Spinach is a green-leaved flowering plant native to central and western Asia. It is of the order Caryophyllales, family Amaranthaceae, subfamily Chenopodioideae. Its leaves are a common edible vegetable that is eaten fresh or after storage using preservation techniques such as canning, freezing, or dehydration. It has low caloric value and high content of various vitamins and minerals which act beneficially on the human health.
Raw spinach is 91% water.
Spinach has thin, flexible stem that can reach 12 inches in height.
The country with the world’s highest production of spinach is China, which grows around 26 million tons of spinach per year.
Leaves are edible part of spinach. They are oval in shape and alternately arranged on the stem. Biggest leaves are located on the base, and smallest on the top of the plant.
In the U.S. alone, California is the top supplier of spinach accounting for almost 75% of the nation’s production.
Spinach develops small yellow-green flowers. Each plant produces either male (stamens) or female (pistil) reproductive organs (dioecious plant). Flowers are pollinated by wind.
Spinach farmers of the 1930s credited the fame of Popeye the Sailorman for a 33% boost in spinach consumption which was much needed during The Great Depression.
Spinach produces dry, lumpy fruit gathered in clusters that contain few seeds.
March 26th is National Spinach Day!
All varieties of spinach can be divided in three groups based on the texture, size and shape of leaves.
In the medieval days, artists used to extract green pigment from spinach to use as ink or paint.
Savoy spinach has dark green and curly leaves. Flat-leaf spinach has broad and smooth leaves. Semi-savoy has partially crinkled leaves.
Boiling raw spinach will get rid of most of the oxalic acid.
Spinach is excellent source of vitamin A, K, E, C and vitamins of the B group. It is also rich source of manganese, magnesium, calcium and iron.
The first company to ever advertise frozen spinach was “Birds Eye” in Life magazine in 1949.
Spinach can be consumed raw (in the form of salads) or boiled. It is used for the preparation of numerous salty meals.
Spinach is packed full of antioxidants which helps fight oxidative stress.
Spinach should be consumed while it is still fresh because it easily loses vitamins and minerals and becomes limp after few days. Prolonged cooking also drastically reduces vitamin content.
There are only 3 different types of spinach – savoy spinach, flat-leaf spinach, and semi-savoy spinach.
Spinach facilitates removal of the excess water from the body (acts like diuretic) and emptying of bowels (acts like laxative).
There is more potassium in spinach than there is in bananas.
Some people may develop kidney stones after consumption of spinach due to high content of oxalic acid that can be found in this plant.
The magnesium in spinach can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by about 14% if you eat just over a cup of spinach every day.
Popeye is a cartoon character which uses spinach as a source of power. Thanks to this cartoon, popularity and consumption of spinach increased for 30% during the 1930’s in the USA.
Spinach contains high amounts of vitamin K1 which may sound good, but it can cause blood clotting, and can therefore interfere with any medication that causes blood thinning.
Green pigments extracted from spinach were used in painting during the medieval times.
There are only 23 calories in 100 grams of spinach
French soldiers consumed wine mixed with spinach juice during the First World War to recuperate from excessive bleeding.
Spinach is known as “Persian Green” in China.
Spinach belongs to the group of annual plants, which mean that it completes its life cycle in one year.