Spinach is a delicate, leafy green vegetable, which is thought to have originated in ancient Persia. It is an annual plant that grows best in cool weather.
There are many different varieties of this healthy vegetable with an assortment of leaf shapes and textures, spinach is usually divided into 2 major categories: Smooth Leaf and Savoy (with darker, thicker, crinkled leaves). Spinach is rich in iron, vitamins A and C, thiamin, potassium and folic acid.
Spinach grows quite quickly, and can be grown from seed either indoors or directly in one’s vegetable garden. Spinach can also easily be grown in containers or in a window box.
After the seed has been sown, cover it lightly with soil, firm into place and water well. Keep the soil moist until germination. Once the plants have grown their true leaves, you can begin to thin them to about 15 centimeters (6 inches) apart. The thinnings should be eaten, of course.
Spinach is also an excellent source of foliate, which is needed by the body to help convert a potentially dangerous chemical called homocysteine that can lead to heart attack or stroke, into other benign molecules. Spinach is also an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral that can help to lower high blood pressure and protect against heart disease. The vitamin C and beta-carotene in spinach help to protect gastrointestinal health. The nutrients in spinach can also help with conditions in which inflammation plays a role, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Spinach is also good for your eyesight. And, research shows that spinach, along with other leafy green vegetables helps slow down the process of loss of one's mental performance.