Food of the Week: Spinach

Recent studies continue to confirm that spinach is a nutrient-packed water-soluble vegetable with many nutritional benefits. Raw spinach is a rich source of folate that can easily be incorporated into salads, smoothies and sandwiches. Spinach is a source of chlorophyll, which could help lower a person’s risk of obesity. It’s also being studied for its role in future type 2 diabetes treatments. Spinach is an outstanding leafy green vegetable that is also a great source of vitamins B-2, B-6, magnesium, iron, and vitamin A. Try to include spinach and other green vegetables a few times a week into your diet.

Key Takeaways:

  • Recent studies continue to underscore the amazing versatility of spinach. Because this leafy vegetable is rich in water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and a wide variety of phytonutrients, there are many different ways to incorporate spinach into your meal plan and enjoy a variety of nutritional benefits.
  • It is important to underscore the amazing versatility of spinach! Consider these results from our WHFoods rating system: spinach ranks as our Number 1 source of magnesium and iron (both minerals); our Number 2 source of vitamins B2 and B6 (both water-soluble vitamins), our Number 3 source of folate (another water-soluble vitamin), and our Number 2 source of vitamin K (a fat-soluble vitamin).
  • Chlorophyll is the pigment that gives spinach its renowned green color. Inside the cells of the spinach plant, the places where chlorophyll gets stored are called chloroplasts, and their membranes play an active role in converting sunlight into energy (through a process called photosynthesis). These chloroplast-associated membranes are called thylakoid membranes, or simply thylakoids. Because fresh spinach is such a rich source of chlorophyll (and actually our Number 1 source of chlorophyll at WHFoods, containing about 24 milligrams of chlorophyll per cup), it has often been used in research studies as a source for thylakoids and their potential health benefits.

“Recent studies continue to underscore the amazing versatility of spinach. Because this leafy vegetable is rich in water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and a wide variety of phytonutrients, there are many different ways to incorporate spinach into your meal plan and enjoy a variety of nutritional benefits.”

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