This post is also available in: Español Italiano Français Deutsch


What is the origin of spinach?

The term “spinach” is derived from the Arabic Spain isbinâkh and is an adaptation of the Spanish espinaca, impaired espina “thorn.” The thorn stems from the form of the fruit that houses the seeds: all of the earliest types were thorny. Varieties with smooth, spherical fruits were found much later in history.
Spinach is a Central Asian native that did not leave its native land until the Christian period. It was unknown, or just barely known, to the Greeks and Romans, unlike many other culinary plants. It is not mentioned until the 7th century, and then only in a Chinese literature.
It is said to have arrived in Sicily after the invasion of the Saracens from North Africa in the eighth century. However, it wasn't until the 15th century that it was mentioned in cookery works, either because it took so long to spread to the rest of Europe or because it hadn't yet. There isn't much of a culinary importance here. However, we do know that it was grown in monastic gardens in the 14th century. It is unknown when it was first brought to America, although it is thought to have occurred before the nineteenth century. It will take a century before it reaches a certain level of popularity.

What are spinach's nutritional and caloric values?

Spinach is a type of leaf vegetable that belongs to the same family as beets. It is well-known for its iron content, but it also contains significant quantities of provitamins A, vitamin B9, vitamin K, vitamin C, and antioxidant components, all of which have health-promoting properties.
Spinach is one of the lowest calorie veggies, with just 23 calories per 100 grams.
Even while carbs supply the majority of its calories, it contains a rather high quantity of protein for a fresh vegetable. Lipids, on the other hand, are only found in trace levels.
The spinach is high in provitamin A, vitamin B9, and vitamin K, as well as vitamins C, B6, and little vitamin E.
It is high in minerals and trace elements, including iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, copper, zinc, iodine, and selenium.
Its leaves are rich in antioxidant chemicals, with significant quantities of lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that are not vitamin A contributors, as well as ferulic acid.
It has a lot of fibers, mostly celluloses and hemicelluloses.
what are the Nutritional and caloric values ​​of spinach ?
For 100g of spinach:

Name of constituentsUnityAverage content
Dietary fiberg2.2
Saturated FA(fat acid)g0.063
Monounsaturated FAg0.01
Polyunsaturated FAsg0.165
Total ironmg2.71
Beta caroteneµg5626
Vitamin Dµg0
Vitamin E activity (alpha-tocopherol)mg2.21
Vitamin Cmg28.1
Vitamin B1 or Thiaminemg0.078
Vitamin B2 or Riboflavinmg0.189
Vitamin B3 or PP or Niacinmg1.374
Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic acidmg0.065
Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxinemg0.195
Vitamin B9 or Total Folateµg194
Vitamin Kµg482.9

What are the Spinach Health Benefits?

From April through July, we can get fresh spinach.
The National Health Nutrition Program suggests eating at least 5 servings (of at least 80 g) of fruits and vegetables each day, and taking advantage of seasonal variability.
A serving of vegetables is two or three full tablespoons (or two or three handfuls).
In general, the vitamins, antioxidant substances, and fibre found in fruits and vegetables play an important role in health protection. A high diet of vegetables and fruits has been demonstrated in several studies to lower the chance of acquiring cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic illnesses.
Spinach eating is significantly linked to a decreased risk of developing breast or esophageal cancer.
Lutein and zeaxanthin-rich foods (spinach, Brussels sprouts, broccoli) may also help lessen the incidence of macular degeneration.
A high diet of vegetables and fruits has been demonstrated in several epidemiological studies to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, some malignancies, and other chronic illnesses.
Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables may play a role in these protective benefits.

Cancer and spinach

Regular eating of spinach (at least one 12 cup portion per week) was linked to a decreased risk of breast cancer, according to researchers. Consumption of spinach was also connected to a lower risk of esophageal cancer in a prospective analysis. In vitro and in animal tests, spinach was found to have the strongest capacity to inactivate some enzymes linked to the emergence of cancer, as well as to inhibit cancer cell proliferation, among numerous plants.

Spinach and eye health

Regular consumption of carotenoids, which may be obtained from spinach, is linked to a decreased incidence of macular degeneration, cataracts, and retinitis pigmentosa.
The primary carotenoids found in spinach (lutein and zeaxanthin) have the capacity to accumulate in the macula and retina of the eye, protecting it from oxidative stress.

