Raw spinach is fantastic! I eat it every day and feel great, and you can too! It is one of the top ranked superfoods. Dr. Joel Fuhrman scored it as a 738 on his ANDI, with only kale and a few others higher. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is an edible flowering plant in the family of Amaranthaceae. It is native to central and southwestern Asia. Primitive forms of spinach are found in Nepal, where the plant was probably first domesticated. Other than the Indian subcontinent, it was unknown in the ancient world. After the early Muslim conquests the plant spread to other areas. In 647, it was taken to China, possibly by Persians. Muslim Arabs diffused the plant westward up to Islamic Spain. By the eleventh century it was a common plant in the Muslim world.
Savoy has dark green, crinkly and curly leaves. It is the type sold in fresh bunches in most supermarkets. One variety of savoy is Bloomsdale, which is somewhat resistant to bolting, the growth of an elongated stalk with flowers grown from within the main stem of a plant.
Flat/smooth leaf spinach has broad smooth leaves that are easier to clean than savoy. This type is often grown for canned and frozen spinach, as well as soups, baby foods, and processed foods.
Semi-savoy is a hybrid variety with slightly crinkled leaves. It has the same texture as savoy, but it is easier to clean. It is grown for both fresh market and processing. Five Star is a widely grown variety and has good resistance to running up to seed.
Check out this way to make a lot of raw spinach go down smooth!
Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled.
It is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. It is a source of folic acid (Vitamin B9), and this vitamin was first purified from spinach. To benefit from the folate in spinach, it is better to steam it than to boil it.
Researchers have identified at least 13 different flavonoid compounds in raw spinach that function as antioxidants and as anti-cancer agents. These spinach extracts have been shown to slow down cell division in stomach cancer cells. (gastric adenocarcinomas), and in studies on laboratory animals, to reduce skin cancers. (skin papillomas). A study on adult women living in New England in the late 1980s also showed intake of spinach to be inversely related to incidence of breast cancer.
Raw Spinach nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Carbohydrates 3.6 g,mSugars 0.4 g, Dietary fiber 2.2 g, Fat 0.4 g, Protein 2.2 g, Vitamin A equivalent 52%, Vitamin A 313%, beta-carotene 52%, Folate (Vit. B9) 49%, Vitamin C 28 mg 47%, Vitamin E 2 mg 13%, Vitamin K 460%, Calcium 99 mg 10%, and Iron 2.7 mg 22%. Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. Source: USDA Nutrient database.
David Wolfe discusses eating a balance of raw greens and other types of wild food.