UNITED STATES—Some vegetables are better eaten raw than cooked. We’ve heard that idea time and time again to ensure vital nutrients are not loss during the cooking process. Spinach is indeed one veggie that tastes better raw. So why is spinach so good for you? For starters, it’s a vegetable that is packed with more nutrients and antioxidants than any other veggies. To say the leafy veggie is loaded with good stuff would be an understatement.

It’s a major source of vitamin A, K, C, E, folate, iron and calcium. Speaking of calcium and iron, spinach contains inhibitors that affect the body’s ability to absorb those nutrients; the veggie acts as an anti-inhibitor of these nutrients. There are various types of spinach the consumer should be aware of like savoy, semi-savoy and flat leaf spinach. What’s the difference? Savoyis a darker shade of spinach that’s a bit more crinkly and it’s sold in bunches.  Semi-savoy has a similar texture to savoy, but is a bit more difficult to clean.  For most Americans, we are accustomed to eating flat leaf spinach.

Spinach does not have a long shelf life; it only lasts about eight days, after that many vital nutrients are non-existent. So just what can you do with spinach? It’s sensational as a side dish with many foods, but is commonly used in salads and embedded as a treat inside some dishes like stuffed pasta and various meats.

Once again, if it’s difficult to eat spinach as it is for many people, try getting your daily dose of the veggie in a smoothie.  Go for a green smoothie that includes, granny smith apples, honeydew, limes, green pears and some baby spinach.  Its tart, yet sweet and full of wonderful nutrients for the body.

By LaDale Anderson