Spinach, scientifically called spinacia oleracea is a leafy green flowering part discovered in central and western Asia. Its leaves are a very common and popular edible vegetable which can be eaten either fresh, or after storage using various preservation techniques such as canning, freezing or dehydration. It may also be eaten cooked or raw, and it tastes very much different; its high oxalate content can be reduced by steaming. Spinach can also be used to make medicine.
Spinach is an annual plant and it is rarely biennial, this accounts for its availability. The leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to triangular, and very variable in size with larger leaves at the base of the plant and small leaves higher on the flowering stem. The flowers are inconspicuous, yellow-green colour and mature into a small, hard, dry, lumpy fruit cluster containing several seeds.[wpsm_box type=”green” float=”none” text_align=”undefined”] Related:
Health Benefits of Eating Spinach
Spinach contains a high level of nutrients which includes Iron, Calcium, and Vitamin K. It is a superfood loaded in tonnes of nutrients in a low calorie package. The dark, leafy greens like spinach are very important for skin, hair, and bone health. They also provide protein, Iron and minerals. Hence, here are a few health benefits of consuming spinach, especially during Keto.
Consuming Spinach will improve your blood glucose control in people with diabetes because of the presence of antioxidants known as alpha-lipoic acid, which lower glucose level, increase insulin sensitivity, and prevent oxidative, stress induced changes in patients with diabetes.
Inhibits the Growth of Cancerous Cells
It also lowers the risk of cancer because of the presence of chlorophyll, which several studies have shown that is effective at blocking the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines, these are generated when grilling foods at a high temperature and it can contribute to preventing the growth of cancer cells.
Spinach also improves bone health because of the high presence of the Vitamin-k which is important for good health as it acts as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, improves calcium absorption, and may reduce the amount of calcium that leaves the body in urine.
Spinach also prevents Asthma because of the presence of a nutrient named beta-carotene, which studies have shown that having a high intake of it reduces the risk of developing asthma.
Spinach also lowers blood pressure due to its high potassium content, it is recommended for people with high blood pressure. The potassium present in spinach can reduce the effects of sodium in the body, a low potassium intake might be a potent risk factor for developing high blood pressure as a high sodium intake would do too.
The high fibre and water present in Spinach help to prevent constipation and promote a healthy digestive tract.
Skin and Hair Care
It also has a large quantity of Vitamin A, which moderates the production of oil in the skin pores and hair follicles to moisturize the skin and hair. It is this oil that can build up to cause acne. Vitamin-A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair. Iron deficiency is a common cause of hair loss, which may be prevented by an adequate intake of iron rich foods such as spinach, as well as supplying minerals and vitamins that can provide a range of different health benefits.
Spinach and Your Health.
Although spinach is popular as being high in iron and calcium contents, and is often served and eaten in its raw form, raw spinach contains high levels of oxalates, which block absorption of calcium and iron in the stomach and small intestine. The oxalates level can be reduced by cooking it [the spinach] in several changes of water, this aids it’s better digestion and helps to absorb its nutrients more completely.
Spinach as the best source of dietary magnesium is necessary for energy metabolism, maintaining muscle and nerve function, regular heart rhythm, a healthy immune system, and maintaining blood pressure. Magnesium also plays a part in hundreds more biochemical reactions that occur in the body.
Spinach is a great source of Iron, a lack of this nutrient in the diet can affect how the body uses energy. It can also be combined with Vitamin-C rich foods such as citrus fruits with plant iron to improve absorption. The approximate 250 mg of calcium per cup present in Spinach is less easily absorbed than calcium obtained from diary sources. This is because the high oxalate content present in spinach binds to Calcium and makes it difficult for the body to use.
It should however be of note that consuming too much potassium can be harmful for those whose kidneys are not fully functional. If the kidneys are unable to remove excess potassium from the blood, it could be dangerous. It is better that people with kidney problems stay away from eating a lot of spinach as it contains a high level of potassium. Spinach is best consumed as part of a well-rounded, nutritious diet.
As stated above, Spinach is one of the most nutritious leafy greens anyone can add to their keto diet in their bid to achieve rapid weight loss. In the diet arena, leafy green vegetables are an important part of a keto diet, these leafy greens are full of carotenoids and flavonoids, that help in protecting the body from oxidative stress and are low in carbs. Leafy greens also aid quick weight loss.
