Choose This Spinach Container for More Vitamins

Medically reviewed in March 2020

When you buy spinach at the grocery store, should you grab the bagged spinach way deep in the dark shelf or opt for the clear plastic tub basking in fluorescent light?

Research suggests that the tub might be where it's at. In a study, spinach stored in clear plastic tubs under fluorescent lighting actually became more nutrient-rich in a short span of time.

Well-lit wonders
In the study, researchers refrigerated spinach under two conditions—in total darkness and under fluorescent lighting. After 3 days, levels of lutein, zeaxanthin, folate and vitamins C, E and K had increased in the light-exposed leaves. But nutrient levels in the greens that got no light tended to stay the same or decrease.

More photo opportunities
The well-lit greens did wilt faster, so to get the most taste and nutrition from store-bought stuff, you should still try to use it within a few days. Researchers don't fully understand why vitamin and nutrient booms occurred under lit conditions. But it probably helps the photosynthesis process continue. And nutrient levels increase because nutrients are stored in the chloroplasts, where photosynthesis happens. Here are a few other ways to make sure you're getting the biggest nutritional payout from all your veggies:

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