Popeye was right! Studies have shown that eating spinach really does make you stronger, including one out of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden that revealed nitrate found naturally in spinach helps tone the muscles.
The researchers believe that consuming nitrates from a rich source like spinach increases the muscle strength available for things like lifting weights or sprinting up a steep hill, and that it may also increase endurance.
It may help muscles work more efficiently during exercise as the nitrate fuels mitochondria, which are the “little engines” in our cells, enabling more energy on less oxygen, similar to a car running on less fuel but at the same speed.
This fantastic superfood offers numerous health benefits that include:
Supporting stronger bones
Spinach is not only good for strong muscles, it is essential to bone health as a rich source of vitamin K. Just one cup provides 181 percent of the recommended daily value for this vitamin, which also helps to prevent an excessive amount of osteoclasts, which are cells that can destroy bone.
It also promotes the production of osteocalcin, an essential protein for the bones and contains key nutrients like calcium and magnesium which are important for bone health.
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin A, which helps to promote healthier skin by allowing better moisture retention within the epidermis, fighting all types of skin problems like psoriasis, acne and wrinkles. Just one cup provides 337 percent of the recommended daily value for this vitamin.
Spinach provides flavonoids and phytonutrients that are powerful anti-cancer agents, with studies confirming that its extracts have the ability to inhibit cell division in stomach cancer cells and reduce skin cancer as well. A regular intake of spinach has also been linked to a decreased risk of breast and prostate cancers.
Boosting the immune system
Spinach is rich in antioxidants with its flavonoids and carotenoids providing powerful benefits, including helping to protect the body from the effects of oxidative stress, helping strengthen the immune system and battle disease. They also help to combat the onset of osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.
Spinach ranks among the highest in flavonoids and phytonutrients which have very strong anti-inflammatory properties and are known to reduce pain associated with inflammation, in addition to preventing a host of diseases and illnesses, including many types of cancers.
Everyone should include plenty of spinach in their diet. If you aren’t sure how, here are some ideas to get you started:
- Hide it in a smoothie. If you have trouble eating your veggies, consider adding it into a smoothie with frozen fruit to disguise the flavor. The iron is more readily absorbed along with vitamin C which is abundant in many fruits like strawberries or raspberries.
- Add fresh, organic baby spinach leaves to an omelette.
- Replace lettuce or other greens with baby spinach leaves in a salad.
- Create a healthy side dish by sautéing spinach in coconut oil with chopped garlic. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a little pepper to taste.
What’s your favorite way to use this super, anti-aging food?
-The Alternative Daily