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Spinach: A giant among dark green leafy vegetables

Published: February 03, 2017

Washed spinach
Washed spinach

Nutritional health messages encourage us to fill our plates with dark green leafy vegetables for their low calorie and high nutrient content. 

Spinach is perhaps one of the better known dark green leafy vegetables and certainly packs a variety of nutrients into a low calorie serving. 
If you're old enough to remember "Popeye" the cartoon character who ate cans and cans of spinach to build strong muscles (almost instantaneously) so he could fight off his opponents, you probably think about  spinach for its relatively high iron content when compared to other vegetables.
However, spinach has a lot more going for it than its iron content. 
Spinach has been consumed as a vegetable for more than thirteen hundred years, favoured as a vegetable by European royalty and used medicinally as a fortifying drink for the wounded.
There are several different varieties of spinach which differ by growth patterns and taste.
While spinach may not be your preferred green leafy vegetable its popularity as an ingredient in salads and other recipes has increased steadily since the 1940s, and in 2004 -2006 the per capita consumption of spinach in the US was 1 kg per annum.
There is room to improve on spinach consumption, but when it comes to food choice taste is a very important factor.
There are many ways to prepare and serve spinach and even if you are not the greatest fan now once you know what spinach has to offer you may want to find ways to incorporate this dark green leafy vegetable into your diet on a regular basis.  
Read on to learn more about spinach and the nutrients that make it a giant among green leafy vegetables.

References

1.
. Whitney, E. & Rady Rolfes, S. (2005). Understanding Nutrition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth
2.
Wikipedia