HomeStandard StyleSpinach: It’s a superfood indeed

Spinach: It’s a superfood indeed

A lot of people cringe when they hear of spinach. They say this vegetable is too bland for their liking. Most people I know who actually eat spinach do so at the instruction of doctors and nutritionists. The legendary cartoon Popeye always reached out for a can of spinach whenever he sensed danger lurking around. His muscles would bulge and he would be invincible. That scene is rather exaggerated, but spinach is indeed a superfood, as we will explore today.

All things food with Edith

spinach_feta_pie

Rich iron content

Iron is important for the body as it is important in the functioning of red blood cells which help in the transportation of oxygen around the body.

Helps the digestive system

Glycoglycerolipids found in spinach help protect the lining of the digestive tract from damage. Spinach is low in fibre, 17% in 180g of cooked spinach, but this content together with the glycoclycerolipids protects the lining so that it is kept from constant damage.

Protects against prostate cancer

Anti-cancer carotenoids, epoxyxanthophylls are in abundance in spinach. They help fight the free radicals that cause the development of cancerous cells.

Antioxidant

The flavonoids and carotenoids found in spinach provides anti-inflammatory benefits as well as antioxidant benefits. Our blood vessels are susceptible to damage from oxidant stress and intake of spinach has been associated with decreased risk of several blood vessel related problems, including atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.

Low in calories

Just like most vegetables, spinach is low in calories. One cup of cooked spinach (180g) contains just 41 calories. This makes spinach a healthy weight-loss food.

Maintains bone health

180g of cooked spinach contains over 900% of Vitamin K, which helps prevent excessive activation of osteoclasts — these are the cells that break down bones. The good bacteria in the intestines converts Vitamin K1 into Vitamin K2, which activates osteocalcin which is the major non-collagen protein in bone. This makes the bone healthier and strong.

Let’s move on now to what we are going to make with this super rich food. This week we are making spinach and feta pie. This is a vegetarian dish that is super delicious and packed with goodness.

Spinach and Feta Pie

Ingredients:

l200g spinach, chopped up

l1 chopped tomato

l100g feta cheese crumbled

l2 eggs

l125 ready-made pastry (filo)

lSalt and pepper to taste

lOlive oil

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Put the spinach into pot and add five tablespoons of water. Cook for about five minutes. Pour into a sieve and drain. In a medium-sized bowl, add the spinach, chopped tomatoes, feta and eggs. Add salt and pepper to your taste.

Unroll the pastry and brush with the olive oil (canola seed oil, sunflower seed oil is also healthy). Drape the pastry, oil side down onto a 22cm pie dish and brush the other side with the oil. Spoon the filling into the pastry. Pull the sides of the pastry into the middle to form a parcel. Do this until the filling is covered. Brush again with the oil.

Bake the pie for 30 minutes until it is crisp and golden brown. Cut up into wedge-like slices and serve with a green salad. This serves four.

For a meatier pie, you can add a cup of shredded or finely chopped chicken breast.

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