Dark green leaves of spinach look great served together with red strawberries, but they're so much more than a pretty presentation. Together they complement and improve total nutritional value. One sometimes contributes nutrients that its counterpart lacks, while other nutrients increase from trace amounts individually to significant nutritional value when the two are combined. Read below the benefits listed by AgroWeb.org, together with an easy recipe.

Double the Nutrients
If you ate 1 cup of either one alone, you would only get 2 percent of the recommended daily intake of zinc and thiamine and just 3 percent of the recommend daily intake of calcium and vitamin E. When they’re combined into one dish, you get double the nutrients and the daily intake turns into a more significant 4 or 5 percent.

Fiber
You’ll enhance the fiber content five times by eating 1 cup of strawberries with 1 cup of spinach, consuming a total of 11 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber. Spinach alone only has 2 percent. Strawberries and spinach contain soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol by binding with it and carrying it out of the body. It also helps keep blood sugar balanced by slowing absorption. Insoluble fiber keeps food moving through the digestive tract, prevents diverticular disease and relieves the symptoms of some gastrointestinal disorders.

Vitamin A and Vitamin K
If you had a cup of strawberries, you’d get a small amount of vitamins A and K. Adding 1 cup of spinach boosts vitamin A up to 93 percent of the recommended daily intake and vitamin K to 120 percent. Vitamin K must be present for the process of blood clotting and it regulates the mineralization of bones. Vitamin A includes several different substances categorized as retinoids and carotenoids.

Vitamin C and Vitamin B-6
When it comes to vitamin C and vitamin B-6, strawberries fill in the nutritional gap you would experience if you only ate spinach. One cup of strawberries plus 1 cup of spinach provides a total of 118 percent of the recommended intake of vitamin C and 12 percent of vitamin B-6. Spinach alone only has 8 percent of daily vitamin C and 6 percent of vitamin B-6. In addition to being a strong antioxidant, vitamin C is needed to produce the collagen that maintains skin and connective tissue. Vitamin B-6 is needed to create serotonin, which regulates mood and sleep. It also removes homocysteine from the blood and that may lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Serving Tip


Spinach and strawberries are best served as a fresh salad. Even though you can add any other vegetables, this salad works well when simply starring its two main ingredients. Just add some walnuts or cashews and top it with a strawberry dressing made by mixing strawberry jam into balsamic vinaigrette.

Recipe
• 2 bunches spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
• 4 cups sliced strawberries
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
• 1/4 teaspoon paprika
• 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Directions
1. In a large bowl, toss together the spinach and strawberries.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat./AgroWeb.org