I'm strong to the finish cause I eats me Spinach ~Popeye
I have found over time that one of my absolute staples in life is spinach.
When I have a hectic week coming up, or extra demands, or a lot of physical activity, or want to be mentally sharp, or in general just want to be at my best - I make sure there is spinach in the refrigerator (and lots of it.)
It helps keep me mentally sharp (clear headed), assists in giving me energy, and helps my body process the rest of my food better. Without knowing the scientific benefits of spinach, my empirical evidence over time shows that spinach is good for me, and helps keep me at my personal best.
I don't need "proof," but the research from the medical community, nutritionists and the food industry all agree on the proven benefits of spinach:
- Rich in vitamin K (which has been shown to bolster bone-mineral density and therefore protect against osteoporosis and reduce fracture rates.
- High in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and even selenium, which may help protect the liver and ward off Alzheimer's.
- A study in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that the carotenoid neoxanthin in spinach can kill prostate cancer cells, while the beta-carotene fights colon cancer.
- Low in calories but helps keep you full, so aids in weight loss.
- Researchers have identified more than a dozen different flavonoid compounds in spinach that function as anti-inflammatory agents.
I like to toss spinach into my "green" smoothies in the morning. I use an Oscar personal blender and I will make up a couple of blender bottles with my blueberries, strawberries, 1/3 banana, 1/2 to 1 cup spinach and put the whole bottle with blender attachment into the freezer. In the morning I just add coconut water, coconut milk, almond milk, yogurt, juice, or whatever else looks good and blend away.
There are many other ways I add spinach to my diet. I saute it with a hint of olive oil and garlic for a great side dish. I add spinach to my turkey or tuna wraps. Try a poached egg over a bed of spinach. It's amazing! I add it in omelets, quiches and even turkey meatloaf.
I think my favorite way of eating spinach, though, is in the following salad:
Strawberry Chicken Poppyseed Salad
- 2 cups raw spinach
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- 2 tbsp chopped pecans (candied pecans are extra tasty)
- 1 tbsp bacon pieces
- 1/4 cup goat cheese
- 3 ot 4 oz. grilled chicken meat
- 2 tbsp poppyseed dressing
I never get tired of this salad. If I am extra hungry I add a diced hard boiled egg as well.
I think Popeye was really onto something. If you do nothing else this week to change your diet, find a way to add spinach 4 times during the week. Then come back and tell us what you think. It just feels GOOD taking care of ourselves and spinach is surely one thing we can do easily to make ourselves feel better!