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.

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Green Tea With Egg White Foam to Soothe Your Sore Throat

From Dr. Oz's new book on traditional Chinese medicine, "Yin Yang You" — out now!

Are you one of so many people who suffer from pain, stress and anxiety? Dr. Oz set out to help you find relief. So to fill the gaps in modern Western medicine, he looked to traditional Chinese medicine — which uses 5,000-year-old traditions to help people preserve their health and prevent sickness. These ancient secrets are what inspired his new book, "Yin Yang You," about the powerful methods you can do right at home! Click here to grab your own copy.

The book is also filled with tons of delicious recipes that are packed with nutrients for your health. Here's an easy one to get started with. This green tea has a special twist to soothe a sore throat that comes on quickly. Egg whites and sugar are whipped together to add some foam to classic green tea for a cooling and coating effect.

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