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Read about the nutrition facts, health benefits, nutritional value and calories found in Spinach


Indian Recipes : Nutrition : Vegetables : Spinach Nutrition Facts

Although native to central and southwestern Asia, spinach, in India and the world over has now been immortalized, whether as the famous dish “Palak Paneer” or as the famous phrase “I’m strong to the finish, because I eat spinach; I’m Popeye the sailor man!”. It is loved and adored by kids and adults alike. It is probably one of those rare vegetables that deliver a power packed punch in terms of nutrients and taste, leaf by leaf. Available in three types: Savoy (with dark green, crinkly, and curly leaves), Flat leaf Spinach (with broad smooth leaves that are easier to clean than Savoy) and Semi Savoy (a hybrid variety of both); it is enjoyed in both raw and cooked forms. Read on further to know about the nutritional value, health benefits, selection and storage, and popular recipes to enjoy your dose of spinach.

 

History

It is believed that spinach originated in the regions of Persia in the ancient times, the modern day Iran. It was the Arab traders who brought this plant to India, after which it was introduced to Nepal, and then carried forward to ancient China. Even the earliest records state that it was introduced into China when the king of Nepal sent it as a gift to the Chinese, probably in 647 AD. It was and still is referred as Persian green in China. It was introduced in Spain by the moors (Muslims) in the late 12th century. It was also known to the Germans by the 13th century, although not in the form that is used in modern commercial production. By the 14th century, it travelled to France and England, and gained immense popularity. In 1533, it became the favorite food of the queen of France Catherine de’Medici, so much that dishes made with spinach were named Florentine (Florence being Catherine’s birth place). Today, the United States and Netherlands are among the largest commercial producers of spinach.

 

Health Benefits of Palak (Spinach)

 

  • Spinach is a rich source of vitamin A and reduces the risk of eye diseases, like night blindness, itching eyes and eye ulcers. Components like beta carotene, lutein, xanthenes and zeaxanthin act as strong antioxidants and protect the eyes from the harsh effects of UV rays, further lowering the chances of cataract formation and are all beneficial for maintaining overall good eyesight.

  • Spinach is also rich in potassium and low in sodium. The former is known to lower the blood pressure while the latter is known for increasing it. Therefore, spinach, included in a regular diet brings the blood pressure down to normal levels. The amount of folate present in spinach also reduces hypertension, relaxes blood vessels and maintains a proper blood flow.

  • According to the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, C0-Q10, an anti-oxidant present in spinach can be used to prevent and treat many cardiovascular diseases like hyperlipidemia, heart failure, hypertension and coronary heart diseases as it strengthens the heart muscles, allowing the blood to be pumped to all parts of the body. Also, the spinach proteins are known to reduce the cholesterol levels and other fat deposits, thus reducing the chances of atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.

  • Spinach is rich in minerals like manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus which help in building strong bones and lowering the chances of osteoporosis. It is also a good source of vitamin K, which functions in retaining calcium in the bone matrix, leading to bone mineralization.

  • It has been found that spinach has the ability to protect the mucous membrane of stomach, thereby decreasing the occurrence of gastric ulcers.

  • Studies show that spinach lowers the cancer risk by 34%, particularly breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer and stomach cancer. Components like vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, tocopherol, chlorophyllin, folic acid and fiber are considered beneficial in fighting against cancer cells.

  • Spinach is a great source of magnesium, a mineral which is known to prevent complications occurring after diabetes. And regular consumption of spinach stabilizes blood sugar levels and prevents it from fluctuating too much.

  • Another important mineral, iron, which is found abundantly in spinach, is known to reproduce red blood cells, thereby preventing chances of anemia. The same iron is also useful for boosting the body’s metabolism, leading to more fat burning and giving way to reduce weight.

  • It is advisable for pregnant women to include spinach in their regular diet as folate found in it is needed by the growing fetus for development of a new nervous system. Also, vitamin A present in spinach is required for the lung development of the fetus as well as during breast feeding.

  • Folate found in spinach aids in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin B protects the skin against the harmful effects of UV radiations. And finally, the high alkaline properties in spinach make it a perfect food for people suffering from inflammatory ailments, like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

 

Nutritional Value & Calories In Spinach

Amount: 1 cup

Total Weight: 30 g

 
Nutrients
Amount
Basic Components
 
Proteins

858 mg

Water

27.4 g

Ash

0.5 g

Phytosterols

2.7 mg

 
 
Calories
 

Total Calories

6.9

Calories From Carbohydrates

3.9

Calories From Fats

0.98

Calories From Proteins

2.1
 
 
Carbohydrates
 

Total Carbohydrates

1.1 g

Dietary Fiber

660 mg

Sugar

126 mg

 
 
Fats & Fatty Acids
 

Total Fat

117 mg

Saturated Fat

19 mg

Monounsaturated Fat

3 mg

Polyunsaturated Fat

50 mg

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

41 mg

Omega-6 Fatty Acids

7.8 mg

 
 
Vitamins
 

Vitamin A

2813 IU

Vitamin C

8.4 mg

Vitamin E

609 mcg

Vitamin K

145 mcg

Thiamin

23 mcg

Riboflavin

57 mcg

Niacin

217 mcg

Vitamin B6

59 mcg

Folate

58 mcg

Pantothenic Acid

20 mcg

Choline

5.4 mg

Betaine

165 mg

 
 
Minerals
 
Calcium

30 mg

Iron

813 mcg

Magnesium

24 mg

Phosphorus

15 mg

Potassium

167 mg

Sodium

24 mg

Zinc

159 mcg

Copper

39 mcg

Manganese

269 mcg

Selenium

0.3 mcg

 

How many calories in spinach (per 100 g)

Spinach has about 23 calories per 100 g of weight.

 

How to Buy Spinach

 

  • When buying spinach, make sure that the leaves and stems are crispy and dark green in color.

  • Avoid spinach whose leaves and stems appear yellowish or pale green and are wilted and bruised, as the spinach has started to turn or is already bad. Also, make sure that there is no slimy coating as this is an indication of decay.

  • If you are purchasing prepackaged spinach, check if there is any water or condensation inside the package or whether the leaves appear wet or mushy. Buy the package that seems to be free from all this.

 

Spinach Storage Tips

 

  • Fresh spinach can be stored in the refrigerator at 2-5 degrees C for 2-3 days and should be consumed within that period.

  • Don’t wash the spinach before storing in the refrigerator as exposure to water encourages spoilage. Place it in a plastic bag before putting it in the refrigerator.

  • Store spinach away from other fruits and vegetables as it is ethylene sensitive and may turn bitter in taste.

  • Spinach can also be frozen and kept fresh for 8 months but make sure to blanch it for 2-3 minutes before putting it into the freezer.





More About Spinach
Quantity: 100 grams
Calories: 23 Calories in 100 grams
Bio-Logical name: Spinacia oleracea
Spinach in other languages:
Hindi Palak
Tamil Pasalai Keerai
Malayalam Vasala Cheera
Telugu Pachchali Koora
Bengali Palang Sag
Oriya Palanga Saga
Gujarati Palak
Marathi Palak
Urdu Palak
Punjabi Palak



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