Recently, researchers from Sweden have discovered that eating a bowl of spinach a day really can boost your muscles.
Previously it was thought that the iron content of spinach made it a power-food. But recent study has found that nitrates are the true energy-boosting ingredient in spinach.
Nitrates make mitochondria, an engine room of every cell works more efficient. Researchers found that eating 300g of spinach reduced the amount of oxygen needed to power muscles when exercising by as much as three to five percent.
“It is like a fuel additive for your muscles. It makes them run much more smoothly and efficiently,” said the lead author Dr Eddie Weitzberg of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.
The health benefits of spinach were popularized by the cartoon character “Popeye the Sailor Man” since 1930s. The film was initially lifted from the comic story as a part of a campaign to eat spinach in the United States and it claimed success, because the consumption of spinach in the US increase by 33 percent.
The myth about spinach and its high iron content may have first been propagated by Dr. E. von Wolf in 1870, because a misplaced decimal point in his publication led to an iron-content figure that was ten times too high.