The Captain of the Leafy Greens

Every time Popeye the Sailor Man devours a can of spinach, his muscles instantly explode with strength. The popular myth of spinach powers is partially based on a mistake made by a scientist measuring the iron content of spinach, back in 1870. It is true however, that spinach, along with other green leafy vegetables, is a rich source of iron.

Today, spinach is used in almost every cuisine across the world. It it thought to have originated in ancient Persia and became popular in England and France in the 14th century. It gained quick popularity because it appeared in early spring, when other vegetables were scarce and when Lent discouraged consumption of other foods. Catherine de' Medici fancied spinach that she insisted it be served at every meal. To this day, dishes made with spinach are known as "Florentine", reflecting Catherine's birth in Florence.


The leaves can be either flat or slightly ruffled. They are tender and bright green when young, and more intensely green when older. Spinach has very distinctive bitter flavor which particularly complements dairy products and eggs.
Spinach is now available all year around but is at its best from April through September. Before cooking, spinach needs thorough washing to remove dirt and grit. The milder, young leaves can be eaten raw in a salad, while the older ones are usually cooked; boiled in soups, roasted, stir fried or steamed.


Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled. It is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids.

Source: Wikipedia