vegetable that packs a whole lot of power: spinach.
Nutritional Value of Spinach
Popeye knew what he was doing when he wolfed down giant servings of spinach, and although it won’t give us bulging biceps, it does offer a host of nutritional benefits. One cup of cooked spinach packs whopping 839 milligrams of potassium compared to 539 milligrams of potassium in one cup of sliced bananas. One cup also provides 60% of your daily intake of Vitamin A, 15% of your Vitamin C and 4% of your fiber.
In addition to vitamins and nutrients, spinach also contains powerful nitrates and glycolipids, which may reduce inflammation. The glycolipids help your heart by promoting the body’s production of nitric oxide, which helps dilate blood vessels and reduce atherosclerosis. Spinach also contains N-oxalylglycine that has a potential tumor-suppressing affect. And, some of that “bulging biceps” theory has merit as nitrates have been shown to “…enhance athletic performance by improving blood flow and muscle contractions…” which in turn builds muscle.
In the Kitchen
Spinach is incredibly versatile with a mild taste. I can easily pack two cups of spinach into my blender when I am making a smoothie, and when mixed with fruit and non-dairy milk, I can’t even taste the spinach! I am a huge kale fan, but for many people just starting on their “greens” journey, they report kale having a stronger taste, especially in smoothies. So try throwing at least one cup of spinach to start, in a smoothie. You’ll be sneaking in a powerful dose of nutrition.
Not a smoothie fan? You can easily throw a handful of spinach into a salad, add it to a sandwich or use it as a topping or stuffing. A few spinach recipe links are below.
https://www.emilieeats.com/gluten-free-spinach-muffins/ (this muffin recipe would be a fun one to make for St. Patrick’s Day, for kids and adults!)
Wishing you a month of Green Goodness!