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.

Chef Tips

Spinach is delicious and beneficial when bought fresh but frozen spinach is also packed with many beneficial nutrients. 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.

Our Top Spinach Recipes

Spinach is one of our favorite green superheroes when it comes to healthy eating. It is readily available year-round in grocery stores and easily added to virtually any dish.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society

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