Spinach is a well-known and loved nutritious green. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a member of the Amaranthaceae family, the plant family that includes beet and chard. Spinach is believed to have originated in ancient Persia, after which it spread to China and other parts of Asia through trade. Spinach can be used raw or cooked, in everything from salads, to soup to pizza. Spinach likes cool weather, grows quickly and is an excellent leafy green for spring. We’ll have spinach at the market on March 31!
Spinach is high in vitamins and minerals, and is one of the most nutritious leafy greens. Spinach is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium. Spinach meets 100% of the daily value for vitamin K and A, and over 40% of the daily value for folate and vitamin C. Research indicates that the nutritional content of spinach is influenced by growing season, variety, cultivation methods, and cooking. For example, cooking spinach by boiling it can remove about 75% of the vitamin C. Of interest to organic growers and consumers is the increased vitamin C content of organic compared with conventionally grown spinach. Spinach is significantly higher in vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, potassium, magnesium, iron and calcium than broccoli, cabbage and lettuce. Spinach is a rich source of the carotenoid lutein, which helps prevent age-related eye degeneration. Eat spinach!
|Plant Species||Calcium||Magnesium||Iron||Potassium||Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)|
|Spinach||99 g/100g||79 g/100g||2.71 g/100g||558 g/100g||28.1 g/100g|
Roberts, J.L. and Moreau, R., 2016. Functional properties of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) phytochemicals and bioactives. Food & function, 7(8), pp.3337-3353.
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28 (2016)