Brazilian Spinach

Also known as "Poor Man's Spinach", it belongs to the family of Amaranthaceae which is known as leaf vegetable rich in iron and other minerals. It is a perennial, prefers shade and can even be grown as a ground cover..

Scientific Name : Alternanthera Sissoo

Common Names : Sissoo Spinach,¬† Samba Lettuce, Poor Man’s Spinach


The regular  spinach you find in local markets originated from Ancient Persia1 and thrives well in temperate / cooler climates but is susceptible to pest pressure. However, Brazilian Spinach can grow in full sun or shade, can withstand high heat or pest pressure. While it can tolerate drought, it grows best when well watered2 .

Growing :
While it does flower, it does not produce viable seeds. It is grown from cuttings. After soaking the cuttings in a shallow dish of water, the roots will appear in 3-4 days. You can then transplant them to your pots or better still aquaponics setup as it grows well in water.

Eating :
The young leaves and shoots can be eaten raw as a salad. It has a crunchy rather sweet taste. Like all varieties of spinach, it does contain a fair amount of oxalates hence it’s best to cook to remove them. But the risk is rather low unless eaten raw in huge amounts. It doesn’t have the mucaligious or slimy taste associated with several other varieties of spinach and purportedly has higher nutritional content then other varieties of spinach2 .

Nutrition :
The chemical composition of 1oo grams of fresh Brazilian Spinach leaves: 3

B-carotene : 4-8 mg

Vitamin C : 60-120 mg

Iron : 4-9 mg

Calcium : 300-450 mg

Folic acid and fiber content is high (20-30%) is ideal for health.


References :

  1. Spinach by Wikipedia
  2. Brazilian Spinach by Kuloko Living
  3. 17 Health Benefits Of Brazilian Spinach by Dr.Health Benefits

The contents and references in this posting are for educational purposes only. Please consult your medical professional before consuming this food either cooked or raw, especially if you have any medical conditions.