Spinach is an edible flowering plant in the family of Amaranthaceae. It is native to central and southwestern Asia.
Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled.
It is a rich source of vitamin A (and especially high in lutein), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. Recently, opioid peptides called rubiscolins have also been found in spinach.
Polyglutamyl folate (Vitamin B 9 or folic acid) is a vital constituent of cells and spinach is a good source of folic acid, but boiling spinach can more than halve the level of folate left in the spinach, but microwaving does not affect folate content.
Vitamin B9 was first isolated from spinach in 1941.
Spinach, along with other green leafy vegetables, is considered to be a rich source of iron.
The iron in spinach is poorly absorbed by the body unless eaten with vitamin C and calcium. The type of iron found in spinach is non-blood (non-heme), a plant iron, which the body does not absorb as efficiently as blood (heme) iron, found in meat.
Spinach also has a high calcium content. However, the oxalate content in spinach also binds with calcium, decreasing its absorption. Calcium and zinc also limit iron absorption. The calcium in spinach is the least bioavailable of calcium sources. By way of comparison, the body can absorb about half of the calcium present in broccoli, yet only around 5% of the calcium in spinach. Oxalate is one of a number of factors that can contribute to gout and kidney stones.
Types of Spinach
Savoy has dark green, crinkly and curly leaves. It is the type sold in fresh bunches in most supermarkets. One heirloom variety of savoy is Bloomsdale, which is somewhat resistant to bolting.
Flat/smooth leaf spinach has broad smooth leaves that are easier to clean than savoy. This type is often grown for canned and frozen spinach, as well as soups, baby foods, and processed foods.
Semi-savoy is a hybrid variety with slightly crinkled leaves. It has the same texture as savoy, but it is not as difficult to clean. It is grown for both fresh market and processing. Five Star is a widely grown variety and has good resistance to running up to seed.
Serving Size 1 cup (30g)
Amount per Serving
Calories 6Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0.1g
Vitamin A 56%
•Vitamin C 14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower
depending on your caloric needs.
This turned out quite nicely, great mix of textures and flavors. If you use store bought salsa and store bought tortilla chips you will want to watch the salt levels. We made our own tortilla chips from corn tortillas and store-bought salsa and found the salt level was a bit high. A sodium reduced salsa would be perfect. Otherwise this has a great cheesy flavor, nice bits of tortila and the mix of beans, corn tomato and onions was very enjoyable.