Spinach is a nutrient-dense food, packed with essential vitamins and minerals which, even if you're not Popeye, can help you be healthy and strong. Sauteeing spinach allows you to change up its flavor profile with a variety of herbs and spices. Keeping your palate pleased ensures you'll never get bored of this nutritious vegetable.
Calories and Fat
Raw spinach is virtually calorie and fat free. A 1-cup serving of raw spinach contains only 7 calories and has no fat. However, sauteed spinach usually requires the use of oil or butter, which are both high in calories and fat. All you need is a dash of olive oil, which contains healthy monounsaturated fats that can help lower your risk of heart disease. Olive oil has 119 calories and 13 grams of fat in 1 tablespoon.
Spinach contains essential minerals that your body needs to stay healthy and function properly including iron, which aids in the transport of oxygen throughout your body. One-half cup of cooked spinach contains 3.2 milligrams of iron, which is 18 percent of the daily value of iron. Iron deficiency is common, especially among young women. Adding sauteed spinach to your diet can help combat low iron levels. Consider sauteing your spinach with garlic or lemon juice. These ingredients are high in vitamin C, which helps your body absorb iron better.
Spinach is an excellent source of many different vitamins, including vitamin C, vitamin K and folate. Folate is a B vitamin that helps create and maintain cells. This is especially important during rapid cell division, such as in pregnancy. Eating a diet rich in folate helps to prevent anemia associated with pregnancy. Cooking times can affect the vitamin content of your spinach; prolonged heating can lead to nutrient loss. Saute your spinach only until slightly wilted.
Spinach is also high in vitamin A. Your body needs vitamin A for immune function, vision, reproduction and communication between cells. One-half cup of frozen, boiled spinach contains 229 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin A, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Adult females should consume 700 micrograms of retinol activity equivalents, or RAE, of vitamin A daily.
- Colorado State: Spinach Facts
- USDA Nutrient Database: Nutrient Data for 11457, Spinach, Raw
- MayoClinic.com: Olive Oil- What are the Health Benefits?
- USDA Nutrient Database: Nutrient Data for 04053, Oil, Olive, Salad or Cooking
- USDA Nutrient Database: Nutrient Data for 01001, Butter, Salted
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Iron
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Folate
- USDA Nutrient Database: Nutrient Data for 11215, Garlic, Raw
- USDA Nutrient Database: Nutrient Data for 09152, Lemon Juice, Raw
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin A
Ireland Wolfe has been writing professionally since 2009, contributing to Toonari Post, Africana Online and Winzer Insurance. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Master of Arts in mental health counseling. She is also a licensed mental health counselor, registered nutritionist and yoga teacher.