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Nutrition Articles  ›  Meals and Food

Spinach: Popeye's Favorite

Lettuce? You Don't Need No Stinking Lettuce

-- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer
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Your mother always told you to eat your vegetables. We’ve all seen what Popeye can do given a little spinach. Well it’s all true! Vegetables are an imperative part of a healthy diet. Specifically, spinach has some amazing benefits.

Spinach is packed with nutrients. Lutein, now included in a lot of vitamin supplements, is found in abundance in spinach. This is a nutrient that will help improve and promote eye health, preventing against macular degeneration later in life. Spinach is also loaded with vitamin C and folate, which is important for pregnant women in reducing the risk of birth defects, along with heart disease and stroke for the general population.

Looking for a great source of iron? What about potassium, calcium and beta-carotene? ALL of these nutrients can be found in spinach! Furthermore, fiber is located in these leaves, which also protects against heart disease.

Popeye was doing something right. Spinach can guard against osteoporosis, cancer, even arthritis. To make sure you are getting the best quality from the grocery store, select green, not yellowing leaves. Make sure that you wash the vegetable before eating. It’s a fantastic substitute for other kinds of lettuce, especially iceberg.

So how can you include it in your diet? There are only so many spinach salads you can eat in a week and only so many sandwiches to add it to. Try mixing it into soups or stews. Stir it into pastas, including lasagna. Sautéed spinach is also quite delicious, especially with some olive oil and garlic. Experiment and enjoy! Enjoy those dark, leafy greens that are packed with a nutritional punch.
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Member Comments

  • I love spinach because it is so versatile. I'm going to try it in eggs now. - 6/19/2014 12:06:56 PM
  • I cook it and put it in my egg in the morning along with Tomato. I also add it to my Lean Cuisine's to get anothe veggie in my day.

    I love spinach!!! - 4/16/2014 11:08:58 AM
  • I don't care for cooked spinach, just can't get past the smell. I do use it in lasagna though. I mainly use 1 cup in my morning smoothie. - 2/13/2014 10:12:50 AM
  • "There are only so many spinach salads you can eat in a week....."

    I usually eat a spinich salad 7 nights a week LoL - 12/2/2013 2:07:05 AM
  • I have always liked spinach, even the kind in a can!!! But I have learned a lot from this article and love the ideas others have included.
    On Aldi's cream cheese package I found a great recipe for three cheese pasta containing a whole bag of spinach and it is not too high in calories as the amount of cheeses is well controlled. Maybe I should post that recipe! - 11/27/2012 9:07:48 PM
  • I love to add spinach to salads and sandwiches. It's more flavorful than plain lettuce. - 6/24/2012 4:12:27 PM
  • Spinach is definitely versatile. I use it as follows:

    1/4 to 1/2 c. of spinach in my protein smoothies
    1/4 to 1/2 c. of spinach and feta cheese omelet
    Spinach leaves added to pizza on a pita;
    1c. of spinach to 2 c. of romaine lettuce for my salad which allows me to get two servings of veggies at one setting. - 3/12/2012 3:21:18 PM
  • I love spinach too and have discovered it's a very low calorie topping for homemade pizza. I marinate it in balsamic vinegar with a bit of oil (usually from the anchovy can) and a touch of salt and pepper. Sometimes I add mushrooms too. The marinade makes it a bit moist so the pizza isn't too dried out. This means I can eat homemade pizza every week and still stay within my goals. - 3/12/2012 2:27:03 PM
  • MEESHINTHEUK
    What I love most about spinach is you can put it in anything....liter
    ally!!!! - 3/12/2012 12:50:22 PM
  • One of my favorite vegetables. For breakfast, cook some in a little olive oil with onions and red bell peppers, and Mrs. Dash and then pour a scrambled egg over it and cook for a little while -- YUMMO. - 3/12/2012 11:38:38 AM
  • I go through 2-3 bags a baby spinach a week. I add it to everything- sandwiches & wraps, eggs, pasta dishes & soups. Love it!! - 3/12/2012 10:18:35 AM
  • Baby spinach scrambled into a couple of eggs with a dash of feta cheese is my favorite breakfast! - 3/12/2012 7:18:16 AM
  • When I was growing up, the only way we ate spinach was the stuff in a can. Raw spinach was quite an eye-opener when I discovered it as an adult - I love it! When we get a lot in the spring, i have two favorite dishes to cook that use it up: spanokorizo (a greek dish - lots of spinach and some rice as binder), and a spanish-style spinach with chickpeas. Both of them use quite a bit of olive oil, so not very low-fat, but they are delicious and nutritious! - 10/22/2011 10:39:07 PM
  • my favourite: with garlic and just a little bit of blue cheese.....mmmmmm
    m........ - 10/22/2011 11:43:00 AM
  • For years I didn't like this vegetable but have learned to incorporate some raw into my salads. Not sure I'll ever like it cooked though - its very bitter. Also has high levels of oxalic acid and too much can be a problem for some people. Am going to start putting some in my smoothies now and then to see if covering up the flavor with banana might help and take more antioxidant ingredients with it. - 10/22/2011 8:46:18 AM