Spinach is in the same food family (Amaranthaceae-Chenopodiaceae) as Swiss chard and beets and has the proper name, Spinacia oleracea. It tastes similar to these other like vegetables with a slight bitterness and slightly salty flavor. The delicate young leaves are best in salads and the more mature spinach leaves are better suited for cooked recipes. Both raw and cooked versions offer different benefits. Some research has shown that boiling spinach for just one minute decreases the oxalic acid content which makes it sweeter.
- Cancer Prevention
- Healthy Bones
- Low Glycemic
High Vitamin/Mineral Content– 985% DV of Vitamin K. 630% DV of Vitamin A. 84% DV of Manganese. 65% DV of Folate. High amounts of Vitamin B2, B6, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, and many others. The nutritional value of spinach is exceptional especially when you consider that these high levels of vitamins are in just one cup that equals only 40 calories. Spinach is ther very definition of a “Nutritionally Dense Food”.
Anti-Inflammatory– Scientists have identified at least a dozen different flavanoid compounds that act as an anti-inflammatory. Certain carotenoids in spinach have shown to decrease inflammation in the digestive tract after consumption.
Cancer Prevention– Many green leafy vegetable have been proven to help treat cancer, but spinach alone is exceptionally helpful in Stage 3 and 4 prostate cancer. The powerful flavanoids found in spinach have been extracted and concentrated by researchers to treat certain kinds of cancer, especially prostate cancer.
Anti-Oxidants– The same flavanoids and carotenoids mentioned above are also potent antioxidants. Some additional antioxidants contained in spinach are: Vitamin C, E, A, Manganese, Selenium, and Zinc. All of these compounds battle free radicals and keep your cells healthy.
Healthy Bones– Vitamin K is well known to prevent bone loss. It also promotes non-collagen protein in bone, making them stronger. There are very few foods with such a high concentration of Vitamin K than spinach.
Did You know?
Spinach originated in ancient Persia and made it’s way to China in the 7th century. It wasn’t until the 11th century that it started showing up in European cuisine. Today the United States is a major supplier of spinach.
When choosing spinach you should look for vibrant green leaves. Yellowing leaves is a sign of spoilage and even should be avoided. Some people believe that excessive exposure to light in the grocery store may affect the nutritional properties of spinach but this is false. The light actually helps preserve the spinach.