When it comes to dark leafy vegetables, spinach is one of the most versatile and nutrient-packed out there. Its mild flavored leaves can be prepared and served in a variety of ways, and for cancer patients looking for a way to add more nutrition into their meals, spinach offers an easy way to do that.
Stuff a few raw leaves into a sandwich or fold them into an omelet. If you are on chemo, add spinach to a soup, or add to a salad.
This grand green is high in folate, vitamin C, and also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that support a healthy and robust immune system. On top of all that, it has substantial levels of vitamin A, iron, fiber, and magnesium.
Spinach is more delicious and beneficial when bought fresh. Select leaves from the loose spinach bin, if possible, over the packaged varieties, which cost more and may not be as fresh. Look for thin stems, since this is a sign of younger leaves, and look for a crisp, springy texture, rich color, and a fresh, slightly sweet scent. Store it in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Before cooking or eating, wash thoroughly to be sure to remove any grit, especially with curly-leaf varieties.
For a side dish, sauté spinach in some olive oil and finish it with a squeeze of lemon and a little salt and pepper. Cooked spinach is an easy vegetable to add to dishes – for example, it’s a delicious topping on a pizza. Or try it as the starring ingredient in our Sauteed Spinach with Raisins & Pine Nuts.
Pureed spinach can be added to soups, stuffed into pasta shells, or added as an ingredient of pesto.