Trying To Build Muscle? 8 Ways Iron-Rich Spinach Can Help

When it comes to the quest for building more muscle, the primary focus tends to be on macronutrients rather than micronutrients. But guzzling nothing but chicken breasts and protein shakes can sometimes have precisely the opposite effect. Quality balanced food is paramount and micronutrients are a must for those striving to improve their physique. 

In this way, vegetables play a crucial role, offering a treasure trove of micronutrients, fibre, minerals, complex carbohydrates, and phytonutrients that are indispensable for a successful bodybuilding nutrition regimen. Notably, vegetables like spinach with higher protein and complex vitamin content emerge as the champions in the world of bodybuilding nutrition, as they provide the energy and potential gains that enthusiasts crave.

Benefits Of Spinach

Spinach, renowned for its health benefits, has often been touted as an excellent source of dietary iron, containing approximately 2.7mg of iron per 100g. But it’s worth keeping in mind here that the human body has a much harder time absorbing plant iron as opposed to animal-based iron. 

But iron aside, spinach still offers a wealth of essential vitamins, including A, B9 (folate), C, and P which can supercharge your meals with energy and strengthen your immune system. It’s even known to lower blood pressure making it a heart-healthy choice

Spinach for Building Muscle

This is new research that backs up the use of spinach as an athletic enhancer. Led by Professor Maria Parr, a pharmaceutical chemistry expert at Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany, a team of researchers delved into the impact of ecdysterone, the primary compound found in spinach extract and a natural phytosteroid belonging to the phytosterol class, structurally akin to cholesterol, on athletic performance and muscle strength. Their findings showcased that individuals who incorporated ecdysterone experienced substantial gains in muscle mass. Further in vitro experiments corroborated these results, with Professor Parr and her team demonstrating the interaction between ecdysterone and the oestrogen receptor beta. Additionally, the tests unveiled noteworthy enhancements in one-repetition bench press performance among the participants.

8 Ways Spinach Can Help In Building Muscle

1. Rich in Protein:

Since the spinach health narrative has always been around iron, it’s not surprising that spinach may not be the first food that comes to mind when you think of protein, but it packs a surprising punch. It contains a decent 2.9 gm of protein per 100 gms making it an excellent choice for those looking to up their protein intake without resorting to meat or dairy products.

2. Nutrient-Dense:

As mentioned earlier, micronutrients are where spinach gets to shine. Loaded with vitamins and minerals essential for muscle growth. It provides a substantial dose of iron, which is crucial for delivering oxygen to your muscles, and vitamin K, vital for bone health. All essential tasks when you’re crunching hours in the gym.

3. Low Cal Pal:

Presumably, if you’re trying to bulk up, you’ve also had to cut down. If you're trying to maintain a lean physique with portion or diet control while building muscle, spinach is your ally. It's low in calories, allowing you to consume generous portions without worrying about excessive calorie intake. This means you can fuel your muscles without piling on unnecessary pounds.

4. Beat Inflammation:

Spending hours working out can always come with some aches and pains, but if this is a chronic occurrence, spinach may help. Chronic inflammation can hinder muscle recovery and growth. Spinach contains antioxidants like flavonoids and carotenoids that help combat inflammation, keeping your muscles in top form.

5. Boosts Nitric Oxide:

Spinach even has a chemical advantage to offer. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator that widens blood vessels, enhancing blood flow to your muscles. Spinach is rich in nitrates, which the body converts into nitric oxide, aiding in better nutrient delivery and muscle recovery.

6. Energy Kick:

Skip the sugar-loaded energy drinks pre-workout and go for the natural option. Spinach is a great source of natural energy, thanks to its iron content. Iron helps transport oxygen to your muscles, increasing stamina and endurance during workouts. This, in turn, allows you to push harder and build more muscle.

7. Digest This:

A good gut is the best way to start any health journey. A healthy digestive system is essential for absorbing nutrients effectively and getting them where they need to go. Spinach's high fibre content promotes digestive health, ensuring that your body can make the most of the nutrients you consume to fuel muscle growth.

8. A Chef’s Dream:

Even for the most inexperienced cook, spinach is a breeze. Spinach is incredibly versatile and can be easily incorporated into various dishes. Whether you toss it in a salad, blend it into a smoothie, or sauté it as a side dish, spinach's adaptability ensures you can enjoy its muscle-building benefits in a variety of tasty ways.