Spinach Facts

Spinach Facts
Spinach is a flowering plant that belongs to the family Amaranthaceae. This plant originates from Persia. Spinach was brought to Europe in 12th century where it instantly gained popularity. Due to its origin, spinach is known as “Persian Green” in China. Spinach grows on the sandy soil in moist and cool areas. It is usually produced during the spring and autumn. Spinach is used in human diet for centuries. It has low caloric value and high content of various vitamins and minerals which act beneficially on the human health. Unfortunately, fresh spinach also contains numerous pesticides (toxic chemicals which facilitate growth of the plant by destroying insects and other pests) which are harmful for humans.
Interesting Spinach Facts:
Spinach has thin, flexible stem that can reach 12 inches in height.
Leaves are edible part of spinach. They are oval in shape and alternately arranged on the stem. Biggest leaves are located on the base, and smallest on the top of the plant.
Spinach develops small yellow-green flowers. Each plant produces either male (stamens) or female (pistil) reproductive organs (dioecious plant). Flowers are pollinated by wind.
Spinach produces dry, lumpy fruit gathered in clusters that contain few seeds.
All varieties of spinach can be divided in three groups based on the texture, size and shape of leaves. Savoy spinach has dark green and curly leaves. Flat-leaf spinach has broad and smooth leaves. Semi-savoy has partially crinkled leaves.
Spinach is excellent source of vitamin A, K, E, C and vitamins of the B group. It is also rich source of manganese, magnesium, calcium and iron.
Spinach can be consumed raw (in the form of salads) or boiled. It is used for the preparation of numerous salty meals.
Spinach should be consumed while it is still fresh because it easily loses vitamins and minerals and becomes limp after few days. Prolonged cooking also drastically reduces vitamin content.
Spinach facilitates removal of the excess water from the body (acts like diuretic) and emptying of bowels (acts like laxative).
Some people may develop kidney stones after consumption of spinach due to high content of oxalic acid that can be found in this plant.
Popeye is a cartoon character which uses spinach as a source of power. Thanks to this cartoon, popularity and consumption of spinach increased for 30% during the 1930’s in the USA.
China is the greatest manufacturer of spinach in the world. It produces nearly 19 million tons or 95% of globally consumed spinach.
Green pigments extracted from spinach were used in painting during the medieval times.
French soldiers consumed wine mixed with spinach juice during the First World War to recuperate from excessive bleeding.
Spinach belongs to the group of annual plants, which mean that it completes its life cycle in one year.

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