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Thursday, 12 February 2009

Spinach - Lets Know

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a flowering plant in the family of Amaranthaceae. It is native to central and southwestern Asia. It is an annual plant (rarely biennial), which grows to a height of up to 30 cm. Spinach may survive over winter in temperate regions. The leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to triangular-based, very variable in size from about 2-30 cm long and 1-15 cm broad, with larger leaves at the base of the plant and small leaves higher on the flowering stem. The flowers are inconspicuous, yellow-green, 3-4 mm diameter, maturing into a small hard dry lumpy fruit cluster 5-10 mm across containing several seeds.





Nutrition :
Iron:
Spinach is known as a rich source of iron and calcium. According to the United State ofDepartment of Agriculture, a 180 gram serving of boiled spinach contains 6.43 mg of iron, whereas one 6 oz. (170 gram) ground hamburger patty contains at most 4.42 mg. Thus spinach does contain a relatively high level of iron, compared to other vegetable and meat sources.
The iron in spinach is poorly absorbed by the body unless eaten with calcium.

Calcium:
Spinach also has a high calcium content.

Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin E. In addition, it is a good source of omega-3 and fatty acids.

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