If you are interested in food items that provide iron and are edible on a keto diet, Spinach is your best bet. It is also rich in folate, which is an important mineral for pregnancy. This vegetable is also rich in choline and betaine, both of which are essential nutrients for metabolic processes in the body. Spinach is good for people with diabetes as it helps in reducing glucose levels and improving insulin sensitivity. Beta-carotene in spinach can be beneficial for people with asthma. Spinach is also good for people with high blood pressure and those facing digestion issues. Vitamin A in spinach can show marvellous effects on your skin and hair.
Spinach on Keto
Keto diet is essentially a low-carb diet that involves eating moderate protein and high fat. It is a diet that is popular for aiding quick weight loss and is followed by people all across the world. Leafy greens are an important part of keto diet and the best part is that they come with an array of health benefits. Include them in your salads, low-carb sandwiches and burgers, soups, and other keto friendly meals.
Are Canned Spinach Keto-friendly?
One of the frequently asked questions about spinach as a keto-friendly leafy greens is if canned Spinach is also keto-friendly. While it is a generally better idea to eat fresh food as they are less processed, canned food also stands in place when we have difficulty getting the said fresh food.
There are times when the canned version of your food item is the best, it’s less expensive and lasts longer than fresh food before going bad. Just like the fresh Spinach, canned Spinach is also packed with it’s essential nutrients and still as low in carbs as a fresh Spinach.
If in your food items shopping, you could not find fresh spinach, you should totally go for it’s canned version as it will still serve you well in your diet plan in helping you get your desired weight loss and a huge health boost.
Ways of Serving Your Spinach
There are several ways to serve Spinach in mouthwatering keto-friendly dishes that would appeal to you, some of these recipes are:
- Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms With Spinach And Artichoke, it is easy to make and serves the desired aim in keto-diet
- Palak Soup is an Indian spinach soup recipe that is nutrient-dense, savory and awesome for cold period
- Ham And Cauliflower Rice Casserole With Spinach can be prepared with leftover ham and still taste exquisite
- Coconut Creamed Spinach With Pork Crackling is a daily version of creamed spinach, the only difference is the addition of pork belly.
- Spinach Mushroom Cheese Quiche, this meal usually calls for crusts, but can be prepared without one and still be amazing to the taste buds and other keto-friendly Spinach meals.
Below is a recipe for Cheesy Low Carb Creamed Spinach keto-friendly meal. Cheesy Low Carb Creamed Spinach reduces the extra carbs found in Spinach meals and is easy to prepare. It is an American side dish that can be prepared within 15 minutes (5 minutes for preparation of ingredients and 10 minutes for cooking).
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 packaged frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained or it’s equivalent fresh
- 1 tablespoon butter again
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Melt the tablespoons of butter in a medium pot.
- Mix in the minced garlic and onion powder. Saute for a few minutes until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the thawed frozen spinach or fresh spinach to the garlic and onion powder mixture and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.
- While the spinach mixture is cooking, heat another pot over medium heat. Mix in the extra tablespoon of butter with cream cheese, heavy cream, and parmesan cheese. This would make the meal delicious and cheesy
- Cook until the cream cheese is melted, then whisk the sauce continuously until it is smooth.
- Add desired salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the cheese sauce into the pan of cooked spinach and mix it all together.
- You can now serve and top every serving with fresh grated parmesan, if you wish to.
Nutritional information of Cheesy Low Carb Creamed Spinach in a 0.5g serving are 248 Calories, 5g Carbohydrates, 6g Protein, 24g Fat, 14g of Fat, 76mg of Cholesterol, 260mg of Sodium, 293mg of Potassium, 2g of Fiber, 1g of Sugar, 9162IU of Vitamin A, 4mg of Vitamin C, 201mg of Calcium and 1mg of Iron. It’s Net carbs is 3g, the carbs are 4.8%, Protein 9.5%, and Fat 85.7%.
Spinach is a leafy greens imbibed with nutrients that are essential to pregnant women and the cure of some diseases. Spinach is a great vegetable to add to your keto diet. While it’s nutritious and low carbs, it can be served as several keto-friendly meals that would whet your appetite while you still lose your desired weight. You should consider adding it to your meal.