Why did Pop eye eat Spinach???
There is now research that actually backs up the fictional story of pop eye getting stronger and growing muscle after eating his spinach. Studies suggest that a human would have to consume over 1 kilo of spinach to have a steroid like effect without the side effects of anabolic steroids. This has come about after a team at Rutgers University led by Ilya Raskin found that spinach contains steroid-like compounds that boost the growth of muscle cells.Writing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the team explain how they extracted chemicals called phytoecdysteroids from the plant and then treated muscle cells in the dish and even live rats with them. The muscle cells speeded up their growth by about 20%, and the rats became stronger, again I will state for a human to get the same result you would have to consume a kilo of the green stuff.
Spinach has a vast amount of other reasons why you should include it in your diet. Spinach is a very nutrient-dense food. It’s low in calories yet very high in vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients. This leafy green is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6. It’s a very good source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, dietary fiber, and copper. Plus, it’s a good source of selenium, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids. Spinach is loaded with flavonoids which act as antioxidants, protecting the body from free radicals. Researchers have discovered at least 13 different flavonoid compounds that act as anti-cancer substances. The various nutrients offer much in the way of disease protection.
Another of the benefits of spinach is that its an outstanding source of vitamins C and A which are antioxidants that help reduce free radical amounts in the body. Its a good source of magnesium, a mineral that helps to lower high blood pressure and to reduce stress. The anti-inflammatory properties of the nutrients found in spinach can help with conditions that are identified as inflammatory, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, migraine headaches, and asthma.
Studies also show that eating leafy greens such as spinach may slow the age-related decline in brain function. So it’s also keeping our brains functioning better!
With all these benefits it would be a shame to leave this leafy green ‘superfood’ out of your diet, I would suggest eating at least 100g of spinach on most days.