Spinach Isn't Just for Popeye Anymore!
There are so many “National Days” that it can be hard to keep track of them all! National Spinach Day was earlier this week and spinach is such a staple in my diet, as well as so many of my clients, that I just had to write a blog about it. This green leafy goodness is extremely versatile, so you don't need to be a chef, or have a lot of time to make it taste good and that’s a WIN!
As most of us know, veggies are loaded with vitamins and minerals, while being low in calories- and spinach is no exception.
Four cups of spinach are not even 30 calories and provides us with over 50% of our daily requirements for folate, vitamin K and vitamin A, as well as more potassium than a banana. When you swap out iceberg lettuce for spinach as a salad base, you’re also getting an extra 4 grams of fiber- working to keep you fuller, for longer.
Not only that, but spinach (and other dark, leafy greens) are also packed with something called thylakoids. Thylakoids are part of the green leaves and are loaded with carotenoids and antioxidants, which are amazing for fighting free radicals. Some studies have shown that thylakoids also affect our hunger both subjectively and on a hormonal level, keeping us satiated for longer periods of time, which is always a bonus. They have also been shown to improve glucose metabolism and helps control blood pressure (due to the high amounts of inorganic nitrates and nitrites). So basically, we all should be eating more spinach, which is why I had to highlight National Spinach Day. Since it can be consumed raw or cooked, there are a multitude of possibilities! Without being fancy, I listed 3 of my favorite ways I like to incorporate spinach in my diet.
I don't typically drink my calories, but sometimes I’m in a rush and really don't have a choice. In these instances, I throw some spinach in to whatever I’m blending.
Try blending together:
- 1 scoop JMN Vanilla Protein
- 1 cup unsweetened nut milk of your choice
- 1-2 cups of raw spinach leaves
- 1 cup of frozen berries
Takes less than 5 minutes and tastes DELISH!
You can also try one of my faves - sautéed spinach with garlic and shaved parm. As you know, I love shaved parm- especially on my salads, so why not add it to my spinach?
- Just heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and add in 6 cloves chopped garlic. Cook until garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add in 1 pound of spinach and cook until it becomes wilted.
- Season with ground black pepper and a squeeze of lemon, top it off with shaved parm and enjoy!
Lastly, I often add spinach to my omelets, and truthfully it’s probably how I eat spinach the most. It’s so easy to just put a handful in when making my eggs and it adds such a nice color and flavor. But, no matter how you chose to eat spinach, make sure you clean it really well before eating, or just opt for the pre-washed kind.
Happy National Spinach Day!