Spinach is a dark leafy vegetable. This is one of the superfoods for a healthy body and mind. Let us see some of the nutritional facts and health benefits of spinach here. Also, get a list of 15 best vegetarian spinach recipes.
(These are only for information purpose and not for any medical advise.)
I love spinach. And I love it in any form. This dark green leafy vegetable is one of the nutrition-packed super-food. This is a low calorie and low carb vegetable filled with required vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, and antioxidants.
So adding this green vegetable to your daily diet helps to keep our body and mind strong and healthy. Adding a cup of spinach to your daily diet, you will get 100% of your daily requirement of Vitamin A, 30% of vitamin C, K, iron. Also, this is a versatile vegetable that you can add in any form, as an appetizer, in soups, in curries, smoothies, or even raw spinach in salads.
Raw Spinach or Cooked Spinach - Which is healthier?
Raw spinach contains oxalic acid, the substance that inhibits the absorption of essential nutrients by our body. Especially calcium and iron. Oxalic acid binds to calcium and makes it unavailable to our body. Thus it makes the calcium and iron useless if you consume raw spinach.
At the same time, when spinach is heated, the oxalic acid breaks down making no loss of nutrients. Hence, steamed or sautéed spinach is fully packed with required nutrients as compared to the raw spinach.
However, raw spinach is good source of many other nutrients (without affected by oxalic acid) such as potassium, folate, niacin, riboflavin which are more absorbed when eaten raw.
Similarly, cooked spinach has a higher absorption level of vitamin A, beta-carotenoids, vitamin E, protein, fiber, calcium, and iron. So keeping this in mind, you can decide your balanced portion of spinach cooked or raw.
Spinach is a superfood
Spinach is an excellent source of Vitamin C, K, & A. This superfood also contains plentiful manganese, magnesium, folate, iron, phosphorous, potassium, and many micronutrients too. Spinach also has a good amount of protein and fiber. This is a low carb vegetable perfect for the keto diet also. Read top 10 keto vegetables here.
It also contains antioxidants that prevent oxidative damage of cells. This is a low carb and low calories vegetable good for the keto diet as well. You must include this superfood in your daily diet unless until you are suffering from any disease that restricts the consumption of large quantity of spinach in our diet.
Health benefits of spinach
- Keeps our bone strong and healthy - Vitamin K improves calcium absorption and makes the bone healthy.
- Helps in keeping our digestive system healthy - The presence of high insoluble fiber keeps the digestive tract healthy and prevents constipation.
- Reduce oxidative stress & damage - Antioxidants help reduce the oxidative damage to the cells and tissues. Free radicals cause many harmful diseases. And these antioxidants keep away such diseases.
- Helps fight cancer - antioxidants fight cancer-causing cells and the plant compounds prevent the formation of cancerous cells in organs.
- Keeps heart healthy - High nitrate and potassium keep the heart healthy and decrease the rate of heart diseases.
- Keeps eyes, hair, and skin healthy - Vitamin A and the carotenoids which convert to vitamin A keeps eyes, skin, and hair healthy.
Who should avoid intake of spinach?
- People with a high risk of kidney stones should avoid taking a high amount of spinach. Spinach is rich in oxalate, which leads to the formation of kidney stones.
- People who take blood thinners should also avoid or control the portion size of spinach intake. This is because of the high amount of vitamin K which helps in blood clotting.
- Over-consumption or consumption in large quantities can cause kidney stones, abdominal pain, low blood pressure, vomiting. Consumption should be in moderation and it will be beneficial. Therefore, our diet should be balanced always (not over-eating any vegetables/ grains)
Personally, I add this superfood spinach 2 - 3 times a week to my diet. If you are consuming it daily in salad, or smoothie, or sauteed, you must limit the portion size of this green leafy vegetable.
Some Vegetarian Spinach Recipes
How can I forget this, when I'm writing about the health benefits of spinach greens. Here is a collection of some of the healthy and easy vegetarian spinach recipes from my dainty kitchen. Out of these vegetarian spinach recipes, some are vegan too.
