Spinach is one of the most nutritious vegetables you can find. It’s full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, which act as powerful antioxidants. Spinach is extremely high in vitamin K, with one cup containing 987 percent of the recommended daily intake, and it contains vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, E, and C, potassium, calcium, fiber, phosphorus, zinc, protein, omega-3 fats and so much more.
Spinach contains high concentrations of phytochemicals like carotenoids, saponins, and flavonoids, which are found almost entirely in plant-based sources and, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, also have properties that enable them to help fight cancer. Spinach is rich in chlorophyll, which is highly alkaline and holds hugely beneficial properties like aiding in blood clotting, wound healing, balancing hormones and promoting digestive health, as well as deodorizing and detoxifying the body.
Spinach might be one of the only vegetables where it becomes more nutritious once it’s cooked. Boiling or steaming spinach helps break down the large levels of oxalic acid (a compound that can promote kidney stone formation) which makes it easier to absorb. One cup of cooked spinach contains 36 percent of your daily recommended intake of iron, which can help maintain brain, metabolic and immune function.
Spinach is a delicious addition to salads, sandwiches, as a side dish with dinner, or even blended up into your smoothies. Choose fresh spinach that is vibrant and dark green with no signs of yellowing. If the leaves look wilted or soggy, or if they have a slimy coating, don’t eat it, as this can be a sign of beginning decay.