As silly as the cartoon seems, Popeye was on to something. Spinach is a superfood. You should definitely eat more spinach!
A serving (100 grams/3.5 oz) of spinach contains all of the following:
- Fiber: 2.2 grams (promotes gut health and protects your colon)
- Protein: 2.9 grams (Yes, vegetables have protein!)
- Vitamin A: 9376 IUs
- Vitamin C: 38.1 mg (improves skin health and immune function)
- Vitamin K1: 483 mcg (essential for blood clotting)
- Folate/Vitamin B9: 194 mcg (essential for cellular function and tissue growth)
- Iron: 2.7 mg (helps create hemoglobin, which brings oxygen to your body’s tissues)
- Calcium: 99 mg (essential for bone health and a crucial signaling molecule for your nervous system, heart, and muscles)
- Lutein: Improves eye health and cognitive functions.
- Kaempferol: May decrease your risk of cancer and chronic diseases.
- Quercetin: May ward off infection and inflammation.
- Zeaxanthin: Can also improve eye health.
See nutritional data for more information.
We love to use spinach as a replacement for lettuce, which gives you crunch but not a lot of nutrients per ounce. We put it on our burgers and use it as a base for salads. We even use it as a base for all our juices and smoothies.
Now I know what some of you are thinking… “My kids won’t eat spinach” or “I hate salads.” When we first starting our health journey, we did too. At first, we played a lot of “hide the spinach.”
Don’t be afraid to cook your spinach! Just watch the heat. Heat decreases bioavailability of nutrients, but…
According to Dr. Gregor of NutritionFacts.org, “If you finely chop spinach, you can double the amount of lutein released during digestion in this experimental model. And make a green smoothie, or pesto, or some kind of puréed spinach dish, and you may triple the bioavailability.”
We used to chop our spinach and add it to mac and cheese, alfredo sauce, and marinara sauce. We would even chop it up and add it to our homemade pizza. The kids won’t really notice, and neither will you!
So be strong like Popeye, and eat your spinach. 😀