How Eating Your Greens Can Help Boost Muscle Function
Are you a fan of green veggies? Well, whether you’re a lover or hater of the humble green leafy vegetable, it’s time to up your intake. New research has found that regularly eating leafy greens can actually boost your muscle function! Protein, who?
Researchers from Edith Cowan University in Perth found that eating leafy green veggies, like spinach and kale, on a regular basis can positively impact your muscle strength as the body converts the nitrates within the vegetables into nitric oxide. According to Healthline, this helps to improve blood flow and exercise performance, while also doing wonders for your heart and cognitive health.
Over a period of 12 years, researchers evaluated health data from 3,759 Australians and found that those who ate the most nitrates, found in green leafy veggies, had 11 percent stronger lower limb strength. According to Healthline, their walking speed was also four percent faster compared to those who ate less leafy greens.
Looking at the physical activity of the participants, researchers also found that these vegetables also boosted muscle strength — regardless of whether the people exercised. How wild!
“Nitric oxide relaxes the blood vessels and causes them to widen. This allows for greater delivery of oxygen to the muscles,” Dr Niket Sonpal, an internist and gastroenterologist, told Healthline.
When you exercise, your muscles require more oxygen and, oxygen is essential for muscle recovery. Increased oxygen flow from the green leafy veggies could help your muscles perform even better and in turn, increase your muscle strength. So the lesson here is that Popeye is a genius and spinach and kale can officially be considered muscle food.