Spinach: The Best Food You’re Not Eating?

we all need to increase our vegetable intake. Of the many nutrient-dense vegetables, what are some of the best choices? Well, based on the data, broccoli, kale and spinach seem to be the top 3, as far as antioxidant and potential anti-cancer properties go. Yes, you read that correctly: these vegetables have (potential) anti-cancer properties.

If that doesn’t make you put down that candy bar (it’s okay – I know it looked really good at the time) and load up your plate with some vegetables – I don’t know what will. In fact, the scientific data goes even further, showing that those who eat more nutrients not only have more brain volume, they likely will live longer and healthier, as well. Pretty mind-blowing stuff here. What makes spinach so special, and why is it perhaps the single best food, which you are likely missing out on? For starters, spinach is loaded with vitamin K – 1000% in just 41 calories! Spinach also contains a huge amount of vitamin A, as well as manganese, folate and magnesium. Pretty impressive for less than 50 calories.

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Scientific research has even found that spinach may help with neurodegenerative disorders. With Alzheimer’s rates climbing dramatically, this is important information to have. Since high blood sugar is a proven risk factor for dementia, taking some sugar off your plate, and replacing it with spinach, makes a lot of sense.

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Researchers have even identified more than 12 flavonoid compounds in spinach, which serve to function as anti-inflammatory agents. These are mostly flavonoids known as methylenedioxyflavonol glucuronides. At this point, your only defense against not eating this superfood must be taste. And while it can be an adjustment to move from a heavily processed food diet, to a more fiber-rich, nutrient-dense one – it can be done. Loading your plate up with healthy fats will go a long way to making all that spinach more palatable, in tandem with relinquishing some of that sugar in your diet. The more sugar we eat, the more we crave it. So if you aren’t eating as much, you will – in essence – lose your taste for the stuff.

Most of the sugar-rich foods we consume are also heavily processed, and high in fructose – which has been shown to have many parallels with alcohol. Is all that sugar still sounding like a good idea? I didn’t think so. Consuming spinach – by contrast – has even been shown to improve endothelial function, which is very critical in maintaining optimal health.

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Have I convinced you to give spinach a try yet? There is plenty of room on your plate to do so, and with spinach having such a low caloric density, it won’t cost you many valuable calories to start including this super-food on a regular basis. There are many, many great spinach recipes, so there is truly no excuse to avoid including this veggie in your daily diet. We do not eat nearly enough vegetables – that much is clear. But we must break our bad habits if we wish to become healthier, and have a positive influence on our children, who – of course – are the next generation. Their dietary habits are arguably even more important than our own. Help your brain, help your cells, help your muscles and help your body – eat your spinach. Just like Popeye® said.