It's hard to miss all the hype about superfoods these days — from goji berries to jackfruit, there are lots of foods that promise major health benefits. While there is no real definition of what a superfood is, most experts agree that any food that is incredibly nutrient-dense in proportion to the number of calories that it has qualifies as one. And that's good news, because lots of fruits and vegetables pack a major punch when it comes to vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants — spinach included.spinach is easy to find in your local supermarket (and easy to cook with), many of us pass it by in favor of trendier greens like kale — but spinach is loaded with health benefits, too, especially when you consider that a cup of raw spinach leaves will only cost you seven calories. Here are some of the benefits of eating more spinach.
Spinach is one of the best natural sources of vitamin K — one cup of raw spinach has almost two times your daily recommended value. Aside from helping your blood clot when it needs to, some research suggests that vitamin K could help us maintain strong bones as we age.
Vitamin A (and Other Antioxidants)
Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that helps keep eyes healthy (it can protect us against age-related macular degeneration) and could protect against cancer. Getting enough vitamin A is easy if you eat your spinach; noshing on just one cup of raw spinach leaves will get you more than halfway to your daily recommended value for this vitamin. Spinach is a great source of other antioxidants as well; it has vitamin C, beta-Carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Spinach is one of the dark leafy green vegetables with the most iron. Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue since your red blood cells help transport oxygen throughout the body, so make sure you’re getting enough.
Other Vitamins and Minerals
Forget multi-vitamins; spinach is also a good source of folate (important for everything from cardiovascular health to the prevention of neural tube defects), other B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium.
Ready to start eating more of this delicious superfood? We’ve got 11 recipes you’ll love.
Baked Chicken with Spinach, Pears, and Blue Cheese
The sweet and salty combination of pears and blue cheese is the perfect way to add flavor to boneless, skinless chicken breast. Serve this dish over spinach for a delicious and healthy meal.
Chickpea and Spinach Stew
This healthy vegetarian stew will keep you full and satisfied. Spinach adds color, flavor, and a super boost of nutrients.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.