A new study in the “Journal of Nutrition” shows that eating just one cup of leafy vegetables might increase muscle strength, due to the nitrates they provide.
The researchers studied the diets of 3,759 people over a 12-year time frame. They discovered that those with the highest consumption of nitrates (through leafy vegetables) had 11 percent stronger limb strength than those with lower consumption of such nitrates.
And all of this was independent of physical activity numbers.
There are also a number of other studies – some involving athletes – that have proven the benefit of ingesting nitrates – mostly using beets – for both endurance and strength.
The collective evidence is enough to support the idea that eating a regular bowl of leafy vegetables could really have huge positive effects.
Vegetables to eat include: Arugula, beets, spinach, cabbage, kale, and Swiss chard.
But even better, this effect can be substantially enhanced by making just one small adjustment.
One Adjustment For Even Greater Gains
None of the salad/beet nitrate researchers have considered this important detail: The usefulness of any high-nitrate vegetable is greatly dependent upon how well you chew it.
You have bacteria in the back of your mouth that change the nitrates into the absorbable form by your salivary glands and then converted to NO inside your body. This is vital because up to 25% of nitrate is absorbed through your salivary glands.
So, chew your food very well, for even more muscle-building benefits.