STOCKHOLM - Agence France-Presse
Famous cartoon character Popeye is right to down a can of spinach when he wants his biceps to bulge, according to a Swedish study presented June 25 showing why the leafy vegetable makes us stronger.
Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm said that they had conducted a study showing how nitrate, found naturally in spinach and several other vegetables, tones up muscles.
For the study, which will be published in the Journal of Physiology, the research team had placed nitrate directly in the drinking water of a group of mice for one week and then dissected them and compared their muscle functions to that of a control group. “The mice that had been on consistent nitrate had much stronger muscles,” they said in a statement. The nitrate used “was equivalent to a human’s consumption of about 200 to 250 grams of spinach a day, so it’s a very easily obtained amount,” researcher Andres Hernandez, told AFP.
“Well, it is if you eat spinach,” he added.