How to Eat Healthier – Drinking Away Your Unwanted Pounds
In the 1980 film-version of Popeye, when the title character initially spits out his spinach, Poopdeck Pappy states, “Spinach is what kept our family strong for thousands of years!” I initially felt like Popeye when my neighbor offered to share her bumper crop of spinach with my family. Spinach is far from the list of my favorite meals. I’m not a fan of the taste or the texture, and while my husband enjoys it from time to time, our teenagers are more likely to agree with me on the matter.
Why Spinach is the Perfect Smoothie Ingredient
The day I went to pick up the spinach from my neighbor’s house she offered me a freshly blended smoothie. It was delicious. There were hints of mango, pineapple, and something else I couldn’t put my finger on right away. After finishing the last bit in the glass I asked her for the recipe, and was shocked when she revealed that the secret ingredient was spinach. I took the bag of greens home with not only a new recipe for using them, but also a new and improved attitude about consuming my veggies – by drinking them!
Smoothies that you make at home are a great choice for any time of day because you can load them up with all kinds of vitamins and minerals without the added sugars and preservatives associated with ones purchased at a retail food market or restaurant. You can even use a home meat slicer to cut up the vegetables into smaller pieces for a smoother blend. And if you’re a person who, like me, doesn’t care for eating raw vegetables, smoothies are a great way to give your diet a much needed health boost. Here are some benefits for adding spinach to your smoothies.
- FIBER – One cup of spinach leaves has about one-fifth of the recommended daily allowance of fiber, which promotes low blood sugar and suppresses the appetite.
- FLAVONOIDS – This phytonutrient slows down cell division in cancers of the stomach and skin, and protects against prostate cancer.
- ANTIOXIDANTS – Vitamins and minerals present in spinach, such as vitamin C, E, beta carotene, manganese, and zinc, fight osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and some other effects of aging.
- VISION – In addition to the antioxidants above, lutein and zeaxanthin are known as vitamins for the eyes, protecting from cataracts and other issues associated with aging.
- IMMUNITY – One cup of spinach has more than 3 times the complete daily allowance of vitamin A, which helps boost and strengthen mucous membranes, respiratory tracts and intestinal tracts, and the urinary system. It also helps fight infection.
Spinach also helps fight psoriasis and acne while building bone density. It protects the area around nerves which helps improve brain function. There are so many reasons for adding spinach to your diet, that avoiding it just seems silly.
You’ll Be Strong to the Finish
It’s no wonder Popeye advised children that they’d be strong to the finish, if they’d eat their spinach. You should talk to your doctor before making any drastic change to your diet, but adding a handful of baby spinach leaves to your diet isn’t only a nutritious choice, it’s also one that’s in good taste – literally. You can even freeze the leaves along with other vegetables pre-chopped with an electric meat grinder.
About the Author
Freelance writer Becky James-Muth enjoys working from home because she can spend a lot of time with her husband and their teenage sons. Smoothies are some of their favorite snacks and a great alternative to milkshakes, because they’re quick, convenient, and tastefully nutritious. When she isn’t working or spending time with her family and friends, Becky enjoys watching old movies, dabbling in digital artwork, and taking long walks with her golden retriever, Gingerbelle.