Want More Efficient Muscles? Eat Your Spinach

New research shows that, after taking a small dose of inorganic nitrate for three days, healthy people consumed less oxygen while riding an exercise bike. This provides one explanation for the well-known health benefits leafy green vegetables in particular; the nitrate was equivalent to the amount found in a plate of spinach.

Until recently, nitrate wasn't thought to have any nutritional value at all. But in fact, dietary nitrate feeds into a pathway that produces nitric oxide, a physiologically important molecule that opens up your blood vessels to help lower your blood pressure.

Science Daily reports:

"The new study offers yet another benefit of nitrate and the nitric oxides that stem from them. It appears that the increased mitochondrial efficiency is owed to lower levels of proteins that normally make the cellular powerhouses leaky."

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