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Brain Food: Spinach, the Leaf of Champions

This entry is part of a series, Brain Food»

Spinach

Spinach, the little green leafy vegetable that should have a big “S” sewn on its superhero tights. Yep, it’s one amazing source of key nutrients for the brain and the body! Extremely low in fat, with no cholesterol. A cup of raw spinach has only seven calories. Basically, it’s a super dieting food, since you’ll burn most of the calories just consuming it. Spinach produces no glycemic load, so diabetics can eat all they want.

What are the specific benefits to the brain? Like broccoli, spinach is very high in vitamin K (180% of MRDA in a serving). Vitamin A is also high in spinach, and it’s been known for years that vitamin A boosts brain function. Spinach also provides a nice spread of trace elements, vital for proper enzyme function everywhere in the body. Frozen spinach doesn’t lose many of its nutrients either; only by over-cooking can you significantly reduce the dietetic power of spinach.

Spinach Lasagna

One challenge when adding spinach to your diet is the limited number of “applications.” You can use spinach in salads, of course; and you can replace lettuce with spinach in many situations, such as a nice panini sandwich. Spinach is good in baked pasta, like lasagna or stuffed shells. Naturally, spinach can be cooked and eaten as a side-dish, like many other greens (turnip, mustard, kale, etc.). (Yes, I know there are other ideas, like using it as a pizza topping; but some of those look like “trying too hard.”) After that, there’s not a lot of choice; so the danger is falling into a rut, then losing interest and removing spinach from your meal options. Use your imagination and Google to find other ideas and you shouldn’t have any boredom issue.

Fortunately, a little spinach goes a long way. No, I don’t mean that a single can of this veggie will make you as strong as Popeye. However, you don’t need to eat spinach every day to benefit from its nutritional punch. (Get it? Punch?? Man, I’m just that good, eh?) Just don’t ignore it if you’re looking for a great way to lose weight, maintain overall health and improve your ol’ gray matter…

Enjoy the (Leafy Green Brain Booster) Heat!

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