Spinach: Nature’s Leafy-Green Super-Nutrition

Notable Personality Factors:

Remember Popeye’s relationship with spinach? Pow!  That’s the spinach personality—its potent nutritional profile packs a serious punch!  It animates, invigorates, and energizes.  The wide variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients found in spinach enliven the metabolism, embolden the immune system, and empower the mind and body with the life-giving nutrients they need to counteract the forces of fatigue, aging, and illness.  Spinach is thought to have originated in Persia and has long been considered a medicinal vegetable.

Therapeutic & Healing Powers:***

Like other dark, leafy-green vegetables, spinach plays a multifaceted role in building, fortifying, and sustaining your long-term health and well-being.  It’s anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, heart-protecting, bone-boosting, blood-building characteristics make it a nutritional stand out for energizing the body and building your internal defense mechanisms against disease.

So what is it about the mighty spinach leaf’s nutritional profile that makes it so special?

To begin with, spinach has been endowed with a powerful combination of cancer-fighting compounds that work in various ways to protect the body from this dangerous disease.  It’s one of the richest sources of vitamin A in the plant-kingdom—an important nutrient for neutralizing free-radicals in the fatty tissues of the body—and is also a good source of the well-known antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E.  In addition, spinach is chock-full of carotenoids and flavonoids that boost the immune system and have been shown to have protective effects against cancer.

While the anti-cancer qualities of spinach are impressive, the benefits of spinach on the blood are just as notable!  The phytonutrients in spinach work to reduce inflammation and protect blood vessels, the soluble fiber works to lower cholesterol, and the significant iron content—one of the most concentrated sources of iron in the leafy-green kingdom—bolsters the blood and is an important nutrient in red blood cell production.

Nutrient Value:

In addition to the nutrients mentioned above, spinach is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids; bone-building vitamin K; B-complex vitamins such as folate, vitamin B-1, and vitamin B-2; and health-promoting minerals such as manganese, magnesium and potassium.

It’s important to note, however, that spinach is not recommended for those with a history of kidney stones, since the vegetable’s high oxalic acid concentration can contribute to stone formation.

Selection and Care:

Spinach spoils quickly: Select leaves based on their crispness and brilliant emerald green color.  Avoid coarse, wilted, limp, or yellow leaves, or those with blackening edges.  Spinach shrinks significantly when cooked, so what seems like a large amount usually isn’t.  For example, a pound will yield three generous servings.  Buy accordingly.  Store spinach in tight containers in the fridge.  Do not wash until ready to use.

Optimal Use & Combining:

Spinach is most nutritious when eaten raw and goes well with chopped mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, zucchini, and other leafy greens as part of a tossed salad.  But it can also be steamed.  The steamed leaves can accent pasta, brown rice, lentils, and even baked potatoes.

***This article is not intended to treat or diagnose any type of health condition or disease. Any nutritional considerations for any health complication should be discussed with your physician or healthcare provider.