The Spinach plant is native to Asia, possibly originating around the areas of India and Iran. Food Historians do believe that Spinach was first domesticated in Nepal during the first century. From Nepal it was taken to China and Muslim areas. Between the 11th and 16th centuries spinach grew in popularity around Europe.

Today the US is the second largest producer of Spinach (China is first). The states that grow the most spinach are California, Arizona and New Jersey. The US exports most of its Spinach to Canada.

Spinach is one of the best iron sources. 1 serving of spinach has 6.43 mg of iron, over 2 mg more that one serving of beef. Spinach is also a great source of calcium and folic acid. Spinach has anti-inflammatory properties and have been linked to the prevention of many cancers including colon, ovarian, gastrointestinal and prostate. Spinach along with other dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and kale are some of the healthiest foods you can eat.

When buying spinach buy only those with dark green leaves that show no signs of yellowing, limpness or wilting. Also do not pick spinach that has a slimy film on them as this is a sign that the spinach is decaying.

Improve your health with these delicious spinach recipes: