Either you hate it, or love it, but there is no sense in denying that spinach is one healthy mean green vegetable. I mean come on! Ever noticed those biceps on Popeye?!
You also might have noticed that we often use it in our smoothies. We try to use the fresh leaves as much as possible, but it’s perfectly fine to use the frozen kind as well. Not only, will you always have some spinach within reach, but it chills your drink immediately and there is nothing better than a cool smoothie! So here are some facts about spinach and, if you’re still not a lover, we might be able to persuade you to add this green in. We swear, you won’t even notice it’s there!
- Spinach is thought to have originated in ancient Persia. The vegetable made its way to China in the 7th century when the king of Nepal sent it as a gift to this country. Spinach has a much more recent history in Europe than many other vegetables. It was only brought to that continent in the 11th century, when the Moors introduced it into Spain
- Spinach belongs to the chenopodiaceae family (also known as goosefoot), a family of nutritional powerhouses including beets, chard and quinoa. There are three different types of spinach generally available: savoy, semi-savoy and smooth leaf
- This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Zinc, Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese (yes, it’s basically a multivitamin). Note the fact that it is high in Sodium though!
- One new category of health-supportive nutrients found in spinach is called glycoglycerolipids (and yes, that is an actual word). They are the main fat-related molecules in the membranes of light-sensitive organs in most plants. Glycoglycerolipids from spinach can help protect the lining of the digestive tract from damage, especially damage related to unwanted inflammation
- Spinach grows well in temperate climates. The United States and the Netherlands are among the largest commercial producers of spinach. Spinach is available all year round, but is in season during the spring (March – June)
- There’s a compound in spinach called oxalic acid, which blocks the absorption of calcium and iron. An easy way to solve this problem is to pair spinach with a food high in vitamin C, which makes it an perfect ingredient for smoothies and juices
Tip: Place spinach in a plastic storage bag and wrap the bag tightly around the spinach, squeezing out as much of the air as possible. Place it in the refrigerator where it will remain fresh for up to 5 days