English Name: Spinach
Common Hindi Name: Paalak
- Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) 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, folate, betaine, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Recently, opioid peptides called rubiscolins have also been found in spinach.
- It is a source of folic acids (Vitamin B9), and this vitamin was first purified from spinach. To benefit from the folate in spinach, it is better to steam it than to boil it. Boiling spinach for four minutes can halve the level of folate.
- The minerals in spinach are highly alkaline, making it helpful in regulating the body pH. It supplies the same amount of protein as you would get from the same quantity of meat (a cheaper and healthier alternative to getting protein).
- The high grade content of iron in spinach makes it a great blood builder. It regenerates and reactivates the red blood cells and supplies fresh oxygen to the body.
- The high fiber content in spinach makes it a remarkable intestinal tract scrubber. It cleans out the system by removing the accumulated wastes in the digestive tracts by its mildly laxative effect.