Popeye relied on spinach for muscle power, but eating spinach might also be the reason why he never needed eyeglasses. According to the USDA, one cup of cooked spinach provides the highest amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin – the antioxidants most noted for preventing vision loss – among vegetables. If your eyes get blurry from sitting in front of a computer all day, experts say boosting your daily diet with lutein-rich foods, such as spinach, may help save your sight.
More benefits from spinach:
Iron — Spinach is an excellent plant-based source of iron, yielding 35% of your daily needs in just one cup of it cooked. Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all the cells of the body. This is essential for the production of energy (energy is a big deal!) for all the groups of cells in the body as well as for the contraction of muscles. Flood your system with the mineral needed for oxygen utilization.
Antioxidants — Researchers have discovered and isolated 13 different phytonutrients found in spinach that function as antioxidants and anticancer compounds. Nutrition researchers have been so impressed with spinach’s flavonoid content that they have even made spinach extracts to be used in controlled studies. A recent study found that one of these plant chemicals actually instructs prostate cancer cells to deconstruct.
Calcium & phosphorous — Bone building calcium and phosphorous are important for all of us — both the growing youth and as adults to maintain the density and strength of our skeletal system. Eating one cup of cooked spinach fulfills one quarter of your daily calcium needs and a tenth of your phosphorous needs. Also, the beneficial ratio of calcium to phosphorus of 2:1 is helpful for your bones because too much phosphorous can cause an overly acidic state, leading to excreting minerals from the bones into the blood (as is the case with a diet high in animal products).
Heart health nutrients — A true cardiovascular superfood, spinach is an excellent source of blood-flow promoting and elasticity generating vitamin C, as well as the powerful antioxidant, vitamin A. These two powerful nutrients (one water soluble that works in your fluids and one fat soluble that protects cell membranes) work together to help prevent cholesterol from becoming oxidized and narrowing and hardening the arteries. Magnesium and potassium are also in spinach and have been shown to stabilize blood pressure, another risk factor in heart disease. When given to hypertensive animals in a laboratory setting, spinach was able to produce a blood pressure lowering effect within two to fours hours.
Spinach also contains omega 3 fatty acids that can reduce inflammation (fish oil is not the only answer!) and tryptophan, (nearly a fifth of your daily requirements) which is a protein that helps with sleep. What is NOT to love? In just one cup of this cooked wonder vegetable you get all the benefits above.
I put spinach in EVERYTHING!!! Check out some of my favorites below:
Spinach & Egg white omelet:
I use one whole egg and 1 cup organic liquid egg whites.
-Spray & heat pan
-Scramble egg & whites together
-Pour in pan
-Add 2-3 cups spinach *A small amount of Organic parmesan cheese tastes great too
-After it is no longer liquidy, flip to create an omelet
-Flip one more time if needed & serve
Green shake: I drink 32 ounces of green smoothie every morning and I can’t tell you what it does for me. I’m stronger, my body is running cleaner, white teeth, clear skin, even better vision! They are delicious. Don’t knock it till ya try it.
My favorite green shake recipe:
1 cup water
1 cup mango (Organic fresh or frozen)
1 frozen banana
1-3 cups spinach
Blend well — add additional water if needed
For more green smoothie recipes, check out our done-for-you 21-Day Belly Blast program!
Spinach salad: Try adding dried cranberries, sliced almonds, grilled chicken and a nice poppyseed dressing — Drew’s dressing is the best. Find Drew’s at your local health food store.
Sauté it: Add some olive oil, garlic and lemon juice and cook for two minutes.
Spinach & Mushroom pizza: Check out the recipe at: https://totalbodyresults.com/mushroom-and-spinach-pizza-2/
Do you have a favorite healthy spinach meal idea? We would love to hear it below!
To your best body!