Spinach Antioxidant strength

A human clinical trial indicated that daily ingestion of cooked spinach (approximately 34 cup) resulted in improved resistance of white blood cells to oxidative stress, indicating antioxidant capacity.
Spinach includes a variety of antioxidants, including significant levels of the carotenoid molecules lutein and zeaxanthin. Antioxidants, in general, aid in the neutralization of free radicals in the body, therefore preventing the onset of cardiovascular disease, some malignancies, and a variety of chronic disorders. Lutein and zeaxanthin are thought to benefit eye health and may help prevent some malignancies, particularly those of the breast and lungs. More study is needed, however, to clarify the precise significance of lutein and zeaxanthin to disease prevention.
Spinach also includes ferulic acid, an antioxidant that may protect human cells from oxidative stress and, hence, the development of some malignancies. According to the researchers, a significant amount of ferulic acid (or other antioxidants from the same family) contained in food reaches the large intestine, which might help protect colon cells against cancer.

Spinach A fantastic source of betaine

Betaine is a nitrogenous chemical that may be found in a variety of plant and animal species. Betaine ingestion may aid in the treatment of some liver illnesses, such as fatty liver (“fatty liver”). It would also lower homocysteine levels in the blood, an amino acid that, when too high, is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Betaine ingestion may also increase athletic performance, particularly in terms of endurance during exertion. Spinach is reported to be one of the foods with the highest betaine content.

Glycolipids and chlorophyll

Chlorophyll, a green pigment found in many leafy vegetables, makes up about 1% of the dry matter in spinach. Chlorophyll has been shown to suppress the development of human cancer cells in a research. However, nothing is known about spinach chlorophyll's possible impact on people.
Furthermore, spinach is one of the vegetables with the highest glycolipid content (after green tea and parsley). These chemicals would have anticancer capabilities as well as anti-inflammatory characteristics. It's difficult to say if these traits may be applied to people through dietary consumption of spinach because much of the research to far has been in vivo and animal studies rather than clinical investigations.

Is It True That Eating Spinach Makes You Stronger?

We all know Popeye, the sailor who developed superhuman strength after ingesting a can of spinach. Many people still link this dish with an energy boost. This might be due to the fact that it contains iron, a mineral that helps defend against anemia and the exhaustion that comes with it.
Iron from plant meals is less readily absorbed than iron from animal sources, despite the fact that spinach contains a lot of it. However, by ingesting meals high in vitamin C (citrus fruits, peppers, etc.) or proteins at the same time, we may boost the absorption of iron in plants.
Popeye has made spinach the healthiest food in the planet. It doesn't give you superhuman power, but it does provide you some significant advantages. In this advice, you'll find all you need to know!
Put an end to preconceived notions!
For a long time, it was thought that spinach was high in iron. This misunderstanding stemmed from an administrative error: the iron content of this vegetable was inflated by ten in an American reference sheet.
It does, however, only contain 2.7 milligrams per 100 g.
If you're deficient in iron, eat calf's liver, blackcurrant, oysters, or lentils!
It's good to know that if you eat a source of vitamin C or protein at the same time, your iron will be better absorbed by your body.
Our bodies require iron to function properly:
It is necessary for the transport of oxygen in the blood and the formation of red blood cells.
It is more important for women than for males (18 mg recommended daily allowance against 8 mg).
According to the WHO, 25% of the population has an iron deficiency, which is a primary cause of anemia, with the main symptoms being exhaustion and fast shortness of breath when exerted.
Although spinach contains just a little amount of iron, it is a good source of antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
As a result, they aid in the prevention of cell degeneration, skin aging, and the emergence of some malignancies.
It's good to know that eating half a cup of spinach a week lowers your chance of breast cancer.
It's because spinach is high in vitamins that Popeye is so strong:
Vitamin C is beneficial to one's vitality and immune system. Vitamin B, which aids in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and depressive symptoms.
To get the most out of spinach, buy organic since 34.3 percent of non-organic spinach includes pesticide residues, and 4.1 percent surpasses maximum residue levels, which are European regulatory limits that must not be surpassed (source: NGO Générations futures, report of 6 June 2019).
Another advantage of spinach is that it is a diet ally.
Spinach has one of the lowest calorie counts of any vegetable, with only 22 calories per 100 grams. To eat and drink without restraint! As long as there isn't too much butter or cream in it.
They're also good for transportation because they're green veggies.
It's worth noting that spinach may be eaten fresh, cooked, or boiled. It's important to note that, unlike many other vegetables, spinach does not lose its nutritional value when cooked. On the contrary, he is victorious!

