Fresh Spinach Day Date in the current year: July 16, 2022

Fresh Spinach Day Spinach is so nutritious and popular that it has not one, but two holidays dedicated to it: National Spinach Day is celebrated on March 26 and Fresh Spinach Day is observed on July 16.

Spinach is a flowering plant native to Central and Southwest Asia. It belongs to the amaranth family that includes several other edible plants such as beet and quinoa. Spinach leaves are a common vegetable in many cuisines.

Spinach has been cultivated for over two millennia. It is believed to have originated in ancient Persia from where it was brought to the Indian subcontinent and ancient China. In the 9th century AD, spinach was introduced to Europe thanks to the Saracens who brought it to Sicily. It arrived to Spain in the 12th century and spread to England and France in the 14th century. Spinach became popular in Europe because it was the only fresh vegetable available in early spring.

The world’s biggest producers of spinach are China, the United States, Kenya, and Turkey. China accounts for more than 90% of the total production of spinach, which is more than 28 million tonnes per year.

Spinach is noted for its high nutritional value. It contains carotenoids, B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and folate), vitamins C, E and K, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, and dietary fiber.

Spinach can be consumed raw or cooked (steamed, quickly boiled or added to various dishes such as omelet). Both raw and cooked spinach have a high nutritional value. Uncooked spinach is a better source of B vitamins, vitamin C and potassium, whereas cooked spinach is a better source of calcium and iron because certain chemicals found in raw spinach inhibit the absorption of calcium and iron.

The popularity of spinach in the United States has been on the rise since the early 20th century. The vegetable was popularized in the 1930s thanks to Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character with a strong affinity for spinach that gives him incredible physical strength. According to statistics from the early 2000s, an average American consumed 2.2 lb spinach per year. About three-quarters of all spinach consumed in the United States is eaten fresh.

Given the popularity of fresh spinach in the United States, no wonder it has an unofficial holiday dedicated to it. Fresh Spinach Day is all about the health benefits of raw spinach. You can use this versatile vegetable in salads, green or fruit smoothies, sandwiches, vegetable dips, cold spinach soup, and other dishes. Just keep in mind that raw spinach loses much of its nutritious value when stored for more than a couple of days, so make sure to eat fresh spinach as soon as you buy it.

If your family and friends aren’t big fans of fresh spinach, Fresh Spinach Day is the perfect day to change their minds by introducing them to delicious spinach dishes. And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday on social media by sharing pictures of your green smoothie and your favorite spinach recipes with the hashtag #FreshSpinachDay.

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Category

Unofficial Holidays

Country

USA

Tags

Fresh Spinach Day, food days, food and drink days, observances in the United States, unofficial holidays