Pasta with Fresh Spinach and Basil Pesto

Pasta-with-Fresh-Spinach-and-Basil-Pesto_1

Pasta-with-Fresh-Spinach-and-Basil-Pesto_1Who doesn’t love pasta? And it’s even better when it can be classified as healthy anti-aging food. This recipe for fresh spinach pasta is not only delicious, but its key ingredient provides a wealth of anti-aging solutions, especially when it comes to diets for older adults.

For starters, spinach is an excellent anti-aging food because of its high phytonutrient content. Phytonutrients serve as anti-aging solutions for a wide variety of conditions, thanks to their anti-inflammatory effects on the body.

Spinach is also touted for its antioxidant benefits in diets for older adults, since the leafy green is a very rich source of antioxidant nutrients like manganese and vitamins A, C, and E. Spinach has been shown to be an effective anti-aging food to reduce oxidative stress and free radical damage, which is linked to a wide range of health problems, including neurodegenerative conditions like dementia, cancer, heart disease, and atherosclerosis. Spinach can be included in anti-aging solutions for your skin too, since free radical damage can cause wrinkles, sagging, and discoloration.

These aren’t the only reasons to start adding more spinach recipes to diets for older adults. The vegetable is a great anti-aging food for weight loss; in addition to being a rich source of essential vitamins and nutrients, one cup of cooked spinach only contains about 41 calories. Also, iron is known to help boost the metabolism, which helps your body burn through dietary calories—a cup of cooked spinach has 36% of your daily recommended intake of iron.

Still not convinced? There’s another big reason why spinach should be added to diets for older adults—it can reduce the risk of developing dementia. Recent research out of Chicago’s Rush University found that adults who ate leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, one or two times a day experienced less cognitive decline compared to those who didn’t, even after other factors like exercise and family history were accounted for. On average, the green eaters slowed their cognitive decline down by as much as 11 years. If this research is any indication, spinach recipes are an easy way to make sure you’re getting enough of the superfood in your diet.

The vegetable is so versatile that you can easily find spinach recipes for anything from snacks and lunchtime sandwiches, to gourmet salads and dinner dishes. Although it’s still good when eaten raw, cooked spinach is said to release more antioxidant power and allows your body to better absorb its calcium content. Cooked spinach also provides more lutein, which is a phytochemical that can help protect eye health.

The best part about this particular healthy and fresh spinach pasta recipe is that it’s easy to prepare, which makes it a perfect weeknight dinner option.

[gmc_recipe 7678]

Sources:
Beck, L., “Is spinach more nutritious raw or cooked?” The Globe and Mail web site, December 8, 2010; http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/ask-a-health-expert/is-spinach-more-nutritious-raw-or-cooked/article565617/.
“Fettucine with Spinach Pesto,” Martha Stewart web site; http://www.marthastewart.com/336726/fettuccine-with-spinach-pesto, last accessed April 14, 2015.
Hyslop, L., “Eating spinach every day could you’re your brain 11 years younger,” The Telegraph web site, March 31, 2015; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/11505924/Eating-spinach-every-day-could-make-your-brain-11-years-younger.html.
“Spinach,” The World’s Healthiest Foods web site; http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=43, last accessed April 14, 2015.


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