London, May 8: If you want bulging biceps like Popeye the sailor man, then all you have to do is eat his favourite food - spinach. And, saying this are scientists from Rutgers University who have found that the green veggie really does boost strength. The secret behind this, they reveal, is that spinach contains phytoecdysteroids, a type of steroid that increases the development of muscles. As a part of their study the boffins used extracts of phytoecdysteriods on lab samples of human muscle, and found that it speeded up muscle growth by 20 per cent.
According to the New Scientist, on conducting trials on rats, the researchers found that spinach extracts made the rodents stronger within a month, reports the Daily Express. Researchers state that eating spinach is not only a good idea if you want strong muscles, but also if you want to keep eye disease, teeth, gum problems and anaemia at bay.
Apart from this, it has also been found to have heart benefits. Research has shown that the veggie can strengthen hearts, reduce the risk of a heart attack and boost survival rates by a third for attack victims.
However, getting biceps like Popeye will not be an easy task for the researchers also stated that to do so, you would need to eat at least a kilo of spinach a day.