Looking to lose weight? Add this ingredient to meals
“I’m strong to the finish cuz I eats me spinach; I’m Popeye the Sailor Man!” In the cartoon Popeye the Sailor Man, Popeye is often on the receiving end of brutal punishment from his much larger adversary Bluto (he is locked in a permanent love triangle between him and Bluto for the affection of the lovely Olive Oyl), until he popped open a can of spinach.
At once, there occurred a fantastic transformation in Popeye from a beaten runt to a man with superhuman strength and physical prowess. This change in Popeye undoubtedly caused many young boys also to eat their spinach. But is it true? Can spinach deliver a boost of energy and strength?
The surprising answer is “YES.”
Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements, and Jay Cowin, NNCP, RNT, RNC, CHN, CSNA, registered nutritionist and Director of Formulations at ASYSTEM have researched the vegetable and found that spinach can help with weight loss, boost energy, and increase strength.
The Benefits Of Spinach For Healthy Weight Loss And Aging
While trying to lose weight, eating protein-rich ingredients is essential, as nutritionists say this nutrient provides you with energy to attack your next workout and ward off hunger pangs for longer. When we get older, our bodies need this desperately, so adding more protein to your plate can help you lose weight and be more energetic and strengthen muscles.
The beautiful thing about spinach is that you can eat it raw, steam it, cook it, or sneak it into your morning smoothie, your post-workout protein shake, breakfast omelet, pasta, and sandwiches...the only limitation is your imagination and creativity.
The good news, according to Best, is that when losing weight, spinach provides a one-two punch of protein and fiber. This allows spinach to make you feel full, satisfied, and energized after eating. "This dark leafy green is packed with weight loss boosting nutrients and can be easily added to many recipes, especially eggs," Best says.
When these nutrients are heated with water, she continues, they become active so that the body absorbs them more easily.
"This allows the consumer to take in weight loss friendly nutrients, like vitamins K, E, and fiber, while eating a low carbohydrate, high nutrient meal," she explains. When thinking about spinach's protein content (even more so when cooked), Cowin says, "eating protein while doing strength training will help you maintain muscle mass, which means the weight you'll shed during this period will be pure body fat."
He adds that out of the three macronutrients (fat, carbs, protein), protein will keep you "fullest for the longest" because it suppresses your appetite. "This is a big help when you're trying to cut back," he notes. Protein, Cowin stresses, also have a "higher thermic effect than the other macronutrients, which means your body has to burn many calories to digest and process it."
Best also stated that the fiber content in spinach will help the eater "feel and stay full for longer, which can help prevent overeating throughout the day." Spinach can also accelerate weight loss by adding it to your eggs, adding more antioxidants to this meal if you're looking for a new way to revitalize your breakfast.
"Antioxidants have anti-inflammatory compounds that help to reduce inflammation in the body that would otherwise prevent weight loss and harm overall health as we age," she points out.
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