A new study from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm has found the secret to toned muscles. The nitrates naturally found in spinach can help the muscle formation in animals.
The researches fed mice the nitrate amount that would be found in 200 grams of spinach fed to a human. After a week the mice were dissected and the muscle formations were observed. There was a marked muscular increase in the mice who had received the nitrates.
Researches further tested to understand why the mice had reacted so quickly to the nitrates. They discovered that it promoted an increase of the proteins responsible for storing and releasing calcium. That calcium helped make the muscles contract, which in turn helps build muscle tissue. Andres Hernandez, one of the researches from the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology said, “If you have more calcium released, you have a stronger contraction.”
Like Popeye in the classic television show, the more spinach you consume, the bigger your muscles could get. It would help general muscle strength for activities like weight lifting and running. The main focus on this study was the benefit for individuals with general muscle weakness. The preliminary results showed that it could be possible to build muscles in senior citizens by having them eat a diet rich in nitrates. The increased muscle functions would greatly improve their ability to walk and their general strength.
More studies must be done to see if the muscle function increases in humans as well as mice. Read more about the study on the Karolinska Institute website.
Check out some easy and delicious spinach recipes to get your fix of those muscle building nitrates.