Spinach is great vegetable for a ketogenic diet as it’s bursting with vitamins yet low in carbs. Being high in potassium, spinach can help relieve headaches caused by low levels of electrolytes due to the leto-flu (click here for more tips on fighting the keto-flu!). Its versatility means that it can be enjoyed at every meal without becoming repetitive or boring.
Spinach’s high levels of antioxidants, specifically neoxanthin and violaxanthin, provide potent anti-inflammatory benefits1.
- Skin health
Spinach is a great source of vitamins B2, B6, and C, all of which help the skin’s appearance. A deficiency of B2 causes dulling of the skin and dry patches2. Vitamin B6 is involved in the regulation of sodium and potassium, helping to control fluid regulation in tissues. This is in turn helps to prevents puffy eyes and face2. Vitamin C plays a crucial role in the manufacture of collagen so helps to support healthy, natural ageing2.
The antioxidant kaempferol, present in spinach, may be protective against the risk of prostate and ovarian cancer1.
- Bone health
One cup of spinach provides nearly twice the recommend intake of vitamin K, crucial for maintaining bone health1.
How I Use It
I choose to cook spinach as it increases the bioavailability of iron, as well as the amount of other vitamins and minerals such as beta-carotene and lutein1. Cooking spinach also greatly reduces the amount of oxalates present, which can cause muscle weakness, kidney stones, and impair thyroid function due its being a goitrogen3.
Breakfast: With eggs and lemon zest – For example, substitute the kale with spinach in my Smoked Mackerel and Poached Egg on a Bed of Kale.
Lunch: Stuffed Sardines with Spinach, find the recipe on the blog on Saturday.
Supper: With beef mince, spiced with ginger, garlic, and cumin.
Top tip: Always choose organic as non-organic spinach carries some of the highest levels of pesticides. See The Dirty Dozen.