Eat your Greens!

There is this tremendous focus on protein supplements as if it is the wholly grail of muscle building. “you should consume two shakes of whey protein a day!” says a friend of mine after she convinced herself of how well her body will perform and how toned her muscles will look if she consumes massive amounts protein isolates.

But what about other food items? This hype of protein supplements shouldn’t let us go too far from the very basic knowledge that everyone knows; healthy food makes you healthier including your muscles.

A new study has found that regularly eating leafy greens can boost muscle function, which in turn could help prevent falls and fractures. The body converts nitrates into nitric oxide, which can open up the blood vessels, improve blood flow and exercise performance. In the study, participants who ate the most nitrates — which are plentiful in leafy greens like spinach, kale, and lettuce — had 11 percent stronger lower limb strength. These findings were unassociated with exercise level. Meaning that one’s muscular enhancement can really start from something that we all know: eat more greens. your body will respond better and your muscular system will be enhanced.

According to a new research from Edith Cowan university, eating leafy greens does wonders for muscle strength. But why? this happens because our bodies convert nitrates into nitric oxide which opens up blood vessels allowing more blood flow to the muscles. In other words, more nutrients and oxygen.

This new study is published in the Journal of Nutrition on March 24, 2021 and I am going to summarize its findings here:

· Out of 3759 Australians who were followed over 12-year period, those who ate the most nitrates (green leaves, spinach, kale, etc.…) had 11% stronger lower limb strength and 4% faster walking speed compared to those who ate less leafy greens.

· The results of this research were independent of exercise level.

· Nitrate rich food allows for higher blood supply to muscular tissue which allows these improvements to occur.

by. Omran Nattouf

References: Marc Sim, Lauren C Blekkenhorst, Nicola P Bondonno, & others. Dietary Nitrate Intake Is Positively Associated with Muscle Function in Men and Women Independent of Physical Activity Levels,

The Journal of Nutrition, 2021; https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxaa415