Upping one’s daily spinach intake can lower high blood pressure by 2 to 3 points.
Are you getting enough potassium – the mineral that relaxes blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and counters the constricting action of sodium? If you’re not sure, the ideal is 4,700 mg/day, but just 750 to 1,000 mg above your usual intake can lower blood pressure by 2 to 3 points. That’s 2 bananas, 1 potato or 1 cup of cooked spinach.
Spinach is also loaded with magnesium ― another key ingredients for lowering and maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Here is a delicious way to add more greens to your daily diet and start working towards a healthier life without the hypertension.
Creamed Spinach Casserole
This creamy spinach casserole recipe is a perfect side dish for any main course. It contains 476mg potassium, 388mg sodium, just 142 calories and 17mg of cholesterol per serving. It serves about 8, and part of it (steps 2 and 3) can be made up to one day in advance by refrigerating and then thawing at room temperature before continuing with the rest of the recipe.
- 3 10-ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed
- 1 cup extra sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a shallow 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Press spinach in a mesh strainer to get out as much moisture as possible. Pulse in a food processor until very finely chopped.
- Combine milk, flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until thickened (2-4 minutes). Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup Cheddar, cottage cheese and the spinach.
- Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer, slowly increasing speed, until they begin to foam. Continue to beat until whites hold their shape; do not overbeat. They are ready when you lift the beaters out and the peak doesn’t flop over.
- Gently fold the whites into the spinach mix with a rubber spatula until uniform. Its fine if a few white streaks remain. Transfer to baking dish.
- Bake for 35 minutes. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar; continue baking until the cheese melts (about 10 minutes more). Let stand for 5 minutes.
Most importantly, enjoy!