What vegetable is associated with James Bond?

James Bond, the iconic British spy created by author Ian Fleming, is known for his love of martinis, fast cars, and beautiful women. But there’s another item closely associated with 007 that may surprise you – vegetables!

The History of James Bond and Vegetables

In the original James Bond novels and short stories written by Ian Fleming, as well as the early films starring Sean Connery, Bond had a reputation as an unhealthy eater. He consumed large quantities of rich food, alcohol, and cigarettes. But that changed in the Roger Moore era of Bond films in the 1970s and 1980s.

In the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me, Roger Moore’s Bond orders a salad for lunch, stating “When in Rome, eat as the Romans do.” This was a major shift towards healthier eating habits for the character.

But the Bond vegetable most closely associated with the character emerged a few years later. In the 1979 film Moonraker, Moore’s Bond sits down to dinner with the villain Hugo Drax. Drax orders an elaborate meal including lamb cutlets and strawberries, while Bond simply requests a medium-boiled egg. Drax chides Bond for his spartan meal, and Bond replies that it provides him all the protein he needs. Drax responds, “An egg? For STRENGTH??? Well, I didn’t learn that in the last war!”

Bond counters that in the Second World War, RAF pilots would often subsist on just eggs and spinach to remain strong and alert during long missions. He states, “One egg, providing you know how to squeeze the most protein from it, is equivalent to a steak, or three lamb cutlets, or six ounces of tuna.” From this scene stemmed the idea of James Bond eating spinach to boost his strength.

Spinach and James Bond

While spinach is never explicitly mentioned in the Ian Fleming Bond novels, the vegetable has become strongly tied to the cinematic James Bond, especially since the scene in Moonraker.

Spinach contains high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that provide many health benefits. Some key nutrients found in spinach:

Nutrient Benefits
Protein Builds muscle strength and mass
Iron Creates hemoglobin to carry oxygen through the blood
Vitamin K Important for blood coagulation
Vitamin A Essential for good vision
Folate Necessary for new cell and tissue growth

The high protein and iron levels help explain why James Bond would favor spinach to stay strong on his missions. And the vitamins and minerals provide him the nutrients needed for optimal body functioning.

Spinach in James Bond Films

While spinach may not have appeared frequently on Bond’s plate in the earlier films, it has been directly referenced several times in more recent movies as a nod the character’s association with the vegetable:

  • In the 1995 film GoldenEye, Pierce Brosnan’s Bond orders a dinner of chicken with sliced tomatoes and spinach.
  • In the 2002 film Die Another Day, Brosnan’s Bond is served a room service meal of steak with wilted spinach.
  • In the 2015 film Spectre, Daniel Craig’s Bond drinks a “Green Fighting Machine” smoothie loaded with spinach and other vegetables.

Spinach and other greens frequently appear in the background of meal scenes as a symbolic nod to Bond’s dietary discipline. And they represent his focus on consuming functional foods to maintain peak physical performance.

Behind the Scenes

It’s well known that Daniel Craig adhered to a strict diet and exercise regimen to get into prime shape for his shirtless emerging from the ocean scene in Casino Royale. Spinach was likely a key component of his preparation.

In an interview, Craig said: “We’re filming in the Bahamas for Casino Royale and I have these early morning shoots where I have to take my shirt off. Can’t really eat cake and drink beer the night before shooting. So it’s egg whites and spinach for breakfast.”

So while Craig’s chiseled physique was achieved through intense training, spinach and egg whites helped provide the fuel he needed to reach peak fitness.

Benefits of Spinach for James Bond

As an international spy, James Bond faces immense physical and mental challenges. Consuming spinach provides him key nutrients to help meet those demands.

Here are some of the main benefits spinach provides Bond:

  • Increased strength – The protein in spinach helps build Bond’s muscle mass and power.
  • Greater endurance – Iron carries oxygen through the blood to working muscles, delaying fatigue.
  • Healthy vision – Vitamin A is essential for good vision, critical for Bond in difficult situations.
  • Better brain function – Folate is vital for cognition and mental acuity under stress.
  • Aids recovery – Vitamin K helps reduce inflammation from injuries and keeps Bond ready for action.

