You remember the famed cartoon character, Popeye?
When he wanted his biceps to bulge… Popeye would turn to his secret weapon… SPINACH.
And it turns out, he may have been onto something!
Because new research finds eating your spinach can help boost your strength and revive your aging muscles.
Spinach Boosts Muscle Mass, Strength
You may not feel as strong as you were in your 20’s, 30’s, or even your 40’s…
But that doesn’t mean you need to watch your strength deteriorate before your very eyes.
According to a new study published in the journal Nutrients, a daily dose of spinach extract can improve your muscle quality AND overall strength.
You see, spinach is rich in nitrates – which your body converts into nitric oxide. Studies have found that nitric oxide helps improve blood flow, improving how you perform during exercise or physical activity, and how you recover from it – both of which are critical to maintaining strength.
Studies have also found that the nitrates found in spinach boost your muscle function, helping to prevent falls and fractures – two risks that disproportionately target seniors.
Spinach extract can be found at most health food or vitamin stores. Be sure to talk to your doctor about how to best incorporate it into your diet.
Eating raw spinach is my go-to way to get my greens. It makes a great base for a salad, can be cooked down in a little bit of olive oil for a nice side dish, and can even be blended into your favorite smoothie to give it a pop of color.
Just be sure to always thoroughly wash spinach before you eat it (even if the package says it’s pre-washed).
You see, spinach was listed on the 2022 “Dirty Dozen” list – the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) yearly published list of fruits and vegetables with the highest amount of pesticides.
Overexposure to pesticides – particularly on foods – can have a negative impact on your help. Studies have linked pesticides to respiratory problems, reproductive issues, endocrine system disruption, neurological damage and increased risk of certain cancers.
But organic produce contains very few (if any) pesticides. So, your best bet when buying produce is to opt for the organic variety.