We all know spinach made Popeye strong, but just what about spinach makes it so healthy?
Spinach is a green leafy vegetable in the same family as amaranth and is related to beets and quinoa. It is thought to have originated in Persia. Most people realize that spinach is an incredibly healthy food. As a green, is encouraged not just on The Kaufmann Diet, but you would likely be hard-pressed to find any diet that does not include spinach.
But just what about spinach makes it so healthy? And what are the best ways to enjoy spinach while on The Kaufmann Diet?
Spinach is nutritionally dense but low in calories. Per 100g serving, spinach has 23 calories, 2.9g protein, 3.6g of carbs (including 2.2g of fiber), and 0.4g of fat. It is rich in insoluble fiber, which is beneficial for heart health and for regularity.
In addition to it’s healthy macronutrient profile, spinach is rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, B6, B9, C, K1, folic acid, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium. Finally, it is rich in a variety of phytonutrients, like lutein, kaempferol, nitrates, quercitin and zeaxanthin.
Health Benefits of Spinach
Spinach’s abundance of nutrition have led researchers to believe that it confers a variety of health benefits when eaten regularly.
The nitrates in spinach are thought to support blood pressure, giving spinach cardio-protective qualities.
Some compounds in spinach are thought to fight cancer, specifically cervical cancer. Eating spinach is also thought to have cancer-preventative qualities, and may help prevent breast cancer and prostate cancer. This is thought to be due to the anti-oxidant activity.
Most people think of carrots when it comes to eye health, but spinach is also thought to be very beneficial for eye health, preventing damage to the eye and perhaps even reversing existing damage.
How To Enjoy
Spinach’s abundant nutrition makes it a great option on The Kaufmann Diet. No doubt some of the inherent nutrition is anti-fungal, and the lack of sugar and simple carbohydrates makes spinach a winner while on Kaufmann 1 or Kaufmann 2.
You can easily toss spinach into a salad with a healthy dressing, or sauté spinach with olive oil and garlic and spices. However, one of the easiest ways to enjoy spinach––especially if you aren’t crazy about the taste or texture––is blended up in a smoothie. Spinach’s flavor is easily masked when blended with other fruits and vegetables in a protein shake or smoothie.
Spinach is readily available year round and easy to work into your diet. It is always best to consult your physician about any dietary changes, particularly if you have pre-existing conditions or are on any medications.
Kaufmann Diet Spinach Recipes: