Spinach is good for you because the dark, leafy green is an excellent sources of iron and protein as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A and folate. Spinach also contains lesser amounts of Vitamin K, fiber, phosphorus and thiamine, or vitamin B1.
Spinach's nutritional profile helps ward off osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and several types of cancer. One downside to the green is that it contains a chemical called oxalic acid, which binds with both iron and calcium and limits the amount that the body can absorb. Eating spinach with foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus and tomatoes, can help with iron absorption. Foods rich in Vitamin D, such as eggs, liver and fatty fish, can help with calcium absorption.
Spinach is native to the Middle East, cultivated first in Persia, which is present day Iran, and eventually brought to China 1,500 years ago. From China, it spread into Europe and became an important part of the diet of these cultures. It can be eaten raw or cooked, and this versatility means that it turns up in soups, stews, casseroles, smoothies and side dishes throughout the world. It has also been used as a medicinal plant in dietary applications to enhance overall health.