Spring is finally here! It’s a great time to cleanse your body with nutritious green vegetables, particularly leafy greens like kale, chard, arugula and spinach. Spinach has been recognized as a unique vegetable since the Renaissance back in the 16th century, and its nutritional content has benefited its consumers ever since. Lucky for us, spinach is available year-round in the grocery store!
Three Reasons to Eat Spinach
- Spinach is an excellent source of iron, which in comparison to meat sources, is very low in calories and is practically fat-free.
- Spinach is packed with nutrients, including phytonutrients, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, all which provide protection against damage to the body’s cells.
- One cup of cooked spinach is only 41 calories.
How to Select, Store & Prepare Spinach
- Select: Look for spinach leaves that are bright in color with stems that look fresh and crisp.
- Store: Spinach will stay fresh for up to five days in the refrigerator. Before storing spinach in the refrigerator, place it in a plastic storage bag and wrap the bag tightly around the spinach, squeezing out as much air possible.
- Prepare: Rinse spinach under cold water immediately before cooking or serving; do not wash before refrigerating.
Different Types of Spinach
There are a number of varieties of spinach and all can easily be found in your local grocery store or market:
- Baby Spinach: Best for salads; mildly sweet flavor and very tender; usually sold in bags or packages
- Flat-Leaf Spinach: Best served cooked; leaves are large, smooth and have a sweet flavor; usually sold in bags
- Curly or Savoy: Most popular variety of spinach; mostly used for cooking; usually sold in bunches