Spinach is considered a “superfood” for a reason – a more nutritious and vitamin-rich vegetable is difficult to find. Here’s how to get the most out of spinach.
Spinach is a green herb that ripens in just a month. Contrary to popular belief, spinach is actually a vegetable, not a green.
Persia is considered the birthplace of spinach, where it was first specially bred. The plant got to Europe in the Middle Ages. The plant is found in the wild in the Caucasus, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan. In Arab countries, spinach is as important a crop as cabbage is in our country; it is eaten very often and in any form.
Spinach juice is used as a food coloring, added to creams, ice cream, dough for dumplings and even pasta.
Many learned about spinach from the American cartoon about the sailor Popeye. The main character ate canned spinach in all difficult situations and immediately recharged himself with strength and gained superpowers. Thanks to this kind of advertising, this vegetable has become incredibly popular in the United States and spinach producers even erected a monument to Papay.
Composition and calorie content
- Calorie content of spinach 23 kcal
- Fat 0.3 grams
- Protein 2.9 grams
- Carbohydrates 2 grams
- Water 91.6 grams
- Dietary fiber 1.3 grams
- Saturated Fatty Acids 0.1 grams
- Mono- and disaccharides 1.9 grams
- Water 91.6 grams
- Unsaturated fatty acids 0.1 grams
- Vitamins A, B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, C, E, H, K, PP, Choline, Beta-carotene
- Minerals Potassium (774 mg.), Calcium (106 mg.), Magnesium (82 mg.), Sodium (24 mg.),
- Phosphorus (83 mg), Iron (13.51 mg).
The benefits of spinach
Spinach is considered very nutritious, which is quite surprising compared to the usual greens. The point is the high protein content in the vegetable – only young peas and beans contain more of it. This vegetable protein is easily digested and satiates for a long time.
Spinach holds the record for potassium, iron and manganese content. It is recommended for people with anemia and in the recovery period after illness. Spinach has a mild anti-inflammatory, laxative and diuretic effect, due to which it is effective for edema.
There is also a lot of iodine in spinach, which is beneficial for residents of areas with insufficient iodization of water and food. Including spinach in your diet can make up for deficiencies in this micronutrient.
The high fiber content helps to increase intestinal motility, fight constipation, and speed up metabolism while losing weight. Fiber fibers swell in the intestines and make you feel full.
All green leaves contain chlorophyll, so spinach improves microcirculation, prevents blood and bile from thickening. Spinach is very useful for pregnant women and vegetarians.
Due to the high content of oxalic acid in the composition of the vegetable, it is forbidden to eat it for people suffering from gout and rheumatism, acute stomach ulcer. An increased amount of oxalic acid in food can also provoke an exacerbation of urolithiasis and cholelithiasis, cystitis.
Young children are not recommended to give spinach for the same reason – it is still difficult for the baby’s intestines to cope with such food. Least of all oxalic acid in very young leaves of the plant.
The high amount of fiber in spinach can cause gas and diarrhea – so it’s best to eat in small portions. For problems with the thyroid gland, it is recommended to eat spinach after consulting a specialist. The saturation of a vegetable with iodine can have a bad effect on the course of the disease.
The use of spinach in medicine
In medicine, spinach is often included in therapeutic diets. Due to its low calorie content and low glycemic index, spinach is recommended for diabetics and overweight people.
Spinach is especially useful for the elderly: beta-carotene and lutein in this vegetable reduce eye fatigue and can prevent retinal degeneration, age-related changes in the retina, as well as visual impairment from strenuous work at the monitor. In terms of the content of useful microelements, spinach is second only to carrots.
Spinach juice is taken as a mild laxative that enhances intestinal motility. Also, the juice is used for rinsing the mouth – the anti-inflammatory effect helps in the treatment of gum disease.
The use of spinach in cooking
Spinach is eaten fresh, boiled, canned and added everywhere: in sauces, soups, salads, casseroles and even cocktails. Fresh spinach is most useful, and when added to hot dishes, greens are laid at the very end and stewed for a short time in order to preserve as many vitamins as possible.
It is better to eat ready-made dishes with spinach immediately and not store for a long time, since nitric acid salts in the spinach composition can eventually transform into nitrogenous salts that are dangerous to health.
Spaghetti with spinach
The addition of spinach will enrich the flavor of the usual spaghetti. The dish turns out to be very satisfying and nutritious.
- Pasta (dry) – 150 gr
- Spinach – 200 gr
- Drinking cream – 120 ml
- Cheese (hard) – 50 gr
- Onion – half an onion
- Mushrooms (for example, champignons or oyster mushrooms) – 150 gr
- Ground black pepper – to taste
- Salt to taste
- Butter – 1 tbsp a spoon
- Wash onions and mushrooms and cut into half rings and slices. Heat the butter in a frying pan and fry the onions and mushrooms until tender. Add spinach, cut into strips, stir and simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Then pour in cream, salt and pepper, add grated cheese and mix thoroughly. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer over low heat until the cheese is melted.
- At this time, boil the spaghetti in water according to the instructions on the package. Drain, stir spaghetti with spinach sauce before serving, or place on top.