I love to blend this superfood in any food form. In fact, this is a versatile food that not only makes food healthy but also delicious. These recipes are vegetarian or vegan. Spinach recipes are really quick ones as this leafy vegetable takes no time to get cooked. e.g. if you are blanching spinach, it should not be more than 2 minutes.
1. Keto Buttery Garlic Spinach
Keto sauteed spinach with lots of minced garlic is a simple and delicious recipe. This is one of the healthy sides. This easy sauteed spinach hardly takes 10 minutes. For the keto diet, saute with high-fat butter, or for a low-fat diet, use olive oil for sauteing. In anyways it's the most delicious yet simple spinach recipe.
2. Creamy Curried Spinach & Mushroom Soup
This is a creamy spinach soup recipe with a hint of mushrooms. This has the goodness of both spinach and mushrooms. Spinach & mushroom soup is perfect for any diet and healthy. This is gluten-free and vegetarian spinach soup with the added nutrition of mushrooms as well. This is one of the healthiest soups.
3. Paneer Stuffed Hara Bhara Kabab
Make this protein-rich snack for your kids. This is an easy, healthy and quick party appetizer. This is a spinach and potato patties with stuffed paneer.
4. Spinach Cheese Balls
Soft melt-in-mouth spinach cheese balls are quick party appetizers. This is also keto friendly and kids will love this cheesy appetizer. One of the healthiest spinach appetizers.
5. Crispy Spinach Fritters (Vegan & Gluten-free)
Spinach fritters are a healthier twist to deep-fried fritters. These are a better option since spinach adds nutritional value to the snacks. Again, these are gluten-free and vegan. If you wish to make them healthier, make them oil-free in an airfryer.
6. Palak Paneer Kofta (Shaam Savera)
Shaam savera is a palak kofta curry with protein-rich paneer stuffing. This is also a healthy spinach recipe with lots of protein and fiber-rich elements. It has a rich creamy onion tomato curry base.
7. Palak Paneer (Restaurant Style)
Palak paneer is a restaurant-style North Indian Curry Recipe. This is a healthy and protein-rich creamy curry with spinach gravy. This curry is mildly spicy but loaded with tons of nutrition.
8. Spinach Lentil Crepes
High protein lentil & spinach crepes are perfect healthy breakfast recipe. One of the easiest and healthiest recipe you can make with green spinach leaves. This is again vegan and gluten-free.
9. Dal Palak ( Indian Lentil Soup with Spinach)
An Indian Lentil soup with spinach greens is a healthy food. This is a must-have food we must add in our daily diet.
10. Moroccan Lentil Soup
This is a healthy creamy lentil soup with lots of spinach greens and high protein red lentils. Serve it with rice, breads or take it as a soup.
11. Aloo Palak (Saag Aloo)
Saag aloo is sautéed potatoes with spinach. This curry has a spinach gravy along with stir-fried baby potatoes.
12. Spinach Corn Sandwich
A super healthy and quick sandwich recipe for your breakfast is just awesome. Serve it with a homemade cappuccino.
13. Sarson ka Saag (Mixed Greens)
This is a traditional and authentic North Indian recipe. This is most popular recipe made with lots of green leafy vegetables like mustard leaves, spinach, fenugreek leaves, radish leaves, etc.
14. Hara Bhara Kabab
This is a healthy appetizer. It has healthy spinach greens and green peas. This is also a quick party snack.
15. Spinach & Fenugreek Kadhi
This is a low carb twist to the traditional kadhi pakora recipe. Here I have added spinach leaves and fenugreek leaves. This is a vegetarian spinach recipe.
Vegetarian Spinach Recipes
- Skillet/ pan/ kadai
- Spinach Hero ingredient
- Click on individual link for detailed recipe.
Healthy Vegetarian Spinach Recipes
So these are a few of the vegetarian spinach recipes from my blog. I will keep on adding more spinach recipes here. I have posted another round-up collection of vegan spinach recipes from some great blogs. Get the recipe collection of 40 Vegan spinach recipes here.
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