Author: Francesca - Mr Lee's Team
Including more plant-based foods into your diet, is one of the healthiest eating habits you can adopt. Nowadays, supermarket aisles are filled with processed foods, which makes eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruit as part of an overall balanced diet and active lifestyle is extremely important. There are many varieties of vegetables out there, and spinach is undeniably a premium choice to incorporate into your diet.
We spoke to Nutritional Therapist, Lucy Baldwin all about the benefits of these dark leafy greens.
Why is spinach a superfood?
Spinach is packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, which makes it a fabulous go-to if you are aiming to reduce your oxidative stress, boost your immune system and nourish your nervous system. It fuels your body with a large amount of plant compounds which existe together in beautiful synergy and we all know how strong Popeye became after eating a few cans of spinach…
What is spinach good for?
Where to begin? The list is endless!
- This dark leaf is a powerhouse of nutrients such as carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron and calcium.
- Spinach also boasts many plant compounds that can improve health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- All these combined nutrients aid in reducing inflammation, promoting eye health, fighting cancer and regulating blood pressure.
- It’s high amount of insoluble fibre is beneficial for digestion.
However, it is important to point out that due to its high content of vitamin K, which plays an important role in blood clotting, those who are taking blood thinning medication such as warfarin should always consult their doctor before eating large amounts of spinach. Additionally, due to its high content of oxalate, those who are at risk of kidney stones should limit their intake.
How do I incorporate more spinach into my meals?
Spinach is an extremely versatile vegetable when it comes to cooking. You can have it raw, steamed, boiled or fried. Use it in salads, stews or soups, add it into your pasta or rice sauce, include it in a wrap or sandwich, and it’s perfect in a spinach omelette. Play around and experiment! If you have some left over and don’t want to waste food, it always makes a fabulous healthy addition to your home-made smoothies.
Our Executive Chef Andy Chu makes this amazing spinach salad with toasted pine nuts and an Asian-inspired dressing which is perfect for summer BBQs. Come back next week to find the recipe!
How to get children to eat more spinach?
In the short-term you can disguise spinach in foods you know your child likes to eat, for example, you could include pureed spinach in pasta sauce, soups or smoothies. However, it’s important to remember your children learn about food choices from you, so the best way to encourage them to eat more vegetables is to let them see you eating and enjoying them yourself.
It’s normal for children to say they don't like a particular vegetable but try offering small amounts with another healthy food that they like. Some need to try a specific food up to 10 times before they accept it, and another 10 times before they decide they actually like it! Finally, it’s a good idea to get your child involved in cooking with you, they will enjoy washing and tossing spinach leaves. Make it fun and engaging and educate them about where food comes from as this will help them to connect with what they put into their bodies.
So what are you waiting for? Start making a conscious effort to add spinach to your shopping list and enjoy! You can start by trying our Tai Chi Chicken and Zen Garden Vegetables rice noodles, available on our online store as well as, Whole Foods, Harris Teeter and Amazon.