How to select and store the best spinach?

Most grocery shops carry spinach all year, generally in a plastic bag, but seldom in fresh bunches. Choose leaves that are crisp, dark green, and lustrous, whether smooth or not (depends on the variety). Leaves that are withered, damaged, or stained black or yellow should be avoided. In addition to fresh spinach, you may get frozen or canned spinach. Choose the first over the second, which is frequently overdone and has a metallic flavor.
For the best possible conservation,
a few days in the fridge in a perforated plastic bag;
Freezer: steam blanch for 1 to 2 minutes, drain out, and freeze in freezer bags for up to 3 months.

How to Cook Spinach?

Aside from its intriguing nutritional profile, spinach is a valuable cooking friend. Indeed, its mild flavor allows it to be snuck into any dish and used to create dishes that are both healthful and colorful. Spinach has the added benefit of being tasty both raw and cooked.
Cook the spinach properly.
**Cook the spinach at a very low heat. To keep their firmness, just blanch them for 1 or 2 minutes in boiling water. We immediately wring them out and voilà. There's no need to prepare it ahead of time to use it in soups or gravy recipes.
**Serve the young raw greens in a salad with a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil and lemon juice.
**Serve with an olive oil and balsamic vinegar vinaigrette with baby spinach, sliced tangerine supremes, and green onion.
**Soups that are easy to make: simmer the spinach in the liquid. If desired, garnish with lemon zest and a few prawns. Alternatively, you may simmer them in milk and then puree them;
**Soup with lentils and spinach: sauté minced garlic and onion in olive oil, then season with spices of your choosing (cumin, coriander, paprika). Add finely chopped spinach, vegetable or chicken broth, and lentils and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Cook for 1 hour, then season with lemon juice, tomato puree, salt, and pepper before serving.
**A unique and easy complement. In a skillet, melt the spinach with the raisins that have been soaked in water and the slivered almonds. Serve with a dash of nutmeg, salt, and pepper;
**Brown chopped (previously cooked) potatoes in oil with paprika, onion, a garlic clove, and cayenne pepper, if preferred. Add just blanched spinach and simmer for 1 or 2 minutes after the potatoes are golden brown. Add a teaspoon of wine vinegar and salt when ready to serve.
**Make soufflés, terrines, and vegetable mousses with them.
**Bread made with spinach in a flash. Steam the spinach briefly, then puree it with milk, butter, and a pinch of Parmesan cheese in a blender. Breadcrumb-line a baking dish, pour in the veggies, top with a little cheese, and bake in the oven;
**Spread tomato sauce over a pizza crust, then top with chopped spinach, onion rings, and tomato slices. Bake for 15 minutes after cracking an egg in the center of the pizza.
The term “Florentine” in cookery refers to a meal in which spinach is incorporated to the main course. Catherine de Medici was born in Florence, Italy, and reigned as Queen of France from 1547 to 1559. She was claimed to be so fond of spinach that she insisted that her cooks accompany her wherever she went in order to recreate her favorite meals. Some instances are as follows:
**Florentine-style poached eggs: Poach some eggs, then serve them over a bed of blanched spinach with a béchamel or Hollandaise sauce on top.
**Florentine Fish: In a pan, cook the cod on all sides. Place the blanched and chopped spinach in a gratin dish. Place the fish in the center and top with a layer of spinach and béchamel sauce. Place in the oven for about ten minutes after covering with grated cheese.
**Stuffed mushrooms: soak big mushroom caps in a combination of water and wine, seasoned with chopped shallots and thyme, bottom side up. Drizzle a little lemon juice on top. Cook for a total of 10 minutes. They should be drained on absorbent paper. In the liquid, cook the stems of the chopped mushrooms. In a small amount of oil, sauté finely chopped shallots and spinach until all of the liquid has disappeared. Combine the mushroom stems with the crumbled goat cheese and stuff the mushroom caps with this mixture before baking for about ten minutes.
**In their fondues, the Japanese utilize a lot of spinach. Cooking meat, fish, veggies, and udon noodles in dashi broth or chicken broth are the ingredients for these table-side meals.
**Steam the spinach, cut it coarsely, and soak it in dashi broth seasoned with soy sauce. Drain after a few minutes and serve with a sauce made in a pan with dashi, soy sauce, sugar, and dry toasted sesame seeds;
**Steam the spinach, drain it, then place a few leaves on a bamboo mat in the Japanese method (the kind used for preparing sushi). Roll the carpet tightly to wring it out thoroughly and make rolls that will be placed upright in the plate after the ends have been equalized with a knife;
**Cook a sliced onion in oil, then add cumin and cardamom seeds, cinnamon, a bay leaf, cloves, a tomato, garlic, and finely chopped fresh ginger. After 1 minute, add the chopped spinach and cook for another minute. Cook till dark green, then add turmeric powder, garam masala (an Indian spice blend), tomato puree, sour cream, white cheese cubes (bocconcini or other) and fresh coriander leaves. Serve after a few minutes of cooking;
**Turkish Style: Steam them and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. In a skillet, sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent, then add the spinach and simmer for ten minutes. Toss spinach with minced garlic and yogurt, then serve.
**Spinakopita is made easily by enclosing blanched and drained spinach between layers of phyllo pastry drizzled with olive oil or butter. Add feta or another cheese if preferred, then season with coriander powder, cumin, and nutmeg. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes after seasoning with salt and pepper.

