Dark green leafy vegetables are highly nutritious, providing a wide variety of important essential vitamins and minerals (such as folic acid, potassium, magnesium, iron and calcium) plus a source of carotenoids and anti-oxidants (including vitamins A, C and E). However, despite their nutritional advantages they are one of the most under-consumed foods in the average person's diet.
Spinach has long been known as the food that gave Popeye his bulging muscles. And it seems he had the right idea; research has indicated that eating 200-300g of green leafy vegetables can make your muscles more efficient, reducing the amount of oxygen needed to power muscles during exercise by as much as 5%. This results in both improved muscle gains and better overall health. So follow Popeye’s example for an improved workout!
Try some of these suggestions to increase your intake of leafy greens:
- Wrap it up: Try preparing a tortilla wrap with chicken or turkey and adding romaine leafy greens for some extra nutrients and flavour
- Wilt It: Wilted green leafy vegetables will reduce in size, thus providing the same nutritious goodness in a more manageable form. Try lightly steaming spinach over a pan of water then mixing with crushed garlic and stirring in to hot pasta.
- Curried: Spinach is an old favourite in curry houses. Make your own Sag Aloo by mixing shredded spinach with chopped new potatoes.