If we all ate spinach, there would be far fewer cases of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Contrary to what Popeye’s character has led us to believe, spinach is not a very good source of iron. Rich in nutrients and low in calories, spinach is a real asset for health!
If we all ate spinach, there would be far fewer cases of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Like almost all vegetables, it has little effect on blood sugar, but the more you eat, the less likely you are to be overweight and have diabetes. Rich in nutrients and low in calories, spinach is a real asset for health!
Contrary to what Popeye’s character led us to believe, spinach is not a very good source of iron or, at least, the iron it contains is not very well absorbed by the body. But it is rich in other nutrients that can help protect against various health problems, especially if you have or are predisposed to diabetes.
Like many other dark green vegetables, it is rich in potassium and magnesium, two minerals that help keep blood pressure at good levels. Its high carotenoid content makes it one of the richest antioxidant vegetables in our diet. These substances are powerful weapons against the complications of diabetes (heart disease, neuropathy) and against cancer.
It is also a very good source of vitamin C: 2 cups of raw leaves (the equivalent of a large salad) provide 28% of the recommended daily intake, while providing only 14 calories. It goes without saying that with such a low calorie intake, it can lower the calorie count of any other dish you serve it with.
Spinach and other health benefits
In various studies, it has been shown that the risk of cancer was much lower in people who ate a lot of leafy vegetables than in those who ate little.
Researchers have isolated at least a dozen antioxidant compounds from spinach that may exert anti-cancer activity, with lutein and beta carotene at the top of the list. These two carotenoids have been associated with a lower risk of heart disease as well as various cancers, including those of the colon and prostate.
Thanks to their richness in lutein, spinach and its green cousins (cabbage, turnip greens, romaine lettuce) also help maintain eye health. According to studies, this substance could protect against cataracts and macular degeneration, two common diseases that affect the eyesight of the elderly.
In addition, a single serving of spinach provides all the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, a substance essential for bone health. Finally, this vegetable could help prevent long-term memory loss and age-related learning, based on studies by the USDA in older laboratory rats. This effect is thought to be due to the amalgam of antioxidants found in spinach.
Wash spinach thoroughly in cold water twice. In addition to eliminating potentially dangerous bacteria, this measure will rid the leaves of the soil or sand found there (in general, grains of sand are not appreciated in cooking …). And you will keep the health benefits of your spinach. Even if you buy washed and packaged spinach, it is best to put it underwater before eating it. Then remove the stems, at least the larger ones.
Spinach on your plate
You can prepare spinach in dozens of ways. Here are some suggestions:
Sauté spinach (or Swiss chard or kale) and sliced onion in olive oil.
Add steamed spinach to mashed potatoes and garnish with thin slices of green onion. Thus, you will eat less puree, which will lower the glycemic load (CG) of the dish.
Put it on a pizza.
Steam them, puree them, add parsley and lemon juice, and serve in sauce over chicken or pasta.
Make a pesto-style sauce, blending raw spinach, almonds, garlic, olive oil, and a little grated Parmesan. Serve on a platter of whole-grain pasta and chickpeas.
In the lasagna, replace the beef with spinach.
Garnish a dish of pasta cooked al dente with spinach, garlic, olive oil, and sesame seeds.
To make a quick soup, use a steamed spinach blender with garlic and lean yogurt.