Consuming spinach gives 007 the strength, alertness, and resilience needed to carry out the most demanding assignments.

Spinach in James Bond Novels

As mentioned earlier, spinach is not directly referenced in Ian Fleming’s original Bond books. However, the character’s reputation as a healthy eater is referenced through descriptions of other foods Bond consumes.

Examples include:

  • Eating whole-grain cereal for breakfast in Thunderball
  • Drinking freshly squeezed orange juice in From Russia with Love
  • Consuming yoghurt for its probiotics in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

So while Fleming’s Bond favored eggs, meat, and seafood, he balanced those foods with fruits, vegetables, and dairy. This likely reflected some of Fleming’s own preferences as he got older.

Later Bond authors like John Gardner and Raymond Benson continued Bond’s practice of choosing nutritious foods. So the literary Bond consumed spinach even if it wasn’t specifically written about.

Ways James Bond May Eat Spinach

How might James Bond enjoy spinach for optimal nutritional benefit?

Here are some potential ways the health-conscious 007 might consume spinach:

  • Spinach omelet – Eggs provide protein while raw spinach adds fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Steamed spinach side dish – Boiled spinach retains more nutrients than raw spinach.
  • Spinach salad – Baby spinach leaves combined with nuts, fruits, and vinaigrette dressing.
  • Green smoothie – Blended with fruits, yogurt, and whey protein.
  • Creamed spinach soup – Pureed with onions, garlic, and Parmesan cheese.

James Bond likes simple, clean, and efficient foods to stay lean and alert. So steamed spinach, spinach salads, and spinach omelets likely appeal most to 007.

The Modern James Bond Diet

The current Bond played by Daniel Craig follows a strict regimen to maintain action hero fitness in his 40s. What might his diet look like?

Here is a sample high-protein James Bond day of eating with spinach incorporated:


  • 3 egg omelet with spinach and mushrooms
  • Bowl of Greek yogurt with berries
  • Black coffee


  • Grilled chicken breast
  • Quinoa salad with spinach, feta, and olives
  • Glass of cold-pressed vegetable juice


  • 6 oz grilled salmon
  • Steamed broccoli and spinach
  • Romaine side salad
  • Glass of red wine (in moderation)

This provides a balance of lean proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients from a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables – including nutrient-dense spinach.

James Bond Spinach Recipes

Here are a few spinach recipe ideas that James Bond might enjoy to boost his strength and health:

Shaken, Not Stirred Spinach Smoothie
Makes 2 servings


  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 2 tbsp honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp matcha powder
  • Ice cubes


  1. Add all ingredients to blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into 2 glasses and enjoy!

Walnut Pesto Salmon over Spinach
Makes 2 servings


  • 2 (6 oz) salmon fillets
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups fresh spinach


  1. Blend basil, walnuts, garlic and olive oil in food processor.
  2. Season salmon with salt and pepper and bake at 400°F for 8-10 minutes until cooked through.
  3. Toss spinach with pesto sauce to lightly coat.
  4. Serve salmon over pesto spinach.

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken
Makes 4 servings


  • 4 (6 oz) chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped


  1. Cut slit into the side of chicken breasts to form a pocket.
  2. Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat. Add spinach and garlic and cook until spinach is wilted, 3-5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in feta and dill.
  4. Fill chicken pockets evenly with spinach-feta mixture.
  5. Bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

With creative recipes like these, James Bond can boost his nutrient intake and maintain peak performance while still enjoying delicious foods.


James Bond has been associated with spinach since declaring it a strength-building superfood in the 1979 film Moonraker. While not mentioned directly in Ian Fleming’s novels, the literary Bond followed a balanced diet that likely featured plenty of spinach.

This green vegetable provides 007 with protein, iron, and essential vitamins and minerals to fuel his active, danger-filled lifestyle. Spinach boosts Bond’s strength, energy, vision, mental functioning, and resilience.

The cinematic Bonds have continued this tradition, with spinach appearing on screen and the current Daniel Craig eating it off-screen to achieve his fit physique. Spinach remains an integral part of James Bond’s modern healthy diet, keeping him in prime shape to handle any threat that comes his way.

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