There is a reason why spinach has maintained its flawless reputation, from the days of Popeye the Sailor to our current green-smoothie craze.
Raw spinach is a top-notch superfood, loaded with nutrients, yet low in calories, fat and cholesterol. Densely packed with vitamin K and vitamin A, as well as minerals like manganese and potassium, just one serving of spinach houses a multitude of micronutrients to keep your body running smoothly. In addition, the leafy green also possesses anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting compounds. Antioxidants like selenium, zinc, and beta-carotene aid in the protection of your body and the prevention of disease.
While it’s true that certain vitamins are at peak levels in the raw, steamed and sautéed spinach also maintain a wide variety of benefits. In fact, antioxidants and key minerals like calcium actually increase when the vegetable is cooked.
Whether you blend them into a morning smoothie, sauté them over the stove, or toss them fresh onto a dinnertime salad, spinach leaves are sure to contribute to a balanced and healthy diet. The perfect mix of nutrients found in its fiber-rich, a low-calorie leaves has made spinach a healthy staple.
This “Green Wake Up” juice recipe from Sarah Cadji’s book, Pure Juice: Fresh & Easy Recipes (The Countryman Press) is delicious and cleansing, a great way to start your day.
Green Wake Up
Drink this juice first thing! It really will wake up your system as cucumber is such a strong diuretic. It is also a very hydrating ingredient, so it will give you the much needed goodness your body is craving in the morning.
3 medium-size cucumbers, unpeeled
a handful of spinach (stalks removed)
1 green apple, unpeeled a handful of parsley
1 lemon (squeezed or juiced, according to taste, see page 18)
SERVES 1 (1½ CUPS)