Spinach originated as a wild plant in Persia and East Asia and has been cultivated in China for over 2,000 years. Catherine de Médici brought spinach from her home in Florence Italy to France after marrying the king, giving birth to the name “à la Florentine”, a term used to refer to any meal prepared on a bed of spinach.
- One cup of spinach contains only 41 calories.
- Spinach is a great source of vitamin K, carotenes, vitamin C and folic acid.
- It also contains manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamins B2, B6, E, and B1.
- Spinach contains two times the amount of iron than that found in other greens.
- It is one of the most alkaline-producing foods, helping to regulate the body’s pH.
- Spinach contains a high amount of lutein, which promotes healthy eyesight and prevents macular degeneration.
- Because it possesses carotenes and chlorophyll, spinach is excellent at warding off cancer.
- Spinach also contains flavonoids that function as antioxidants.
- Studies have shown spinach extracts slow down cancer cells in the stomach.
Traditionally spinach is used in place of, or intermixed with lettuce in a salad. However, spinach is also excellent when sautéed and used as a side dish. Not usually a fan of spinach? Try blending it with fruits into a healthy smoothie and you’ll hardly know its there but still gain all of its nutritional benefits!
For more information on the nutritional benefits of spinach and other foods, you can purchase a copy of the The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods here.