Spinach is one of the world’s healthiest foods. The inconspicuous leaves of this flowering plant are nothing short of health phenomena. A single cup (180 grams) of spinach contains more than 23 vitamins and minerals, with an adult’s full Vitamin A daily requirement and nearly 10 days’ worth of Vitamin K – all at 41 calories.
First native to central and western Asia, the cultivation of spinach has spread all over the world. Spinach can even survive winter in temperate regions, given the proper controlled environment. As an annual plant, the harvest of spinach marks the end of the plant’s life cycle.
A Green Background
China is the largest producer of spinach in the world, harvesting more than 18 million tonnes of the crop every year. This dwarfs the annual yield of the second highest spinach producer, USA, with only a little over 400,000 tonnes harvested.
The list of benefits from consuming spinach is comprehensive. Apart from strengthening muscular function, spinach also facilitates optimal blood circulation, improves eyesight, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and strengthens teeth, among others. Magnesium, as well as the copious amounts of vitamin K in spinach, helps build stronger, denser bones.
Chew On This
Dentists from Warrendale Dental Care add that with spinach, there is a high likelihood of people not knowing about the superfood’s teeth-strengthening properties. Spinach is notorious for causing a gritty, chalky film to form on teeth, to which oxalic acid is the culprit.
They say that as people chew spinach, they release the oxalate crystals embedded in the leaves. The same is observable, though at a lesser degree, with rhubarb, beets, kale and chocolate. Squeezing a lemon, or other foods with Vitamin C, helps mitigate the effects of ‘spinach teeth’, and make the feeling of eating spinach to improve dental health more consistent.
Spinach is well past the point of qualifying as a ‘fad vegetable’— a category health buffs have lined with kale, fennel, kohlrabi and chia seeds throughout recent memory. The fact that spinach is now an undeniable staple for leafy green diets works in the spread of its merits, as well as the people benefiting from them.