Popeye was right!

14 04 2010

Many classify spinach as a superfood.  Research suggests that it may improve strength, brain function, bone health, and eye health.

Spinach contains a phytochemical called phytoecdysteroid.  A recent study completed at Rutgers University demonstrated a 20% increase in muscle growth with this phytochemical.

The vitamin A, lutein, and zeaxanthin found in spinach are all carotenoids that help maintain eye health.

Spinach is also an excellent source of vitamin K and magnesium.  The combination of nutrients in spinach has been shown to promote strong and healthy bones.  Vitamin K has been linked to a reduced risk of bone fractures.  Magnesium is a component of bones and vitamin C helps promote collagen formation, which is necessary to build strong bones.

So add spinach to your diet by juicing, sautéing, tossing in a salad, or adding to your omelet.

Spinach and Chicken Stir-Fry Salad with Raspberries

Preparation Time:  20 minutes

Cooking Time:  5 minutes

Serves:   3 people

Ingredients: Directions:
1 tsp Olive or Canola Oil 1) Heat oil in nonstick skillet or wok.
2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite-size strips (12 oz) 2)  Add chicken strips and onion, stir-fry over high heat 3-5 minutes until chicken is no long pink in the center.
1 cup of Onion, diced 3)  Turn off heat and add spinach and vinaigrette
Salt & Pepper to taste 4)  Toss well.
1 bag (6oz) Spinach 5)  Divide mixture among plates
¼ cup Fat-Free Raspberry Vinaigrette 6)  Sprinkle with raspberries and feta cheese
1 cup Raspberries (If frozen, thawed)
¼ cup Reduced-Fat Feta Cheese

Nutritional information per Serving:

Calories:  250 Carbohydrates:  14 g Fiber:  5 g Protein:  28 g Fat:  9 g Sat. Fat: 2 g

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010