Advertisement

Spinach

From Academic Kids

Spinach
Missing image
Spinach_produce-1.jpg



Spinach in a market
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Caryophyllales
Family:Amaranthaceae
Genus:Spinacia
Species:oleracea

Template:Taxobox section binomial botany

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea, Amaranthaceae) is a leaf vegetable. It is most productive in cool seasons and climates, since heat will cause the spinach to go to seed too early. When cooked its volume is decreased by three fourths.

Contents

History

Spinach was first cultivated in central Asia. It was introduced to Europe by the Arabs in the late Middle Ages, and it soon surpassed all other leafy greens in popularity.

Growing spinach

Spinach is among the most popular garden vegetables for, among other reasons, its love of cold temperatures. It is very easy to cultivate and is usually started (varying from climate) around February to March. It is a very productive vegetable but is short lived and bolts quickly to flower and seed as the weather gets warmer.

Spinach is used as a food plant by some Lepidoptera species including Heart and Club.

Nutrition


In popular folklore, spinach is supposed to be rich in iron; in reality it has about the same iron content as any other green vegetable. However, spinach is a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin E and several vital antioxidants. On the negative side, spinach is also high in oxalates, which can contribute to gout.

Spinach's iron content had been determined in 1870 by Dr. E. von Wolf but a misplaced decimal point in his publication led to a figure ten times too high. In 1937, German chemists reinvestigated this "miracle vegetable" and corrected the mistake. It was described by T.J. Hamblin in British Medical Journal, December 1981.

Spinach is the richest natural source of folic acid, and this vitamin was first purified from spinach.

In March of 2005, Penn State researchers studying spinach advised that the plant loses much of it's nutritional value with storage of more than a few days. While refrigeration slows this effect by eight days spinach will lose most of its folate and carotenoid content. This is worth considering when purchasing spinach out of season. If the product has been "in transit" (picked, cleaned, shipped and shelved) for more than one or two days it will need to be used almost immediately to have much nutritional benefit. This is in spite of the appearance of the plant which may still seem fine.

Storage

Fresh spinach should be cleaned thoroughly and then can be stored loosely in an unsealed bag in the crisper tray of the refrigerator for a few days. Even at 39 degrees the spinach looses much of its nutritional value by eight days so for longer storage it should be fresh frozen, cooked and frozen or canned. Storage in the freezer can be for up to eight months.

Trivia

  • Spinach is what gives cartoon character Popeye his superhuman strength.
  • In 2005, a poll of 2,000 people revealed spinach to be Britain's 8th favourite culinary vegetable.
Navigation

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)

Information

  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Toolbox
Personal tools