It's a Green Time of Year

In honor of March’s National Nutrition Month status, and St. Patrick’s Day, let’s talk about something green. One of my earliest posts talked about the importance of greens for nutrition, but today I’d like to share with you a little info about one green SuperFood in particular  - Spinach. I’ve included a recipe that’s easy to “make and take”, too. Yes, Popeye was right – this dark-green leaf really packs a nutritional punch, helps fight cancer, builds strong muscles, and much, much more! (Keep reading to learn more.)


Food science studies continue to show that eating spinach helps improve health and reduce the risk of many health issues, from cancer to memory loss to strokes. Here’s just a short list of what makes Spinach a SuperFood!

• Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes

• Protects against the occurrence of cancer, including colon, lung, skin, oral, stomach, ovarian, prostate, and breast cancer

• Helps regulate blood pressure

• Builds muscle and strong bones

• Helps prevent memory loss and cognitive decline

• Protects against skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis

• Acts as a natural diuretic and laxative

• Performs as an anti-inflammatory

• Reduces migraines

• Prevents cataracts and macular degeneration

What’s inSpinach?

One of the more exciting recent discoveries about what’s in spinach is the presence of glycoglycerolipids. You may not have heard glycoglycerolipids before because people are just starting to talk about them. Glycoglycerolipids are the key players in plant photosynthesis, and new research shows that they can prevent inflammation and damage in the digestive tract. What else are you getting in a cup of spinach? Here’s how it stacks up by percentage of Daily Values:

Vitamin K 987.2%

Vitamin A 628.8%

Manganese 84%

Folate 65.7%

Magnesium 39.1%

Iron 35.7%

Copper 34.4%

Vitamin B 232.3%

Vitamin B 625.8%

Calcium 24.4%

Potassium 23.9%

Vitamin C 23.5%

Fiber 17.2%

Vitamin B 114.1%

Vitamin B 35.5%


And here’s the recipe I promised… 

Spicy Chicken Salad (no mayo!)


Two skinless chicken breasts, baked or poached and chopped.

¼ cup chopped red, yellow or orange pepper

¼ cup chopped celery

½ cup fresh chopped baby spinach leaves

1-2 very ripe avocados, cubed

1 clove fresh minced garlic

1 ½ tsp chipotle or chili powder

Pinch of pepper and sea salt


Chop cooled chicken into small, bite-sized pieces and place in large bowl. Add chopped pepper, celery and spinach leaves and minced garlic; mix well with a large fork. Add the cubed avocado; mash the avocado into the chicken and vegetable mixture, stirring and mashing until you have a slightly smooth consistency. Add the chipotle or chili powder, the pepper and sea salt. Mix well. Serve on romaine lettuce leaves, unsalted brown rice cakes or toasted whole-wheat bread. (I lay a few whole spinach leaves on top when I eat it as a sandwich!)

Don’t save the green just for St. Patty’s day… make it an everyday part of your life, just like Popeye. Enjoy!