Despite what Popeye
, or for that matter your mother
, may say, spinach isn’t actually a particularly high source of iron
. In fact this misconception came about because of a mathematical
error. In the 1890’s, scientist
s researching the nutritional value of various vegetable
s put a decimal point in the wrong place during their calculations. The result: Spinach appeared to have ten times the iron
content that it actually has.
The myth that spinach has a high iron content and that it can make you strong has endured thanks to a certain cartoon character. It is not that spinach is particularly low in iron it just doesn't contain any more than most other green vegetables and only about 5% of the iron can be absorbed by the body.
Red meat is a far better source, suggesting that Wimpy, with his love for hamburgers, should have been the one fighting Bluto.