Spinach: an iron-rich leafy green
Spinach is a member of the same plant family as Swiss chard and beets. It grows very well in temperate climates. The largest producers of spinach today include the United States and the Netherlands.
Spinach is a very nutrient dense food. Its iron content is double that of other greens. It is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, folic acid and carotenes. It is also a very good source for manganese, magnesium, and vitamin B2. Spinach also provides a good source of vitamins B1, B6, and vitamin E.
Spinach is one of the most alkaline foods, which is beneficial for regulating body pH. It also contains a remarkable amount of lutein, making it valuable for promoting healthy eyesight. Spinach has also been found to contain at least 13 different kinds of substances which help to prevent cancer. Studies have shown that the higher an individual’s intake of spinach, the lower the risk of breast cancer.
There are typically 3 different types of spinach available. Savoy spinach has crisp, crinkled dark green leaves. Semi-Savoy is similar to Savoy in appearance, but is not quite as crinkled. Smooth-leaf spinach has flat, unwrinkled, spade-shaped leaves.
When purchasing, look for spinach with broad, jade shaped leaves with undamaged stems. Baby spinach is sold loose or in prepackaged bags. Spinach needs to be washed very carefully to ensure that all dirt particles are removed. Remove the stems and separate the leaves. Fill a bowl with cold water. Rinse the leaves in the bowl. Repeat this process, changing the rinse water several times until there is no dirt left in the water. Spinach is very delicate and needs to be used very soon after purchasing. It can only be stored for 2 days in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Written by: Angela Coate-Hermes
Copyright 2009 RawPeople.com
Kitchen, Leanne. The produce bible. Australia: Murdoch Books, 2006.
Murray, Michael and Joseph Pizzorno. The Encyclopedia of healing Foods. New York: Atria Books, 2005.
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