Spinach 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Image chosen by Nicole Porlier, Culinary Nutrition Expert
Written by Kris Gunnars , BSc, on October 3, 2015

Spinach is a leafy green vegetable. Scientifically known as as Spinacia oleracea, spinach belongs to the amaranth family and is related to beets and quinoa.

Spinach originated in Persia, but is now produced mostly in the US and China.

It is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, and considered to be very healthy.

Eating spinach may benefit eye health, reduce oxidative stress, help prevent cancer and reduce blood pressure levels

There are many ways to prepare spinach. You can buy it canned or fresh, and then eat it cooked or raw. It is delicious either on its own or in other dishes.

Vitamins and Minerals

Spinach is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin A: Spinach is high in carotenoids, which the body can turn into vitamin A (3).
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that promotes skin health and immune function.
  • Vitamin K1: Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting, and one spinach leaf contains over half of your daily need.
  • Folic acid: Also known as folate, or vitamin B9. It is essential for normal cellular function and tissue growth, and is very important for pregnant women.
  • Iron: Spinach is an excellent source of this essential mineral. Iron helps create hemoglobin, which brings oxygen to the body’s tissues.
  • Calcium: Calcium is essential for bone health. This mineral is also a crucial signalling molecule for the nervous system, heart and muscles

Spinach also contains several other vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6, B9 and E.

Bottom Line: Spinach is an extremely nutrient-rich vegetable. It contains high amounts of carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron and calcium.

 

 

Leave a Reply