Spinach, Popeye’s vegetable of choice, is a nutrient powerhouse. It is a leafy green belonging to the Amaranthaceae & Chenopodiaceae family, along with beets and Swiss chard. Originating in Persia, this leafy green travelled through China, Spain, and Italy before arriving to North America in the early 19th century.
Benefits of Spinach:
- Vitamin K: Vitamin K makes important proteins for your bones, blood, and kidneys. For example, Vitamin K makes blood clotting proteins. When you cut yourself, these blood clotting proteins help make the bleeding stop.
- Vitamin A: This vitamin promotes a strong defense system (skin, stomach, intestines, and respiratory tracts) and healthy reproductive system. As well, Vitamin A contributes to normal growth and development via protein synthesis and cell differentiation. Vitamin A supports healthy eyes and aids with seeing in the dark.
- Folate: Folate is found naturally in dark leafy greens and other sources, folate has many important roles in the body. It prevents anemia by helping with the synthesis of red blood cells, and is also involved in the making of cells and DNA and the prevention of neural tube defects in pregnancy.
- Antioxidants: Spinach contains a significant amount of lutein & zeaxanthin, two powerful antioxidants perfect for eye health.
Nutritional Value of 1 cup (250 mL) of Raw Spinach:
- 7 calories
- 1 g carbohydrate
- 1 g protein
- 0.1 g fat
- 1 g fibre
- Over 100% of daily vitamin A and vitamin K needs
- 31% of daily recommended folate requirements
Did You Know?
When you eat raw spinach it has a milder, sweet taste, while cooked spinach has a stronger, earthier flavour. Love them both!