Fit Food Friday: Spinach

Written by: Helen

Spinach

 

We all know that spinach is good for us.  We know this because Popeye tells us so.  Although Popeye seems to drink his spinach out of a can which isn’t very appealing to me; I prefer mine fresh in a salad or a pasta.

Spinach is certainly one of those foods that’s so full of various good stuff that you should definitely include it in your diet.  If having it as part of a salad doesn’t float your boat then there are some recipe ideas at the bottom of the post.

Here are seven reasons why spinach is so awesome:

 

1) Nutrient Density

Spinach is bursting with nutrients such as vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, vitamin C, fibre… I could go on..and on…and on.  It is a great way of topping up your nutrient levels and getting your daily recommended doses.

 

2) Antioxidants

I have spoken previously about the importance of antioxidants and spinach is a good source.  Antioxidants are vital for our health, protecting our bodies against free radical damage.  Free radicals not only cause diseases but play a role in the way our bodies age.

 

3) Iron

Spinach provides us with iron.  Iron is a component of haemoglobin which transports oxygen to our bodies cells.  People with iron deficiency suffer with low energy and iron is particularly important for pregnant women.

 

4) Skin & Hair Health

Spinach is full of skin-friendly vitamins including vitamin C which is required in the formation of collagen.  Collagen gives skin strength and elasticity and replaces dead skin cells.  Spinach contains a mixture of vitamins which encourage healthy hair including B, C and E; also calcium and iron which carries oxygen to the hair follicles.

 

5) Bone Health

Spinach is a rich source of vitamin K which is important for bone health.  A higher risk of bone fracture has been associated with a low intake of vitamin K.  Spinach also contains calcium.

 

6) Lowering Blood Pressure

Potassium helps to lower high blood pressure so spinach is a good food to eat if you suffer with high blood pressure because of its potassium content.

 

7) Gastrointestinal Health

Beta-carotene and vitamin C protect the cells in the colon from free radical damage.  Folate also offers protection.

So there you have it, Popeye was right.  You should be eating your spinach.  If, like me, you don’t really fancy trying to drink it out of a can then here are some recipe ideas.  Just click on the title for the link.

 

 

Spinach, Bacon & White Bean Salad

Spinach, bacon & white bean salad

 

Chickpea, Tomato & Spinach Curry

Chickpea, tomato & spinach curry

 

Aubergine Rolls with Spinach & Ricotta

Aubergine rolls with spinach & ricotta

 

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Reference

Style Craze

Naturally healthy Eating

MNT

The Importance of Getting Vitamin A

Written by: Helen

How to get your vitamin A

We all know that vitamins and minerals are important.  We have been told to eat healthily to ensure we get the nutrients that our bodies need.  However, we don’t always know why.  What do these nutrients do?  What are the best foods to eat?  I think that sometimes once we have a little more information, and once we know WHY something is good for us, we are more inclined to incorporate it into our diet and lifestyle.

That is why I thought I’d tell you about some of the vitamins that you may hear health professionals harping on about.  And where better to start than with vitamin A.

 

Why Do We Need It?

One of the best known health benefits of vitamin A is to do with vision.  Remember when your mum used to tell you to eat all your carrots because they make you see in the dark?  There is some truth in this because of the vitamin A content (more specifically beta-carotene) which helps our vision in dim light.  Vitamin A is also an important nutrient for our immune system so it helps our bodies to fight infections.  It is essential for keeping mucus membranes moist; this may not sound too important but these line many parts of the body including our nose, throat and eyes.  It also promotes healthy bones and teeth.

 

Where Can We Get It?

Vitamin A comes in various forms and can be found in many foods so it should be fairly easy to get the required amount from our food.  Top healthy food sources include:

  • Sweet Potato
  • Carrots (see my post on the health benefits of carrots here)
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Bok Choy
  • Bell Peppers
  • Parsley
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Brussels Sprouts

Vitamin A can also be found in animal products such as milk, eggs, cheese, sardines, chicken and beef.

 

Vitamin A Rich Recipes

If you think you need a little more vitamin A in your life then you could try one of these yummy recipes, just follow the links in the titles.  I will definitely be trying these out myself.

Italian Roasted Snap Peas

Italian Roasted Snap Peas

 

Roasted Carrots with Cardamom Butter

Roasted Carrots with Cardamom Butter

 

Tom Yum Soup with Pineapple

Tom Yum Soup with Pineapple

 

Butternut Squash Soup

ButternutSquashSoup

Thanks for reading 🙂

A Berry Cleansing Turmeric Smoothie

Written by: Helen

I was lucky enough to be sent a Kenwood Smoothie-to-go maker.  The great thing about this smoothie maker is that it does exactly what it says on the tin (or box if you’re being pedantic).  You just drop the ingredients in the blender, give them a blast, then pop the lid on and off you go.  You can find a link to this smoothie maker here. 

 

image

 

In keeping with this simple smoothie-making process I have made a simple smoothie recipe.  Our bodies do a pretty good job of naturally detoxifying.  However, there are foods that can help to support this and I have included some of these in this recipe.  This smoothie has a thicker consistency with a sweet taste.

In this recipe you will find;

 

Turmeric

Turmeric is renowned for its role in helping the liver with the detoxification process.  Turmeric contains curcumin which stimulates the production of bile by the gallbladder.  Bile is used by the liver to eliminate toxins.  It also kills free radicals that cause aging and damage to our bodies cells.  It has many other health benefits which you can read about in my post here.

 

Blueberries

Blueberries are a great detox food because they are packed with vitamin C which helps to flush toxins from our bodies.  They are also a valuable source of antioxidants which help us to fight disease; when antioxidant levels are low proper detoxification can’t take place.

 

Cucumber

Cucumber has many health benefits.  Although it is composed mostly of water it also contains vitamin C and fibre.  The water content of cucumbers aids hydration which helps to flush out toxins.

 

CINNAMON

Cinnamon is another spice that helps our body and internal organs to cleanse themselves.  There are many other health benefits to cinnamon which include maintaining blood sugar levels and combating neurodegenerative diseases. 

 

image

 

 

A Berry Cleansing Turmeric Smoothie
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A smoothie packed with foods to help your body cleanse from the inside.
Servings Prep Time
2people 2minutes
Servings Prep Time
2people 2minutes
A Berry Cleansing Turmeric Smoothie
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
A smoothie packed with foods to help your body cleanse from the inside.
Servings Prep Time
2people 2minutes
Servings Prep Time
2people 2minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
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Instructions
  1. Pop all the ingredients in the blender/ smoothie-maker and blitz for about 30 seconds. You can add ice before blending if you'd like a cold smoothie. Then enjoy!
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I have been sent the smoothie maker for free but any opinions about it are honest.  I have included the link but I don’t receive any payment from Kenwood if you use it.

 If you like this recipe don’t forget to share it 🙂

Reference

Livestrong

Web Express Guide