Spinach is a leafy plant which contains lots of nutrients and few calories. It can be eaten raw, boiled, fried, sauteed, can be added as an ingredient for many dishes, cooked separately or served fresh, canned and frozen. When eaten raw it has no significant taste, but when cooked – the green plant develops a mild flavor. There are a few types: Savoy, Flat-Leaf, and Semi-Savoy. The best part is that you can easily buy it at any supermarket and it is easy to cook, for example, follow these top 5 spinach smoothie recipes for weight loss.
The titular ingredient is a superfood which is highly nutritious, rich in fiber and its caloric content is only 7 calories, contains proteins, minerals, carbohydrates, and vitamins:
- Tryptophan, an amino acid that is responsible for producing serotonin (a particular hormone found in different parts of the human body). People think of it as responsible for one’s well-being. The body needs it for the brain to function normally and a good night’s sleep. An abundance of this element is essential for keeping your hair from growing grey.
- Iron – 0.8 g per 100 g. Helps the body produce healthy red blood cells. A deficiency of the aforementioned red blood cells has negative consequences, such as low hemoglobin, hepatic failure, weakness, anemia, and others.
- Vitamin K – 482.9 μg per 100 g, a fat-soluble vitamin that is crucial for weight loss. Prevents Alzheimer’s disease, maintains a balanced level of insulin, and reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
- Lutein – an organic pigment, carotenoid (helps to improve vision). New research from the University of Illinois in collaboration with the University of Georgia in Athens has unveiled essential results – lutein can counteract cognitive aging at any age.
Read more: Is spinach good for you?
How to choose and store spinach
This unique plant does not have a significant smell and taste unless you cook it. When selecting it, you should focus on its appearance:
- A quality product has a uniform dark green color. There should be no yellow leaves or black spots.
- The leaves should be juicy and supple. Wilted and soft leaves indicate poor-quality.
- Do not buy it at outdoor markets, as the greens can be contaminated with bacteria that cause food poisoning.
If you buy pre-packaged fresh or canned, check the integrity of the package and look at the expiration date. This leafy green has a very short shelf life. Therefore one should appropriately store it – only in the refrigerator and no more than 2 days. For soups and main dishes, you can make prep and freeze the spinach. It will last up to a year. Do not forget to thoroughly wash leafy greens before freezing and using them as food.
Top 5 spinach smoothies
- 100 grams of spinach
- 50 grams of almonds
- 1 orange
- 1 banana
- honey optional
- Soak the almonds in warm water overnight.
- Juice the orange, run the juice through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the pulp.
- Peel the banana and cut it into chunks.
- Thoroughly wash the spinach and let it dry.
- Drain the almonds, add them to the cup of a blender and pulse until smooth paste forms. Gradually add the rest of the prepared ingredients. Blend until homogeneous, pour into glasses and serve.
The Ultimate Frothy Breakfast
- 150 grams of spinach
- 30 grams of oat flakes
- 1/2 cup of greek yogurt
- 100 grams of blueberry
- 1/4 cup of kombucha optional
- Pour the yogurt over the oats and let sit in the fridge overnight.
- Make sure to wash the spinach carefully
- Add all the ingredients to a blender cup and pulse for a few minutes.
- Pour into glasses and serve garnished with a few additional blueberries.
- 100 grams of spinach
- 50 grams of strawberry could be frozen
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 tbsp of carob
- 1/3 cup of non-fat milk
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
- Be sure to give our titular ingredient a shower.
- Peel the avocado, discard the pit.
- Place all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend for a few minutes until it reaches the desired consistency. Pour and have a drink!
Kefir Soup for Dinner
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1/4 cup of parsley
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice
- 1/2 cup of spinach
- 1/2 cup of kefir
- Wash the greens
- Chop the cucumber into chunks
- Mix all the ingredients in a cup of a blender until smooth and serve
Cauliflower Pizza Drink
- 1 tbsp of tomato sauce canned or home-made
- 1 handful of spinach
- 3 basil leaves
- 1 pinch of oregano
- 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast
- 1/4 head of cauliflower
- 1/3 bell pepper
- Wash all the greens and veggies.
- Discard the seeds from the bell pepper.
- Cut the bell pepper and cauliflower into chunks.
- Use a blender to mix the ingredients until they reach a smooth consistency.
Conclusion: stay healthy with smoothies!
People praise this miracle-working leafy green for its high fiber content that prevents digestion problems, like constipation and indigestion. By increasing your spinach intake, you reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and asthma. The high content of vitamin C contributes to the production of collagen, which is responsible for the strength of the structure of the skin and hair.
However, before making any changes to your diet please consult your doctor since this plant is not suitable for everyone. People taking anticoagulants should stay away from spinach (vitamin K does not work well with them). Those who have kidney diseases should also be cautious when consuming.