What are the Spinach Types? What are its nutrition facts and health benefits?
We all are already familiar with spinach as this vegetable grows in many of our gardens. Spinach is a versatile green leafy vegetable that originated from Persia. Spinach belongs to the family “amaranth” and is related to quinoa and beets.
The scientific name of spinach is “Spinacia oleracea”. As spinach is loaded with antioxidants, nutrients, and many other health-beneficial substances, it is considered very healthy for consumption. Consuming spinach is beneficial for eye health, hypertensive patients, and also helps in the prevention of oxidative stress and cancer.
You can consume Spinach either in cooking or in raw form. It is also added in preparing a variety of cuisines or dishes. Moreover, Spinach is tasty in all the dishes. In this article, you will read everything including that you need to know about spinach including the types of Spinach.
Spinach is mainly classified into three categories, each of which is further classified into sub-varieties or has their cultivators. The purest form of spinach is scientifically known as Spinacia oleracea. The main three types of spinach are:
- Savoy spinach
- Semi-savoy spinach
- Smooth-leafed spinach
This spinach type is more productive than other forms of spinach. This type of spinach handles cold better than other varieties. Savoy spinach consists of crinkled leaves that grow pretty low. The consumer or cook has to bend down a bit for the purpose of leaves cleaning. The further varieties of Savoy spinach are:
Bloomsdale coming under the class of Savoy spinach is fairly succulent and savory in nature. Also, this Spinach handles cold. A large yield is produced by bloomsdale spinach in the early months of the summer season.
Regiment spinach develops a large yield of deep, saturated green leaves which remains soft and tender even when they have matured. This feature makes the plant smooth to use in the kitchen for cooking purposes.
Semi-savoy spinach is a variety of spinach that grows more upright than savoy spinach. This means it also stands up a bit straight as savoy spinach. Leaves of semi-savoy spinach are less crinkly which makes it less inconvenient for washing. The main advantage of this type of spinach is that they are resistant to disease and bolt. This is the reason that home gardeners tend to choose semi-savoy spinach. The further varieties of Semi-Savoy spinach are:
Indian summer is a productive and fine type of spinach. The three seasons for the production of Indian summer are spring, summer, and fall. The leaves of this spinach are fairly smooth and flattened.
The leaves of this type of spinach are dark-green in color and bolt-resistant. Tyee spinach develops upright and grows vigorously. The suitable areas for growing Tyee spinach are the areas with mild winter and it can grow throughout the year.
The leaves of this plant are thick in appearance which is spear-shaped and succulent. Due to its structure of foliage, Catalina is a fine variety of spinach for cooking.
As the name suggests, the leaves of this type of spinach are smooth, flat, and easy to clean. This variety is mostly used for frozen and canned varieties. Along with that, this spinach is used in a fresh form also. Some of the varieties of smooth-leafed spinach are:
Space spinach is the slower to bolt among the other smooth-leaved varieties of spinach.
In this type of spinach, red veins in the leaves and deep red stems can be observed. This type of spinach is very health beneficial and used as an addition to the salad. The drawback of this spinach is that it can bolt faster as compared to other green-leafed spinach. That’s the reason this is harvested young.
Spinach Nutrition Facts
The nutrition facts for 100 grams of raw spinach are:
- Calories: 23
- Water: 91%
- Carbs: 3.6 grams
- Proteins: 2.9 grams
- Fiber: 2.2 grams
- Sugar: 0.4 grams
- Fat: 0.4 grams
Most of the carbs present in the spinach are rich in fiber content, which is very healthy for our body. Small amount of sugar is also present in spinach, sugar is mostly present in the form of fructose and glucose.
Insoluble fibers are present in enough quantities in spinach which makes the spinach able to boost body health. Fibers add bulk to stools as the food travels through the digestive system. It helps in the prevention of constipation.
Vitamins and Minerals
Spinach contains a variety of Vitamins & Minerals. These vitamins and minerals are:
- Vitamin A, C, and K1
- Folic acid
- Vitamin B6, B9, and E
Consumption of spinach is highly healthy and linked with multiple health benefits.
Various health benefits of spinach include the following.
Free radicals present in our body can cause oxidative stress which can further trigger the aging process and can induce the risk of being affected with diabetes and cancer.
The antioxidants present in the spinach reduce oxidative stress and heals the damage caused by it in our body.
Spinach consists of lutein and zeaxanthin which are the carotenoids responsible for providing the color in some vegetables. Human eyes also consist of large quantities of these pigments which prevent damage to the eyes from the sunlight. So, spinach is healthy for the health of the eyes.
The two components SQDG and MGDG are present in the spinach which reduces the growth of cancer in the body. They can also reduce the tumor size. Spinach has a positive impact on certain harmone-dependent cancers, prostate cancer, etc. The consumption of Spinach suppresses the formation of cancer.
Nitrates are present in large quantities in spinach. Nitrates are very beneficial in regulating blood pressure levels and reducing diseases in the cardiovascular system.
Spinach is really a leafy green, nutritious vegetable and shows benefits to the health in several ways. Spinach helps in preventing heart disorders and cancer, improving the health of the eye, and reducing oxidative stress in the body. To get the benefits of spinach, add this vegetable to your diet in a raw or cooked form.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurveda) is an expert Ayurvedic Doctor based in Chandigarh, India, and doing his practice in Mohali, India. He is spreading the knowledge of Ayurveda – Ancient healing treatment, not only in India but also abroad. He is the CEO and Founder of Planet Ayurveda Products, and Planet Ayurveda Clinic. https://www.planetayurveda.com/
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