Have you heard of this healthy green? Orach or mountain spinach is a distant relative of spinach and it is often used as its alternative. Thanks to its rising popularity, many people put in the same list as potent superfoods like kale. Native to the Mediterranean and Western Asia, orach (also known as French spinach) is now grown worldwide.
The garden or red type is the best one for consumption. It offers a flavour similar to chard. Plus, it makes the ideal ornamental plant due to its distinct color. Rich in important minerals and vitamins, including iron, protein, zinc, vitamins C and K, and fiber, this plant should definitely become a part of your diet.
If you still have doubts why you need to start consuming it today, continue reading our article. We will present its major health benefits and where to find it and how to use it. Stay tuned!
The 5 Best Health Benefits of Orach
- Betters the digestion
Did you know that a 100-gram serving of orach will supply you with amazing 11 grams of fiber? Fiber is a pivotal nutrient for a healthy digestive system. It will minimize the risk of constipation and other gastrointestinal problems. Moreover, eating foods abundant in fiber helps reduce the bad cholesterol and balances the blood sugar levels.
- Improves the cardiovascular health
Orach is abundant in potassium and 100 grams of it will supply you with 800 mg of this important nutrient which is needed for a healthy heart function. There are also studies which have associated low levels of potassium in the body with hypertension.
- Contains anthocyanins
Anthocyanins are flavonoids that give veggies and fruits their red and blue hues and studies also suggest that they may possess anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Moreover, they play a role in the prevention of heart disease, fight off obesity, and relieve diabetes.
- Strengthens the immunity
The abundance of zinc and magnesium in orach is great for your immunity. Magnesium will fight off inflammation and zinc will fight off infection.
- Rich in calcium
Did you know that one 100 gram serving or orach supplies you with 200 percent of your daily needs for calcium? Calcium is a nutrient that helps maintain strong teeth and bones, but it also betters the heart, nerve, and muscle function.
Where to Find Orach?
Look for it at the farmers’ market or at a local market. Some better-supplied grocery stores also sell orach. Opt for tender leaves with a ruby red sheen when you hold them to the light.
If you cannot find it in your area, you can always grow your own. It is not difficult to take care for and it grows from late spring to fall. Its young leaves sprout in the spring and you can harvest them right away. The more tender ones will be available in the early, mid-summer months.
How to Use It in Cooking?
If you have prepared spinach then you will have no problem preparing orach. You can rinse it off and add it in fresh salads or boil or steam it like you would spinach or chard and combine it in different meals.
For example, top off your pizza with it, sprinkle it on top of pasta or add it in soups and risottos, etc. There are really so many options. But, as it is quite salty, make sure you do not add too much salt.