Organic Spinach: A Storehouse of Vital Nutrients
Spinach (spinache oleracea) is a popular, mild tasting, pleasant texture, green vegetable loved for its versatility and adaptability. Its many health-giving nutrients can be eaten fresh in salads or cooked as a main dish, incorporated into casseroles, stews, pastas, soups and more. Spinach leaves can also be dried and pulverized into a powder and added to green smoothies to up the iron and fiber content.
Spinach is a flowering annual plant originating from ancient Persia and later introduced to India and ancient China where it was known as the “Persian vegetable”. Spinach is now grown all over the world even in temperate countries where it is sturdy enough to survive though winter and remain healthy in spring.
Spinach can grow up to 3 feet high. It has simple, bright green ovate to triangular leaves of varying sizes with the larger ones found near the plant’s base and the smaller ones at the tips of the plant’s stem. Spinach bears very tiny, almost inconspicuous flowers which mature into clusters of small fruits containing several seeds.
Nutrients and Benefits
Spinach is a nutrient-dense vegetable. It provides fiber and protein as well as good amounts of minerals such as potassium, manganese, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, copper and zinc. Regarded as one of the best sources of dietary potassium and magnesium, Spinach may help maintain a healthy heart rate and blood pressure and promote good muscle and nerve function.
Spinach also supplies good levels of Vitamins A, C, E, K, and the B vitamins B1, B2 and B6. Its health-enhancing phytonutrients such as the carotenoids, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin help maintain healthy eyesight. Spinach also contains flavonoids for antioxidant protection and alpha lipoic acid, an antioxidant which may help in blood glucose control.