Popeye and Spinach

Spinach is well known as the superfood that gave Popeye the Sailor Man his bulging muscles. “I am strong to the finish because I eat my spinach” was the famous cartoon character’s tag line as he popped open a can whenever he needed to get out of trouble. Originally it was thought that the iron content of spinach made it a power-food. The secret we are finding now is that it’s not the iron, it’s the nitrates which are so effective in this vegetable. Nitric Oxide is an important molecule which opens up blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, and improves circulation. (Many Doctors prescibe nitrates for people that have heart problems, angina, ischemia etc.) So in effect, eating spinach makes your mitochondria (the little engine rooms of every cell) more effecient, thus producing quality energy boosts for your muscles. Green leafy vegetables of all kinds are rich in nitrates. Pop open a can of your favorite; or better yet, eat’ em fresh and enjoy the natural boost of energy unlike anything coffee or Redbull can give you!

Jack Witt is a local health and fitness consultant providing corporate wellness programs, personal training, and group exercise classes. His website is www.getfitwithWitt.com