For National Spinach Day, Washington University’s Bariatric Surgery Team provides recipes and tips for weight loss surgery dieting.
Angie Britt, Supervisor of Patient Services and Operations in the Weight Loss Surgery Program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, knows that it can be challenging to find good recipes for healthy eating after bariatric surgery. Britt received a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy procedure six years ago, and has been an advocate for patients of weight loss surgery ever since.
“If I’m going to eat something,” Britt says, “it has to have a lot of flavor.”
Britt shares recipes that are full of flavor, while still sticking to the recommended low-carb, high protein diet following bariatric surgery. While Britt’s suggested recipes are crafted specifically for a bariatric diet, these healthy recipes contain nutrients important to any diet.
March 26 is National Spinach Day, making this a great opportunity to explore recipes including the vitamin-rich leafy green. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients, and may benefit eye health, reduce oxidative stress, help prevent cancer and reduce blood pressure levels. One notable benefit of spinach is that it contains carotenoids—antioxidant plant compounds—which the body can turn into vitamin A.
More health benefits of spinach are listed below, along with recipes from the Washington University Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery Pinterest page.
Spinach and Feta Bake
Crafted specifically for the solid food stage following bariatric surgery, the spinach and feta bake proves that spinach can be more than just a salad. This baked meal offers an alternative to routine breakfasts, and provides the nutritional benefits of spinach, detailed in an article by healthline, in a different kind of dish. Healthline notes that spinach contains vitamins C—which promotes skin health and immune function—and K1, an essential vitamin for natural blood clotting in healthy bodies. Vitamin B9, also known as folic acid, promotes cellular function and tissue growth, while iron helps create hemoglobin.
Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries and Spinach
This grilled chicken salad with strawberries and spinach features fresh spring produce and lean protein. Salad is an easy way to incorporate spinach into a healthy diet, while adding cheeses, nuts and fresh fruits keeps the meal full of flavor. The Food and Drug Administration suggests adding spinach and other vegetables to recipes as a way to increase nutritional value and lower caloric intake—both important factors to a post-weight loss surgery diet.
Egg Drop Soup
Bariatric Meal Prep offers this recipe for a simple, high protein egg drop soup with spinach. The blog suggests that this recipe might be good for patients in the early stages of recovery following weight loss surgery, but cautions that patients “may or may not be able to tolerate the spinach.” Whether eaten during the pureed or soft foods portion of the bariatric surgery recovery diet, adding spinach to this soup provides healthy iron, fiber and vitamins. Spinach also provides potassium, which the World Health Organization recommends increasing to reduce blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular diseases.