8 Simple Ways to Incorporate More Spinach and Leafy Greens Into Your Diet

You know that deep, leafy greens like spinach are good for you. However, you aren’t a rabbit and don’t want to live on salads. How can you get more of the good stuff in your life without depriving yourself?

It’s easier than you think. Here are eight simple ways to incorporate more spinach and leafy greens into your diet.

Simple Ways to Incorporate More Spinach and Leafy Greens Into Your Diet

Why You Need More Spinach and Greens in Your Diet

Every article you read screams, “Eat more greens!” But why is this advice everywhere? It turns out that grazing has some impressive benefits for your health.

1. Vitamins, Minerals and Phytonutrients — Oh, My!

Spinach and other deep, leafy greens are powerhouses of various vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that your body needs for good health. For example, here are some of the nutrients you’ll find in each serving:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • B vitamins, including folate
  • Fiber
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Carotenoids
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin

Some deep, leafy greens, like kale, even include trace amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. These good fats typically occur in seafood and are vital to heart, brain and emotional health.

2. Chlorophyll

The most abundant phytonutrient in deep, leafy greens is chlorophyll. You might recognize this substance from your high school science classes as the stuff plants use to facilitate photosynthesis.

It also performs various health roles in the human body, acting as a powerful antioxidant that whisks dangerous free radicals out of your body’s cells before they can cause harm.

3. Low-Calorie Flavor and Crunch

Finally, deep, leafy greens like spinach pack a lot of nutrition into very few calories. You can eat as much as you like of these foods without gaining a pound.

Furthermore, substituting them for higher-calorie meals could help you drop unwanted weight. Even moderate weight loss improves health outcomes for those with obesity.

8 Simple (and Stealth) Ways to Eat More Leafy Greens

You know that greens and spinach are good for you, but what if you find their taste unpleasantly bitter?

How can you get more of them into your diet without feeling deprived or suffering through meals you have to choke down? Here are eight tricks to increase your intake without noticing it.

1. Mix Up Your Salad

If you grew up on “American” style salad, you’re probably used to iceberg or romaine lettuce. While these foods aren’t bad for you, they lack the nutritional punch of deep, leafy greens. However, many people find they taste less bitter.

A simple hack is to cut your iceberg and romaine with deeper greens. You’ll skip the overwhelming bitterness of a dish fully lined with field greens.

As a bonus, you might cut some of the nitrates from the spinach, keeping your intake below EPA-recommended levels to prevent congenital disabilities if expecting.

2. Add Crunch to Sandwiches and Wraps

You can also use dark, leafy greens or spinach as an alternative to romaine or iceberg on burgers, sandwiches or wraps.

The extra bit of green adds a flavorful crunch. If you tend to lose the entire leaf when you take a bite, try shredding the lettuce like McDonald’s does for their Big Macs — but swap iceberg for field greens.

3. Soup’s On

Many people include a sprinkle of parsley in soups for flavor and color. While this humble herb has health benefits, you can create a similar effect by finely chopping kale, spinach or other deep greens and adding them to the pot.

Doing so also increases the fiber content, something your body may need if illness resigns you to eating broth-based foods.

4. Beyond Pesto Pasta Sauce

Traditional pesto sauces call for basil, but you can substitute spinach. All you’ll need are the following ingredients:

  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Add all dry ingredients to a food processor, pulsing until well chopped and combined. Drizzle in the olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper, blending before serving.

You can also add spinach and greens to traditional red pasta sauces. Chop it finely and it will blend with the oregano, basil and thyme for a colorful appearance.

5. Chips and Dips

Does anything taste better than spinach dip on chips? You can whip up this simple version in minutes before the next football game:

  • 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 cups unflavored Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • Green onions for garnish

Thaw the spinach and blend all ingredients until well combined, topping with green onion rounds. Allow to chill for two to four hours before serving.

6. Disguise Them in Dessert

What if your little ones won’t eat their greens, no way, no how? Try disguising them in a dessert. Add chopped kale to your favorite cookie or brownie recipe — darker is better in case your kids spy “green stuff” and turn up their wee noses.

7. Try Them Cooked

Guess what? You might find your greens less bitter if you cook them. The taste some find offensive comes from substances called glucosinolates, which leach out into the water when you boil these vegetables.

Best of all, it only takes a minute to blanch spinach and other greens. Top them with melted lemon butter.

8. Try Some Asian Fusion

Another way to cook your greens is by stir-frying them. The perfect way is to whip up an Asian fusion meal. The next time you make rice or noodles with veggies, add chopped spinach or kale into the mix.

Are Green Drinks Your Solution to Getting More Leafy Greens?

What if your busy lifestyle means grabbing dinner on the fly most nights? A green drink might be your answer to getting more greens into your diet without taking much time.

Many recipes use banana, apple or pineapple to disguise the bitterness of kale and spinach. The finely chopped leaves boost your fiber intake to keep you full while providing you with a nutritional boost. It’s a healthy alternative if you lack the time for a solid meal.

Incorporating More Spinach and Leafy Greens Into Your Diet

You know that you should eat more spinach and deep, leafy greens. However, you’ve resisted until. Fortunately, these tips will help you get more of the good stuff.

Adding more spinach and leafy greens to your diet will improve your overall health and increase your nutritional intake.

Julie Higgins
Julie is a Staff Writer at momooze.com. She has been working in publishing houses before joining the editorial team at momooze. Julie's love and passion are topics around beauty, lifestyle, hair and nails.