Spinach nutrition facts and cultivation
Spinach is a plant that is nowadays considered as a superfood due to its great nutritional value. It belongs to the Amaranthaceae family, and it is easily identified from the large, dark green and oval shaped leaves. The maximum height that spinach can reach, is about 30cm and you can cultivate it all year round, but the best season is just before the cold winter.
The leaves are the best part to be eaten, raw in salads, in smoothies, or cooked. The nutritional value of spinach is greater when eaten raw. When you buy spinach, try to avoid dull or yellow leaves and rinse well before eating or storage. If you are planning to eat spinach raw, avoid leaving it more than a few days in the fridge, in order to keep all the nutritional value! If you want to boil or cook spinach you can also store it in the freezer.
Note: spinach loses much of its vitamin C content when cooked
The nutritional content of spinach is of great value, full of beta-carotene, vitamins C, E & K, manganese, selenium, zinc, iron, calcium, potassium, folic acid, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, protein, dietary fiber, lutein, zea-xanthin, protein, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, phytosterols and the only bad, sodium.
If you want to plant your own spinach seeds, keep in mind that you can plant it all year round, and harvest 6 weeks later. Cold weather is beneficial for the growth of spinach, because it prefers wet climates. Plant the seeds at distances of 30cm and cover with 1.5cm of soil. When spinach stars to grow, transplant in order to have more space between them. Try to harvest when spinach is still young and soft, and of course before flowering.