Spinach Is a Safe Bet for Super Nutrition
Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense veggies you can eat! One cup of cooked spinach provides 1110% of the RDA for vitamin K, which is important for bone building, and 234% of the RDA for beta-carotene. It’s also a good source of magnesium, folate, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin.
When I was a kid, spinach was served mostly cooked or creamed and it made me (and lots of other kids) gag. But these days, the tender, milder tasting baby spinach leaves sold prewashed and packaged in grocery stores have introduced millions of people to healthy spinach salads.
Popeye popularized spinach in the 1930s, and around that time it was also discovered that a misplaced decimal point in an 1870s report by a German scientist had folks thinking it contained ten times more iron than it actually does! It contains a healthy dose of iron, but it you’ll need to eat it cooked for your body to be able to absorb it.
It takes about three cups of raw spinach to make a half cup cooked, which equals one serving. Frozen spinach is a viable alternative when you want cooked spinach and can save you the trouble of triple washing the curley leaves that seem to cling to the sand they’re grown in. Just a few minutes of boiling is sufficient and will retain nutrients.
If the 2006 E. coli outbreak linked to bags of fresh spinach has you wondering whether to wash pre-washed spinach, you should know that most experts don’t think it’s necessary. Any bacteria present can be hard to wash off, and can even exist inside of the leaves themselves, where rinsing won’t have an effect. No one is suggesting that you avoid eating fresh produce due to occasional bacterial scares.
E. coli is destroyed at 160? F, which can be accomplished by blanching spinach in boiling water or by sautéeing, provided the leaves touch the bottom of the hot pan.
Since spinach is a crop that is frequently heavily doused with pesticides, choose organic varieties.
Spinach is great with eggs, cheese, in salads and in quiches. Use it fresh or sautéed as a bed for your favorite fish, poultry or meat entrée.
The Anti-Aging Bottom Line: Spinach has a stellar nutritional profile and is among the most versatile and well-liked leafy green vegetables. Be sure to include plenty of leafy greens in your diet on a daily basis to ensure that you are getting the benefits of the anti-aging vitamins, minerals and antioxidants they contain. It is important to choose organic spinach when possible, as the conventional spinach found in grocery stores typically contains high concentrations of pesticides.
QUICK TIP: According to Jean Carper, the vitamin K in dark leafy greens can help prevent varicose veins. Learn More
Written exclusively for Stop Aging Now, the authority on anti-aging research, anti-aging nutrition, and anti-aging supplements.