Eating a nutritious diet especially rich in Spinach really does boost muscle strength!
Another new Swedish study suggests that “Popeye” may have been onto something with his gobbling of spinach. In controlled scientific tests with laboratory subjects, nitrates like those found naturally in spinach, beet root, chard and lettuce had a “powerful effect” on boosting muscle strength.
Researchers fed one group of mice water enriched with nitrate for a week, then compared the animals’ muscles to those of a control group. The mice given nitrate had much stronger muscles, particularly in the legs and feet. They also had higher concentrations of two proteins involved in the body’s calcium balance, an important factor in muscle contraction.
The subjects were given an amount of nitrate equivalent to what a human would obtain from 7 to 10 ounces of fresh spinach. It was important to note, researchers explained, that the development of stronger muscles was linked to doses obtainable from a normal diet, especially one providing more vegetables.
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Journal of Nutrition