For Optimum Nutrients, Always Sauté Spinach

If you're just starting your journey into the world of healthy eating, chances are that you've seen your fair share of spinach-based recipes floating around the internet. While often characterized as flavorless "diet" food, nothing could be further from the truth. Spinach is a versatile vegetable that can add a slightly sweet flavor and the right amount of crunch to just about any meal.

Whether part of a delicious summer salad or folded into a plate of mashed potatoes, spinach serves as an excellent source of essential nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K1 (via Healthline). Spinach also contains calcium, folic acid, and iron, making it a great choice for vegetarians or anyone trying to increase their intake of energy-building minerals. Despite spinach's wide range of health benefits, many cooks aren't aware that the way spinach is cooked can have a significant effect on the integrity of its nutrient content.

Sautéing spinach is the best way to preserve its nutrients

Due to the chemical composition of many of the key nutrients found in spinach, exposing the vegetable to the high temperatures necessary for most cooking methods can cause the leafy vegetable to lose much of its health benefits, per Healthline. Of all the popular methods of spinach preparation, boiling spinach causes the most nutrient loss when compared to other cooking methods. This is because many of the vitamins and minerals that make up spinach are both water-soluble and heat sensitive, making a boiling pot of water the perfect environment for them to break down in.

According to SFGate, sautéing spinach allows the vegetable to retain the most amount of its nutrients because this cooking method exposes the leafy green to medium cooking temperatures for a relatively short amount of time. Meaning the greens can be thoroughly cooked before their vitamins and minerals have a chance to fully break down. If the thought of eating sautéed spinach puts you off, consider mixing it with a generous amount of garlic and some seasoning for a quick garlic-sautéed spinach dish that is healthy and insanely delicious as well.