The top benefits, nutritional values, Uses and storage of Spinach

The top benefits, nutritional values, Uses and storage of Spinach

The genus/species name for spinach is Spinacia oleracea, and within this genus/species can be found many different varieties of spinach. Spinach is divided into three groups savoy, semi-savoy, and flat-leafed.  Some popular varieties of savoy spinach include Bloomsdale, Harmony, and Avon. Popular flat-leafed varieties include Red Kitten, Corvair, Bordeaux, and Space. Semi-savoy varieties include Indian Summer, Tyee, and Melody. It is easy to prepare, cheap and can be added in various dishes. It is used in various cuisines in the world.

Spinach is a super food and has lots of health benefits. It contains proteins, iron, vitamins, and minerals. Spinach is low in calorie, reduces the risk of cancer, improves bone health and controls diabetes.

Diabetes management

Alpha-lipoic acid is found in spinach which lowers high glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and prevent oxidative, stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes and helps in controlling diabetes.

Cancer prevention

Chlorophyll is found in spinach is effective in blocking the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines. It also reduces the risk of cancer.

Asthma prevention

Spinach contains beta carotene which reduces the risk of asthma.

Lowering blood pressure

Spinach contains potassium which lowers high blood pressure.

Bone health

Spinach contains vitamin K which  acts as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, improves calcium absorption, and may reduce the amount of calcium that leaves the body in urine. It also helps in maintaining bone health.

Promotes digestive regularity

Spinach is high in fiber and water, both of which help to prevent constipation and promote a healthy digestive tract.

Healthy skin and hair

Spinach contains vitamin A which promotes growth of body tissues, provides structure to skin and hair. Prevents hair loss and maintains the health of skin and hair.

Anti-Inflammatory Support

Spinach contains anti inflammatory properties, flavonoids, omega-3 fatty acids which provides anti inflammatory benefits.

Improves Eyesight

Spinach contains beta carotene and carotenoids which boosts eye health. It can also prevent vitamin A deficiencies, itching eyes, eye ulcers, and dry eyes. The anti-inflammatory properties of these greens can also reduce the puffiness or irritation in the eyes. Spinach also reduces the harmful effects of UV rays, reduces free radicals, cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma  and other eye problems.

Provides Neurological Benefits

Spinach contains folate, potassium and other antioxidants which reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It also provides many neurological benefits like increased blood flow to the brain and heightened cognition, concentration, and neural activity.

Relieves Symptoms of Hemophilia

Spinach contains vitamin K which controls excessive bleeding,promotes liver health and relieves in symptoms of hemophilia.

Strengthens Muscles

Spinach contain Factor Coenzyme-Q10 (C0-Q10) which strengthens muscles and  prevent many cardiovascular diseases like hyperlipidemia, heart failure, hypertension, and coronary heart disease.

Prevents Atherosclerosis

Spinach contains lutein which reduce cholesterol and fat deposits in the blood vessels. It  also reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.

Helps with Fetal Development

Spinach contains folate which is needed by a growing fetus and helps aid in the proper development of the nervous system. Defects like cleft palate or spina bifida may occur due to a deficiency of folate.

Spinach can be eaten at any time of day. It goes well with every food item.

Ways to use spinach

Spinach is a versatile vegetable and can be eaten raw or cooked. It is available fresh, frozen, or canned.

  • Add spinach to pastas, soups, and casseroles.
  • Lightly sauté spinach in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil. Season with freshly-ground black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Add spinach to a wrap, sandwich, or flatbread.
  • Make a dip with spinach, such as spinach and artichoke dip or spinach and goat cheese dip.
  • Add a handful of fresh spinach to an omelet or scramble, or throw a handful into a smoothie.
  • Add layers of spinach to your next lasagna recipe.
  • Pine nuts are a great addition to cooked spinach.
  • Spinach salads are a classic easy and delicious meal or side dish.

How to buy and Store spinach

Choose spinach that has vibrant deep green leaves and stems with no signs of yellowing. The leaves should look fresh and tender, and not be wilted or bruised. Avoid those that have a slimy coating as this is an indication of decay.

Do not wash spinach before storing as the exposure to water encourages spoilage. Place spinach in a plastic storage bag and wrap the bag tightly around the spinach, squeezing out as much of the air as possible. Place in refrigerator where it will keep fresh for up to 5 days.

Avoid storing cooked spinach as it will not keep very well.

Season in which spinach is available

Spinach is a winter crop. It is available in the month of december and january.

How to make aloo palak recipe


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 medium size onions finely chopped
  • 3 vertically slit green chillies
  • salt – to taste
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 3 medium size potatoes finely sliced
  • 6-7 bunches of spinach leaves/palak leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped


  1. Firstly, in a wok, add oil and heat it.
  2. Add finely chopped onions and saute for few seconds.
  3. Add slit green chillies, mix and saute until onions turn soft.
  4. Add salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste, mix and saute well.
  5. Cook the masala until oil oozes out and starts leaving the masala.
  6. Add sliced potatoes, mix well.
  7. Add chopped palak leaves, mix well and cook until all the palak leaves comes together.
  8. Cook aloo palak for few minutes.
  9. Add chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
  10. Cook aloo and palak until aloo turns soft and palak cooks well.
  11. Keep mixing and checking in between.
  12. When aloo and palak turns into soft gravy and when aloo turns soft switch off the flame.
  13. Serve hot with rice or chapati.
  14. Watch the video procedure above.


