Appears in

Popeye had it wrong about spinach. Spinacea oleracea doesn’t make you stronger. Instead of adding nutritional iron, it blocks the absorption of iron with oxalic acid, making you weaker. In some people, oxalic acid also promotes painful kidney stones. So popping cans of spinach down the hatch is not all it’s cracked up to be in the comic strips. But what is?

In spinach’s favor it can be said that this annual herb is so full of water that it may help in weight reduction. If you doubt this, consider that spinach can be steamed all by itself over low-medium heat in a covered pot. The heat releases water, and by the time the leaves have wilted, but before they lose their emerald green, they are sitting in a bath of their own water.

In this section