Popeye, it turns out, was onto something.
While wolfing down a can of spinach might not give you insta-muscles or superhuman strength, eating two or three servings of this nutrient-rich leafy green each week could help you power up in other ways. Some preliminary research shows it might make your muscles more efficient during a workout (cool, huh?). Plus, it has a load of other nutrients that keep all systems running smoothly:
- It’s full of lutein, which promotes healthy eyesight by preventing cataracts and macular degeneration.
- One cup of fresh spinach provides almost 200 percent of the daily value of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health.
- Spinach contains twice the amount of iron as most other greens and can act as a substitute for men who are not eating as much meat, according to New York City nutritionist Stephanie Middleberg, R.D. (Getting enough iron, among other things, will keep your energy levels up.)
But perhaps the best thing about spinach is this: It’s extremely versatile, so you can keep it on hand and toss it into any meal. Here are five super-simple recipes to get you started.