On March 26th each year, National Spinach Day reminds us of the health benefits packed into this leafy green vegetable. Not only are there so many delicious ways that you can enjoy spinach, but it is also incredibly good for you!
An annual plant, spinach grows natively in central and southwestern Asia. Thought to have originated in ancient Persia, Arab traders carried spinach into India and then later introduced into ancient China. There it was known as “Persian vegetable.” The earliest available record of the spinach plant was found in Chinese, saying that the spinach plant was introduced into China via Nepal.
During her reign as queen of France, Catherine de Medici enjoyed spinach so much, it was served at every meal. To this day, dishes made with spinach are known as “Florentine” reflecting Catherine’s birth in Florence.
- eaten raw or cooked and is available fresh, frozen or canned.
- one of the best sources of iron.
- an excellent source of calcium, folic acid, fiber, protein, calcium and vitamins A, C and K.
- loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants
- believed to help improve cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health.
Types of spinach:
Savoy: dark green color with curly leaves; usually sold in fresh bunches.
Flat or Smooth Leaf: broad, smooth leaves; mostly grown for canned and frozen spinach as well as soups, baby food and processed foods.
Semi-savoy: a hybrid variety with crinkly leaves: is sold fresh and processed.
- Following China, the United States produces the world’s second-largest crop of spinach.
- California, Arizona, and New Jersey are the top spinach-producing states in the United States.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalSpinachDay
Many of us enjoy spinach that celebrating is easy! Shake up your vegetable routine and mix up your greens. Experiment with some spinach.
- Fresh spinach salad
- Spinach pizza
- Spinach dip
- Cream spinach
- Spinach lasagna
- Add spinach to scrambled eggs
You can also plant some spinach in your spring garden. Not only will you reap the benefits of a lush green salad, but spinach doesn’t require much space.
- Spinach grows in pots on a sunny balcony or in a small garden space.
- Use fertile soil.
- Plant in cool weather.
- Keep moisture levels consistent.
- Harvest and enjoy!
- You can plant again in the fall. Double the bounty!
Share your favorite ways to add spinach to your meals. Use #NationalSpinachDay to post on social media.