What is Spinach?
Spinach is thought to have originated in ancient Persia (modern Iran). Arab traders carried spinach into India, and then the plant was introduced into ancient China, where it was known as "Persian vegetable" The earliest available record of the spinach plant was recorded in Chinese, stating that it was introduced into China via Nepal (probably in 647 AD. In AD 827, the Saracens introduced spinach to Sicily. The first written evidence of spinach in the Mediterranean are in three tenth-century works, the medical work by al-Razi (known as Rhazes in the West) and in two agricultural treatises, one by Ibn Wahshiya and the other by Qustus al-Rumi. Spinach became a popular vegetable in the Arab Mediterranean and arrived in Spain by the latter part of the twelfth century where the great Arab agronomist Ibn al-'Awwam called it the "captain of leafy greens." Spinach was also the subject of a special treatise in the eleventh century by Ibn Hajjaj.
The prickly-seeded form of spinach was known in Germany by no later than the 13th century, though the smooth-seeded form was not described till 1552. (It is the smooth-seeded form that is used in modern commercial production.
Spinach first appeared in England and France in the 14th century, probably via Spain, and it gained quick popularity because it appeared in early spring, when other vegetables were scarce and when Lenten dietary restrictions discouraged consumption of other foods. Spinach is mentioned in the first known English cookbook, The Forme of Cury (1390) where it is referred to as spinnedge and/or spynoches, Smooth-seeded spinach was described in 1552.
In 1533, Catherine de'Medici became queen of France; she so fancied spinach that she insisted it be served at every meal. To this day, dishes made with spinach are known as "Florentine," reflecting Catherine's birth in Florence.
During World War I wine fortified with spinach juice was given to French soldiers weakened by hemorrhage.Spinach is excellent source of nutrition for dogs.
Without any doubt, spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foodstuffs available. Health benefits are plentiful as it reduces the following, while promoting optimum health:
Inflammation* Stroke* Colon and rectal cancer* Macular degeneration* Cataracts* Heart disease* Osteoporosis* Memory loss* Alzheimer's disease* Depression* Birth defects* Mildly anti-inflammatory.
Researchers have identified at least 13 different compounds in nutrient-rich Spinach that function as antioxidants and anti-cancer agents. Spinach has also been shown to help those suffering from osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, arthritis and other diseases. Spinach is fat-and cholesterol-free, low in calories, high in fiber, high in folate (20 percent of daily requirement), and also provides 15 percent of the daily requirement of magnesium. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin A (70 percent of daily requirement), vitamin C (25 percent of daily requirement) and iron (20 percent of daily requirement). Spinach also provides vitamin K, which helps blood coagulate and which, along with calcium, vitamin D and phosphorous, is important for strong bones.
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