9 Facts About Spinach and its Health BenefitsPublished Date:
No matter how you like your spinach - blended into a juice, cooked into meals, or just literally raw, any amount of spinach put in the body is always a good thing! Can you imagine a warm toasted bread with a dreamy spinach dip? Spinach is actually a pretty tasty veg and one that’s easily introduced to your kids, too!
Green, leafy, and delicious, spinach is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients our bodies need to thrive. Adding more spinach to your diet can give you more energy, improve digestion, and boost your immune system. That’s why everyone, especially kids, can benefit from adding some spinach into their diets.
In honour of National Spinach Day, we’ve gathered some of our favourite fun facts about spinach and its health benefits. There are nine - can you imagine that? Check ‘em out below:
Fact #1. It’s Ancient & Worldly
The history of spinach dates back to ancient Persia (modern-day Iran), where it was first cultivated by farmers somewhere between 200 and 600 A.D. From the middle east, spinach made its way to India, Nepal, and China.
The first written record of spinach shows up in China in 647 A.D. Going on a tangent for a bit… One cool fact about spinach is that China actually produces the most of it in the world! The country is responsible for 90% of the world's production of spinach!
Going back to more history - Spinach was brought to Italy in 827 A.D., then later introduced to the rest of Europe. The 16th-Century Queen of France, Catherine de Medici, loved spinach so much that she ate it during every meal.
Are you a fan of eggs florentine? That’s because of her! Catherine de Medici was born in Florence, so many classic spinach dishes were named “Florentines” in her honour.
Fact #2. Spinach is Mostly Water
Wanna see a superfood magic trick? Try getting a fresh pack or bunch of spinach and cook them. Watch all that oompf just cook down to a way WAY smaller amount! That’s because raw spinach is 93% water.
Eating raw spinach helps you stay hydrated and refreshed. Spinach is also known to assist with digestion, reduce bloating, and ease constipation.
Thanks to this and its high water content, raw spinach is an excellent addition to smoothies. This leafy green not only adds texture, but also adds a healthy source of iron to it. Oh, and you can also add some to juices - why not?
Fact #3. California is the Top Spinach Grower in the United States
We mentioned which country produces the most in the world. Now, here are some facts about spinach from the top grower in the United States of ‘Murica! In the United States, California produces almost three-quarters of all American spinach. Other states that grow spinach include Arizona, New Jersey, Texas, Colorado, Maryland, and Arkansas.
How much does the top grower produce? About 75% of the entire production in the country! Spinach is grown nearly all year long in this state. In 2020, approximately 56,200 acres of spinach were harvested from California.
So, when you’re in the mood for some fresh spinach, know that California’s got your back!
Fact #4. It’s Rich in Vitamins & Minerals
Despite its high water content, spinach is a nutritional superfood. Some spinach health benefits are due to the fact that it’s packed with vitamins and minerals. One cup of spinach has 56% of your daily value of vitamin A, 14% DV of vitamin C, and a whopping 181% DV of vitamin K!
Let’s drop more facts about spinach. Yes, it’s nutritious and delicious. But, did you know that its nutritional value diminishes when kept in storage for more than a few days? So, getting fresh spinach is always the way to go - just like most fruit and veggies!
Spinach also contains way more vitamins and minerals in addition to the ones we mentioned earlier. Check out the list below!
- Folic acid
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B9
- Vitamin E
Fact #5. Spinach Has Healing Properties
You can’t spell healthy without heal! On top of all the vitamins and minerals, the health benefits of spinach don’t stop there. It has a few more tricks up its sleeve - read on and find out more!
Want to improve your overall health? Eat more spinach! Spinach contains many plant compounds that have natural healing properties. This includes several potent antioxidants which reduce inflammation, boost your immune system, and improve the health of your gut microbiome.
One of the antioxidants in spinach, quercetin, may also help combat allergies, reduce the markers of aging, and improve athletic endurance. Quercetin may also help control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Fact #6. It Promotes Healthy Vision
One of the big health benefits of spinach is better vision. Spinach contains two carotenoids called zeaxanthin and lutein. Studies suggest that these carotenoids may prevent macular degeneration and lower the risk of developing cataracts. They may also protect your eyes from sun damage.
We mentioned a lot of big words just then. Let’s make it a little more straightforward. Spinach is a source of Vitamin A. Carrots are more often associated with this vitamin and we all know that it helps keep your eyesight in top form. If you don’t like carrots, does that mean you skip out on Vitamin A? No! Spinach is here to the rescue!
Fact #7. Spinach May Reduce Cancer Risk
Any diet that’s high in fresh fruits and vegetables may help reduce your risk of cancer, and spinach is one of the top leafy green veggies to assist with this. There have been several scientific studies on the cancer-fighting properties of spinach.
No, we’re not saying that eating spinach automatically means people get zero cancer. That’s not it at all! We can all try to reduce that risk by eating and living better. That’s it. And that’s aided by the addition of spinach if you’d like. Why?
That’s because scientists have found that spinach may help prevent certain types of cancer including breast cancer and prostate cancer. It’s believed that the natural plant compounds and antioxidants in spinach slow the growth of cancer cells. They may also help shrink cancerous tumours. How’s that for a fact about spinach?!
Fact #8. It’s Good for Your Heart
We here are strong to the finich, 'cuz we eat our spinach. Dark and leafy greens like kale, broccoli, and (of course) spinach are good for the heart. Wanna know why?
One of the health benefits of spinach is that it’s a natural source of nitrates! Nitrates help your body regulate blood pressure levels. That could help ease hypertension and may reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes. Some studies have also found that spinach also improves overall heart health and cardiovascular function.
By consuming more vegetable nitrate, people could reduce their risk of heart disease by 15%! That may not seem like a big number right now, but that’s a huge pro on the side of the health benefits of spinach. Plus, what’s the harm in eating more of this tasty veg in the first place? We love spinach!
Fact #9. Spinach is Versatile & Delicious
We can’t round up our facts about spinach without mentioning that spinach is versatile and delicious! You can eat spinach raw, sautéed, steamed, or cooked in various dishes. Spinach tastes delicious in salads, soups, dips, pasta dishes, smoothies, and more. You can even add spinach to ice cream to sneak more veggies into your diet!
At Little West, we use fresh California-grown spinach in our top selling green juice, The Clover. The Clover is an excellent choice for anyone who wants the health benefits of spinach without the taste. With cold-pressed kale, cucumber, celery, spinach, pear, cilantro, mint, and lime, The Clover is sweet, light, and refreshing.