Popeye had it right: spinach really does make you stronger
Popeye's taste for a can of spinach before a fight has a genuine scientific basis, researchers have found: the leafy green vegetable really can boost your muscle power.
It was thought the iron content of spinach accounted for its status as a superfood. But researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have found that the inorganic nitrate it contains is the secret of its strength-giving property.
They gave a small dose of nitrate, equivalent to that found in a plate of spinach, to exercising volunteers and found it reduced their need for oxygen. Their improved muscle performance was due to increased efficiency of the mitochondria that power cells, the researchers wrote in Cell Metabolism. They suggest their finding could offer one explanation for the health benefit of eating fruit and vegetables, the mechanism of which still remains unclear.
Great efforts have been made to isolate the key ingredients of a healthy diet, with limited success. Nitrates could be one of those key ingredients. They interact with bacteria in the mouth to produce nitric oxide, a physiologically important molecule with a key role in lowering blood pressure.
Life & Style blogs
Versace haute couture review: Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
The face of fertility: why do men find women who are near ovulation more attractive?
What supermodels really think about posing in the nude
People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
Minecraft: Story Mode trailer revealed with cast of stars
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Greece debt crisis explained: A history of just how the country landed itself in such a mess
- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...
£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative online car purc...
£12500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A subscriptions and marketing a...