What was it about ordinary canned spinach that made Popeye’s biceps bulge?
Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse, and if you’re willing to indulge its finicky nature, the rewards are great. Spinach and other dark leafy greens like kale and silverbeet are packed with calcium, folates, vitamin K and iron. Spinach is also rich in lutein, vitamins A and C, fibre and carotenoids. So, not only did spinach make him super-strong, Popeye may also have been protecting himself against osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, arthritis, memory loss and cataracts. Imagine if he’d eaten fresh spinach! English spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is not silverbeet, as many greengrocers claimed in my youth. Spinach has soft leaves on slender stems, while silverbeet has firm crinkly leaves with well-defined ribs and veins. Spinach is native to south-western Asia and is an annual. Silverbeet is from the coast of Spain and Portugal and is biennial. It is also (somewhat strangely, given its heritage) known as Swiss chard. Unfortunately, the other way to tell the two apart is that spinach