Secret Food Series - Spinach (5 of 10)

Tip 5 of 10  Get in your greens!

Does “being healthy” feel like a daunting task? Like everything “good” is off limits  and a really good diet is pretty boring? I thought like this for a long time too… but I'm happy to say it's not the case ;-)

Eating healthy is fun! I'm being serious here… there are hundreds of different healthy foods that taste amazing and give you tons of energy… I cannot wait to share them with you! That's why“The Secret Foods” blog series was created, dedicated to the most amazing foods on the planet (in no particular order), What they are, Why they are important, and How to enjoy them…  Here goes…


Top 10 AMAZING foods you need on your plate TODAY

#5 of 10 Spinach

What it is…

Spinach, a leafy green vegetable often recognized from helping make Popeye stronger. He was definitely on to something!

Spinach plants can grow about 1 foot high! Spinach can be grown year grown year around, it’s most popular through end of winter seasons.  

Spinach is thought to have originated in ancient Persia, and was once known as “Persian vegetable”. It later grew popularity in China, where it was then introduced to Sicily and Spain.  Spinach gained popularity quickly because of its versatility and ease to most of the seasons.


Why it’s important…

Spinach is possibly one of the most nutritious vegetables you can eat. Possible health benefits of consuming spinach include lowering the risk of cancer, improving bone health, lowering blood pressure and more.

Spinach is a good source of vitamins A, B2, C, E and K, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, copper, folate, protein and dietary fiber.

Top 5 Health Benefits

1.    Boosts Muscle Strength. Popeye the Sailor Man was right about eating spinach to produce stronger muscles. Spinach can reduce the amount of oxygen required to power muscles during exercise, making your muscles more efficient. Nitrates in spinach are also believed to help muscles run more smoothly and efficiently.

2.    Packed with Iron. Spinach is an excellent non-animal source of iron. Iron is a part of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body. Without iron, you may feel fatigued and may cause your immune system to slow down. Plus, iron is great for you skin, nails and hair.

3.    Healthy for Your Heart. Spinach has many antioxidant properties, mainly vitamin C and beta-carotene. These can prevent harmful oxidation in your body that may threaten your heart and arteries. Plus, spinach contains nitrates. When digested, nitrates can help open blood vessels, improve circulation and lower blood pressure.

4.    Inflammation Fighter. Researchers have found more than a dozen flavonoid compounds in spinach with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. Fighting inflammation reduces the risk of cancer, and also helps control inflammatory conditions, such as asthma and migraines

5.    Helps you see! The carotenoids in spinach, like beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin promote eye health and protect against eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration.

How to enjoy it…

Spinach is available fresh, frozen or canned. Spinach can be stored inside the refrigerator for up to a week, however fresh leaves should be eaten at the earliest in order to get maximum nutrition benefits.

Spinach is super versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked. One cup of cooked spinach gives you about 35 percent of the daily amount of iron needed by the body.

Here are 5 easy serving tips…

1.    Sautéed spinach in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and season with freshly ground black pepper


2.    Add spinach to your wrap, sandwich or flatbread.

3.    Incorporate into your pasta dishes, soups or casseroles.

4.    Add a handful of fresh spinach to an omelet or scramble.

5.    Throw a cup or two of spinach into a smoothie


Also! I wanted to share how very excited to be working with you all! We have a great foundation of information started, and I’m lucky to help build it up! If you need any questions answered, shoot me an email at


Lindsay Wexler, RDN, LD

Clinical Dietitian at the University of Nevada, Reno