Spinach

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 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.

Registered Dietitian Approved

There are many misconceptions about nutrition and cancer in widespread media. By using current scientific literature, plus recommendations of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the National Cancer Institute, and the American Cancer Society, our Registered Dietitian, Kate Ueland, MS, RD, and our team of editors work to help our readers discern truth from myth.

The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Always consult your physician or registered dietitian for specific medical advice.


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