Researchers have found that eating a bowl of spinach each day increases muscular efficiency. The consumption of 300 grams of spinach reduced 5% the amount of necessary oxygen for the functioning of the muscles during exercise, according to a study publish in “Cell Metabolism.”
The secret is not in the iron, but in the nitrates, which are abundant in this vegetable. The nitrates turn mitochondrias more efficient. Mitochondrias are the ones in charge to provide energy to cells.
The study’s author, Dr. Eddie Weitzberg, from Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, fed a group of volunteers for three days with pure nitrate supplementation, equivalent to a plate of spinach. At the beginning and end of the experiment he made them take a ride in a stationary bike while an oxygen consumption was being measured. The oxygen consumption was between 3% and 5% lower at the end of the experiment.