As we continue discovering ways to practice and share healthier heating habits as part of March National Nutrition Month, today marks the perfect opportunity to experiment with how to get more greens into our daily intake.
Check out the fun facts on all the health benefits of spinach and how to incorporate. If you need to freshen up your Employee Wellness initiatives, share this and host a spinach recipe pitch in to boost team building, community and healthy heating habits!
Eating spinach may not help us grow instant muscles like Popeye, but it will help strengthen our immune system and fight inflammation with all of its nutritional value.
Low in fat and even lower in cholesterol, spinach is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein (great news for Vegetarians & Vegans!), fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.
Abundant flavonoids in spinach act as antioxidants to keep cholesterol from oxidizing and protect your body from free radicals, particularly in the colon. The folate in spinach is good for your healthy cardiovascular system, and magnesium helps lower high blood pressure. Studies also have shown that spinach helps maintain your vigorous brain function, memory and mental clarity. (Source: Dr. Mercola, www.foodfacts.mercola.com)
A few simple tips to experiment with incorporating spinach and all of its wonderful health benefits into your diet are:
- Grab a few handfuls of raw organic spinach and toss with your favorite lean protein, some berries or veggies, nuts and seeds and a bit of olive oil and vinaigrette for a delicious, power salad.
- Add to your eggs, sandwiches, soups or salads
- Add a handful to your smoothie for a power shake without the taste of spinach
- Saute in olive oil and lemon juice for a warm, delicious side dish
If you’re still not sure you’re ready to experiment with spinach as part of creating a healthy eating lifestyle, here are 15 Impressive Benefits of Eating Spinach:
For the official observance background and fun facts about spinach, here is an article posted by the National Day Calendar (www.nationaldaycalendar.com) in recognition of National Spinach Day:
NATIONAL SPINACH DAY
National Spinach Day is observed annually on March 26th. Not only are there so many delicious ways that you can enjoy spinach, but it is also incredibly good for you!
An annual plant, spinach is native to central and southwestern Asia. Thought to have originated in ancient Persia, Arab traders carried spinach into India, and then it was introduced into ancient China where it was known as “Persian vegetable The earliest available record of the spinach plant was found in Chinese, saying that the spinach plant was introduced into China via Nepal.
During her reign as queen of France, Catherine de Medici was well known to have enjoyed spinach so much that it was served at every meal. To this day, dishes made with spinach are known as “Florentine” reflecting Catherine’s birth in Florence.
- Spinach is:
- Eaten raw or cooked and is available fresh, frozen or canned.
- One of the best sources of iron.
- An excellent source of calcium, folic acid, fiber, protein, calcium and vitamins A, C and K.
- Is loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants
- Believed to help improve cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health.
Types of spinach:
Savoy: dark green color with curly leaves; usually sold in fresh bunches.
Flat or Smooth Leaf: broad, smooth leaves; mostly grown for canned and frozen spinach as well as soups, baby food and processed foods.
Semi-savoy: a hybrid variety with crinkly leaves: is sold fresh and processed.
- Following China, the United States is the world’s second-largest producer of spinach.
- California, Arizona and New Jersey are the top spinach producing states in the United States.
HOW TO OBSERVE
You might want to have a fresh spinach salad or a spinach pizza or maybe a warm, delicious spinach dip. If one of those is not your choice, perhaps it would be a dish of creamed spinach or spinach lasagna. There are many ways to add spinach to your daily diet and partake in its health benefits. Use #NationalSpinachDay to post on social media.