Spinach belongs to the amaranth family and is related to beets, swiss chard and quinoa. It is a highly nutrient
dense food and has large amounts of fiber, Vitamins A, B, C, K1 (clotting) Folate, Calcium, Magnesium and Iron. It also contains carotenoids such as lutein, essential for eye health and protects against macular degeneration. Per calorie, spinach does have more protein than ground beef. 100 calories of ground beef has 10 grams of protein while 100 calories of fresh baby spinach has 12 grams. Percentage-wise, spinach is 30%protein (and the rest fiber, phytonutrients and water) while ground beef is 40% protein (and 60% fat).
Raw spinach contains the full complement of nutrients including heat- sensitive vitamin C and Folate, so using spinach as salad base, throwing it into soup at the very last second or blending into smoothies will give a full complement of these nutrients. Another way to eat large amounts of spinach is to bring olive oil to a medium heat in a deep skillet, add garlic and let it sizzle for a few seconds, then add lots of spinach tossing it with tongs for about 20 seconds until a wilts a little. Add a squeeze of lemon, a scattering of salt and pepper and serve immediately, or as a wilted warm salad. A few pine nuts, pumpkin seeds or walnuts on top are yummy. Spinach is one of the most pesticided foods, so buy this one organic.