These Are the Best Greens to Build the Best Muscles

A nitrate-rich diet, predominantly from leafy, green vegetables such as spinach, is essential for optimal muscle function.

These Are the Best Greens to Build the Best Muscles

It's amazing to think that in 1929, Popeye actually knew more than nutritionists about what it takes to build muscle power and function. It's only recently that researchers published a study in the Journal of Nutrition explaining that a nitrate-rich diet, predominantly from leafy, green vegetables such as spinach, is essential for optimal muscle function.

The study found that over a 12-year period, one cup a day of nitrate-rich foods gave folks 11% stronger lower limb strength and up to 4% faster walking speed compared to folks with the lowest nitrate intake. As they got older, they were better protected from falls too. Psst! Nitrates also help the body produce blood-vessel-relaxing, heart-friendly nitric oxide.


Confusing nitrates with nitrites (sometimes lumped together as a "bad" additive)? Well, when the duo is used as a preservative in processed meats and cheeses, the whole package ups your risk for heart disease, and dementia, plus some cancers (from the conversion of nitrates into carcinogenic nitrosamines). But vegetables acquire nitrates and nitrites from the soil they grow in, and because they also contain vitamin C, polyphenols and fiber that inhibits nitrosamine formation, they're not a worry.

The most nitrate-rich veggies are greens. Here are just a few you can add to your diet, in order from good to best: beets, Swiss chard, oak leaf lettuce, beet greens, basil, spring greens like mesclun mix, butter-leaf lettuce, cilantro, rhubarb, and... THE WINNER… arugula (18 times more nitrates than kale). Some fruits such as watermelon, grapes, pears and apples also have a small amount.

Is It Easier to Lose Weight on a Vegan Diet?

One study found a low-fat vegan diet leads to greater weight loss, healthier cholesterol levels, and increased insulin sensitivity www.doctoroz.com

66 Clever Ways to Keep Your Road Trip Healthy

From road trip food to on-the-go health hacks, here's all you need to have a safe vacation from city to city.

Summer is the perfect time for a road trip! But do you wonder how you can stay healthy with all the fast food and potential health issues along the way? Things can go downhill for everyone pretty quickly. Here are 66 clever and easy tips for keeping the trip on track for health and fun.

1. Pack Compact Snacks to Avoid Overeating

Reuse a cleaned creamer bottle or fill up a new tackle box with healthy bites like nuts, seeds, berries, dried fruit, and granola. This way, you'll cut down on multiple snack bags and boxes and won't over-indulge because you can only have a small handful at a time.

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