1. Wash the spinach leaves and aloo pieces well before adding into the curry

.2. Aloo palak can also be pressure cooked.

3.After adding coriander leaves in step 9, just pressure cooking the aloo palak curry for 2 whistles gives us a fine curry.

4.If aloo palak is not made in pressure cooker, then cut the potatoes into small pieces as they can be cooked faster and can be tenderized quickly.

How to make Tamilian Spinach Poriyal


  • 360 gms Spinach leaves washed and chopped
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 mild dried red chilli
  • 1 heaped tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal (skinned and split variety)
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 110 gms red onion finely chopped
  • ½ tsp mild chilli powder/ kashmiri chilli powder
  • 70gms fresh grated coconut
  • Salt to taste
  • Handful coriander to garnish


Heat the oil in a wok or kadhai over a medium flame. Add the red chilli and fry for a few seconds followed by the mustard seeds. As they begin to splutter add the urad dal and half the curry leaves followed by the chopped onion. Fry the onions for 7-8 minutes.

Add the chilli powder and stir well. Now add the spinach a little at a time making sure to stir and mix all the spices with the spinach leaves. Fry the spinach for 6 minutes. Season well. Turn the heat to low and add the coconut, remaining curry leaves and fresh coriander. Stir well and serve warm with some rice or paratha.

Safety profile

It is better to avoid spinach if you are taking blood thinners. If a person is suffering from kidney problems and other medical conditions then consult doctor before consuming spinach.

Fun facts on spinach

  • According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a 100-gram serving of spinach contains 28.1 micrograms of vitamin C, 34 percent of the daily recommendation.
  • Different types include savoy spinach, flat spinach, and semi-savoy spinach.
  • Spinach can be added as an ingredient to many dishes and either cooked or served raw.
  • Spinach is a native plant of Persia (modern day Iran). It was introduced to China in the 7th century. It was most probably brought to Europe in about the 12th century and to the US in 1806.
  • Reflecting its origin, spinach is still widely known in China as “the Persian Green”.
  • March 26th is National Spinach Day.
  • Spinach is best eaten fresh. It loses nutritional properties with each passing day. Although refrigeration slows the deterioration, half of the major nutrients are lost by the eighth day after harvest. (For long term storage, freeze while fresh.) When fresh, it has crisp leaves. As they deteriorate, the leaves turn limp.
  • There are many varieties of spinach, though they mostly fall into three distinct groups: Savoy (Dark green, crinkly and curly leaves. Commonly found in supermarkets.), Flat/smooth leaf spinach (Most commonly used for canned and processed spinach products, though “baby spinach” also fits in this group. Easier to wash and clean than Savoy.), and Semi-savoy (Hybrid variety with slightly crinkled leaves. It has the same texture as savoy, but it is not as difficult to clean.)
  • “Florentine” is a common part of names of recipes where spinach is a significant ingredient. Florence in Italy was the hometown of Catherine de Medici, a lover of spinach, who married the King of France in the 16th century.
  • In the 1930’s U.S. spinach growers credited Popeye with a 33% increase in domestic spinach consumption – a welcome boost to an industry during the depression era.
  • The spinach growing town of Crystal City, Texas, erected a statue of Popeye in 1937.
  • ‘Birds Eye’ was the first company to advertise frozen spinach. It did so in “Life” magazine in 1949.
  • California is today the US’s #1 grower/supplier of spinach, accounting for almost three quarters (3/4) of national production. Other spinach-growing states include Arizona, New Jersey, Texas, Colorado, Maryland and Arkansas.
  • Alma, Arkansas (population approx. 4,700), holds an annual spinach festival each April, organized by the Alma Chamber of Commerce. Alma proclaims itself to be the “spinach capital of the world”, a title also claimed by Crystal City, Texas. Alma is the home of “Allen Canning Company” which cans and ships spinach.
  • In 2005, the national yield of commercial spinach was approximately 350,000 tons and is growing annually.
  • In March 2005, Bon Appetit magazine’s annual survey showed that 56% of respondents said that spinach was their favorite vegetable.
  • The U.S. is only the world’s second largest producer of spinach, producing a mere 3% of global production. China is the world’s largest spinach producer with 85% of global production.
  • Spinach grows best in cool (not freezing) moist conditions, such as spring and autumn, and grows well in sandy soils.
  • Spinach leaves are a mild diuretic and mild laxative.
  • Medieval artists extracted green pigment from spinach to use as an ink or paint.
  •  Just half a cup of raw spinach counts as 1 of the 5 servings of fruits and vegetables you should eat a day.
  • .Spinach is a member of the goosefoot family, which makes it a relative to beets and chard
  • In the 1930’s U.S. spinach growers credited Popeye with a 33% increase in domestic spinach consumption.
  •  The spinach growing town of Crystal City, Texas, erected a statue of Popeye in 1937.
  •  Spinach leaves are a mild diuretic and mild laxative.
  • Medieval artists extracted green pigment from spinach to use as an ink or paint.
  •  China is the world’s largest spinach producer with 85% of global production.
  • Oxalate, found in spinach, may cause kidney stones in some predisposed individuals.
  •  California produces 74 percent of the fresh spinach grown in the United States.

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