Friday, May 4, 2012

Spinach:Full of Surprises

This 'green leafy vegetable' is so often recommended for overall health. Both the leaves and the stems are miraculous. The nutritional benefits are so abundant and the calories are so negligible that you can eat virtually all you want of this amazing plant.

Spinach is full of pleasant surprises. It's a natural source of iron, making it a low-calorie source of iron that's so important to pregnant, lactating, or menstruating women. It's a rich non-dairy source of calcium. The combination of calcium and vitamin K, which spinach also delivers in abundance, promotes bone health and prevents osteoporosis.

Eating spinach may also prevent the memory loss that often accompanies aging and reduce risk of age-related vision problems. 

Spinach provides a generous and varied supply of antioxidant nutrients that fight heart disease by discouraging dangerous oxidation of existing blood cholesterol. But it also protects your heart in lots of other ways reducing your risk for a heart attack or stroke. Spinach has well-known anti-inflammatory properties, so it's possible it protects your heart preventing inflammatory conditions. 

The Cooking Tip
Raw and cooked spinach are almost like two different foods, their taste and presentation are so different. When cooking spinach, try lightly steaming it to preserve the majority of its nutritive components. Raw, however, in the form of a tasty spinach salad, is best. Drizzle on extra-virgin olive oil, add some toasted nuts, or try some dressings. No need to be too picky, though. However you like it, you'll be enjoying spinach dishes a lot.   

From The Sonoma Diet by Dr. Connie Guttersen, R.D., PH.D. 

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