Spinach : What risks?

Vitamin K, which is required for blood clotting, is abundant in spinach.
Certain anticoagulant medicines, on the other hand, need rather consistent vitamin K consumption from day to day. People who are undergoing this sort of treatment should consult their doctor before eating this vegetable.
Although beneficial to your health, spinach is high in nutrients that are frequently absent in other foods. It includes oxalates, which can increase lithiasis, as well as vitamin K, which may conflict with some pharmacological therapies. As a result, extreme vigilance is essential in these situations.
**Stones in the kidneys
Foods rich in oxalate should be avoided by anyone at risk of urolithiasis (oxalate and calcium kidney stones, often known as kidney stones). Oxalates are naturally occurring chemicals that may be found in a variety of foods, including spinach. In certain situations, it is advised that these individuals avoid eating spinach.
**Therapy with anticoagulants
Spinach is a good source of vitamin K. This vitamin, which is needed for blood clotting among other things, may be made by the body in addition to being present in specific foods. Anticoagulant medication users (for example, Coumadin®, Warfilone®, and Sintrom®) should consume a vitamin K-rich diet that is reasonably consistent from day to day.
Spinach is on a list of foods that should be consumed just once a day and in quantities of no more than 250 mL (1 cup) if raw, or roughly 60 mL (1/4 cup) if cooked. People on anticoagulant medication should speak with a dietitian-nutritionist or a doctor to learn about dietary sources of vitamin K and how to maintain a consistent daily dose.

Spinach and diet:

According to Swedish experts, spinach inhibits fat digestion and provides a long-lasting sense of fullness.
“If you want to be as strong as Popeye, eat your spinach!” The sailor, who was seldom without his famed tin can, drank down these iron-rich veggies. However, it appears that spinach has other qualities. A Swedish nutrition study team has revealed that they have an appetite suppressant effect that might help people avoid becoming overweight.
Charlotte Erlanson-Albertsson, a nutritional medicine researcher at Lund University in Sweden, questioned her husband whether a non-synthetic chemical might promote satiety while seeking for a natural approach to delay digestion and lessen sensations of hunger between meals. Her husband, a photosynthesis expert, pointed her to the thylakoids found in the cells of green plants, especially the leaves. As a result, the researcher decided to concentrate on spinach.
Every morning, drink spinach juice
However, simply eating spinach is insufficient. “To liberate the thylakoids from the cells, you must crush, filter, and centrifuge the leaves since our bodies cannot separate them from fresh spinach,” Lund University stated in a statement.
To see if thylakoids could help with hunger, fifteen persons were given spinach powder containing thylakoids diluted in water every morning. Participants said they didn't feel compelled to snack in between meals. The fifteen spinach drinkers “found it simpler to keep to three meals a day” than the control group who were given a drink without thylakoid, according to the university.
Furthermore, the “thylakoid group” had greater blood levels of satiety hormones and more stable blood sugar than the control group, according to the researchers. As a result, scientists hypothesized that thylakoids cause satiety hormones to be released in the intestines.
Professor Erlanson-Albertsson concludes that thylakoids “contain hundreds of active substances – galactolipids, proteins, vitamins A, E, K, antioxidants, beta-carotene, lutein, and so on…” Thylakoids “contain hundreds of active substances – galactolipids, proteins, vitamins A, E, K, antioxidants, beta-carotene, lutein, and so on…” As a consequence, the anti-craving effect of spinach is most likely due to the interaction of multiple molecules.