Spinach Really Does Boost Your Muscles As It did on Popeye

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Spinach really does make you stronger as it did on popeye

Spinach is well-known as the super food that made Popeye the Sailor Man becomes unbeatable. The famous cartoon character, who dates back to the 1930s, downed a can of spinach to produce bulging muscles whenever he needed to get out of trouble, and it turns out that Popeye was right – spinach really does boost your muscles.

Read also: 15 health benefits of spinach

According to a research, which was published in the journal Cell Metabolism, eating a bowl of spinach every day makes your muscles “profoundly” more efficient. The researchers discovered that eating 300 grams of spinach reduced the amount of oxygen needed to power muscles when exercising by as much as 5 percent.

Originally it was thought that the high iron content in spinach made it a power-food. Now scientists have found that nitrates are the true energy-boosting ingredient in spinach and other green leafy vegetables. The chemical was found to make the mitochondria (the engine rooms of every cell) more efficient.

“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.

“It is a profound and significant effect. It just shows that Popeye was right,” he added.

Previously Prof Weitzberg and his colleague Jon Lundberg showed that dietary nitrate increases levels of nitric oxide in the body with the help of friendly bacteria. Nitric oxide helps open up blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, and improves circulation. Nitrates appear to help stop the loss of energy in the mitochondria due to heat loss, making the cell – and thus the muscle – more efficient.