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The health benefits of spinach

Woman holding big bunch of spinach

Thanks to Popeye, we’ve all grown up knowing spinach is good for us.  Healthy Food Guide looks beyond the cartoon to the science behind why spinach has a reputation for having fantastic health benefits.

Spinach is an extremely versatile vegetable that is well worth learning to love, because it’s packed with important nutrients.

This leafy green is rich in iron for your brain and energy, vitamin C for strong immunity, potassium for good muscle function and heart health, and fibre for a healthy gut.

There are many varieties of spinach and each has its own nutritional bonuses, so it’s worth experimenting to find which ones you like best, and to make the most of their different health benefits.

3 of the most popular spinach varieties and their health benefits

1 Baby spinach leaves for eye health

Sweet and tender, add this variety to salads or pasta at the end of cooking. It has more than double the amount of beta-carotene, an antioxidant vital for eye health, than other varieties.

2 English spinach for iron

This variety has 70 per cent more energising iron than baby or water spinach. Enjoy it lightly pan-fried with garlic, olive oil and lemon juice as a side for chicken or fish, or add it to a frittata before cooking.

3 Chinese water spinach for folate

Also known as kang kong, this is popular in Asian cooking and is great for adding to stir-fries and soups. Just half a cup of cooked Chinese water spinach provides 40 per cent of your daily needs of folate, which is an essential nutrient for mums-to-be.

4 of our most popular spinach recipes

If you’re looking for new ways to make the most of spinach, try adding these popular recipes to your rotation.

 Calzones with spinach and ricotta

Calzones are a sort of inside-out-pizza and these spinach and ricotta ones provide almost half your daily calcium in one go.

Green ‘hulk’ smoothie bowl

Start the day right with this satisfying green smoothie. Make it a delight for the tastebuds and to behold with the beautiful garnishes. You can use any milk you like, if almond milk is not your thing, but if you do use a plant ‘milk’ this is a vegan-friendly breakfast.

Beef and mushroom stroganoff with garlic spinach and beans

This creamy stroganoff is packed with vegetables and protein to keep you feeling full. You won’t even notice that it’s slightly lower in carbs too!

Thai green pea blender soup

Vegetarian pea blender soup, with a Thai twist. The perfect winter weeknight meal.



Date modified: 1 February 2022
First published: Aug 2021


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