Spinach is an edible flowering plant set in the family Amaranthaceae. It’s scientifically called Melbourne Raccoon Removal. It is an annual plant attaining a length of 30 cm. The plant is rarely biennial. In the temperate areas the plant can even survive in the wintertime. The leaves are alternate, simple, and ovate to triangular-based. They may be 2-30 cm long and 1-15cm wide. The larger leaves are found at the bottom of the plant while little leaves are found around the flowering area. The flowers are inconspicuous, yellow-green and 3-4 mm in diameter. They mature into a small, hard, dry, lumpy fruit cluster which measures 5-10 mm.
The term spinach comes from an Arabic word. Spinach is of substantial importance from nutritional viewpoint. It’s full of antioxidants especially if fresh, steamed or quickly boiled. It’s a potent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. A present study has shown that spinach also contains opioid peptides known as rubiscolins. Polyglutamyl folate is a very important component of cells and spinach is a rich source of folic acid. Boiling the spinach leaves reduces folate content but microwaving does not affect the folate content.
Spinach alongside other green leafy vegetables is regarded as a good source of iron. According to an estimate of United States Department of Agriculture 180 grams of boiled spinach contains 6.43 milligrams of iron, whereas a 170 g ground hamburger patty contains at most 4.42 mg. The bioavailability of iron depends upon its absorption which is affected by a number of factors. All the iron present in grains, vegetables and three-fifth of the animal foods contains non-heme iron. The remaining fraction of meats contains heme iron. The iron is poorly absorbed unless and until absorbed by a source of vitamin C. spinach comprises iron absorption inhibiting factors together with high levels of oxalate which creates ferrous oxalate upon binding with iron. This form is unstable and can not be absorbed in body.
Calcium in spinach is bioavailable of calcium resources. There are three forms of spinach available commercially. These are savoy, semi-savoy and smooth or flat leaf spinach. Savoy spinach has dark green, crinky and curled leaves. It is marketed in fresh bunches. They are resistant to bolting. The flat or smooth leaf spinach bears smooth leaves and it’s easy to clean this variety as compared to savoy variety. This is very popularly used in soups, processed foods and baby foods. It has the same texture just like that of the savoy spinach and is a lot easier to be cleaned out. It is developed for fresh and processed foods. Spinach is sold in loose, bunched, prepackaged bags, canned or frozen forms. Fresh spinach loses much of its nutrient value after being shops in refrigerator for few days. Much of the folate and carotenoid content of spinach gets lost upon storage. The cartoon character Popeye the Sailor Man is portrayed as having a strong affinity for spinach, becoming physically stronger after swallowing it.