Posted on July 16, 2014 by Jennifer Lilley
Today, July 16, is Fresh Spinach Day!
Years ago, when I was enjoying milk sweetened with chocolaty syrups and eating Snickers bars like no tomorrow, mention of this day would be as exciting to me as watching paint dry. But now that I’m on a healthier path that includes eating lots of fruits and veggies, I’m actually happy that there’s a day dedicated to this incredible green food.
Most of us remember Popeye, the cartoon character who was best known for getting into “take on the world” mode by devouring a can of spinach. It’s understandable; after all, spinach is listed on The World’s Healthiest Foods web site as one of the top most nutrient-rich foods, noting that it’s “Rich in vitamins and minerals” and ” . . . concentrated in health-promoting phytonutrients such as carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) and flavonoids to provide you with powerful antioxidant protection.” (1)
Health benefits of spinach
Eating spinach does wonders for overall health, ranging from helping heart and eye health to reducing the risk of certain cancers and even improving brain function. (1, 2, 3) Bottom line is, it has all the good stuff that heals our body and fights damaging free radicals. What’s not to love?
Spinach is also a great food when it comes to weight loss or weight management. How’s that for a bonus? Just one cup has a mere 7 calories and it’s a good source of dietary fiber, so it helps provide a feeling of fullness without the worry gaining weight (3).
Ready to enjoy a dose of antioxidant-rich goodness?
Healthy spinach recipes
I often have large spinach salads for dinner. Simply tear the leaves to make them bite-sized, then fill the bowl with other healthy choices. I love adding fennel, sliced almonds, dried cranberries, tomato, avocado and feta cheese. They’re all nutritious and won’t set you back in the weight loss department.
Spinach salads for dinner are filling and healthy. Top with nutritious ingredients . . . even better!
One of my recipes on a site I write for, Raw and Natural Health, is for a blood pressure-reducing smoothie that involves combining handfuls of spinach with pineapple and oranges. It’s very good; I love to experiment with new (and sometimes unusual) combinations. I never know what mouthwatering results I’ll get and this one is tasty!
I also love to whip up a creamy smoothie that has almond milk, avocado, banana and you guessed it . . . spinach. It’s got the weight-regulating benefits of spinach, plus tons of healthy fats, potassium and a range of vitamins.
A spinach smoothie is easy to make, healthy and very tasty.
I know, “steamed” just sounds so *yawn* boring. But with a little bit of olive oil and some crushed fresh garlic, spinach goes from tasting good to tasting great.
What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate spinach in meals?
Sources for this article include
Jennifer Lea Reynolds
Jennifer Lea Reynolds is a weight loss success story who enjoys living a healthy lifestyle. A fan of the elliptical, roasted asparagus and remembering to put the lid on the blender, she’s appeared in many national and local print publications. She lives in New England where she writes professionally about health and wellness in online publications including Reader's Digest, Woman's Day, The Huffington Post, and more.