The origin of Spinach dates back to Persia (which includes modern Iran and the neighboring countries), sometime between 226 and 640 AD. Later, the Arabs took the “Persian green” further east and soon, spinach spread to other parts of world. The vibrant looking spinach leaves continue to be a common ingredient for preparing a number of yummy dishes, including salads, dips, sandwiches and pastas. Spinach is a ‘storehouse’ of vital nutrients like vitamins and minerals, and is rich in alkalizing properties. Hence, it is also called an ‘alkalizing superfood’. No wonder then that those who take to the Alkaline Diet, include a lot of spinach in their meals. What makes Spinach an ‘Alkalizing Superfood’? Spinach is a good source of chlorophyll, which acts as an alkalizer, thus helping to maintain the normal pH balance of the body. Again, spinach contains a number of alkalizing minerals such as: Manganese Folate Magnesium Iron Potassium Calcium In fact, one ounce of raw spinach has nearly 8% alkalinity.
Other Health Benefits of spinach include: It is a rich source of Flavonoids – a phytonutrient with anti-cancer properties. A serving of a cup of spinach can provide a suitable amount of vitamin K to help promote bone health. The vitamin C, Vitamin A, magnesium and riboflavin content in spinach is helpful in reducing inflammation associated with arthritis and asthma. Also, the vitamin C, Vitamin A, zinc, manganese and selenium present in spinach can act as powerful antioxidants, combating the onset of problems like atherosclerosis, osteoporosis and high blood pressure.
How To Select And Store Spinach? To consume the best quality spinach, you should follow these pointers: Choose spinach with green, crisp leaves. Discard discolored spinach leaves and store your spinach in the refrigerator. Also, make sure that you do not place it near ethylene-producing fruits like apples or banana- they might cause the leaves to decay prematurely. Spinach might freeze when stored at a temperature of 0 degree Centigrade or below. Make sure that the fridge temperature is higher than that. Spinach is best eaten fresh. So make sure that you consume it within 2-3 days of purchasing. Ideally, you can also grow spinach in your garden.