Popeye the Sailor was ahead of his time! Spinach provides vitamins A, C, and K; B vitamins including folate and riboflavin; and the minerals iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. Vitamin C helps the body make use of the iron found in spinach. Although cooking reduces the vitamin C, it helps make the iron more bioavailable in other ways, so spinach is a better source of iron when cooked. Consider serving it with an additional source of vitamin C to enhance iron absorption.
Spinach is also rich in antioxidants and even provides some omega-3 fatty acids.
It is an excellent source of lutein, which appears to protect the eye from sun damage.
People whose diets are high in spinach were found to have reduced their risk of both cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Spinach is one of the foods that contains measurable amounts of oxalates, so over-consumption can cause problems for those with kidney disease, gout, vulvar pain, rheumatoid arthritis, or other conditions that may require a low-oxalate diet.
The oxalates in spinach may also interfere with the body’s absorption of some of the minerals spinach provides.Nutritional Facts
One-half cup of boiled spinach provides 21 calories, 3.4 g carbohydrate, 2.7 g protein, 0.2 g fat, 2.2 g dietary fiber, 7371 IU vitamin A, 9 mg vitamin C, 131 mcg folic acid, 63 mg sodium, 419 mg potassium, 122 mg calcium, 50 mg phosphorus, 78 mg magnesium, and 3.21 mg iron.