We’ve all seen Popeye’s muscles grow fast after consuming a can of spinach but are the benefits of eating the leafy vegetable really as good as the cartoon character makes them out to be? Apparently, they are.

A new study out of Stockholm, Sweden reveals that the nitrates found in spinach effectively boost the production of the proteins in the muscles making them larger and stronger.

The study evaluated the muscle function of a group of mice in which nitrate was placed directly into their drinking water. Researchers then compared the muscles in that group of mice to those in a controlled environment. The results were intriguing.

“The mice that had been on consistent nitrate had much stronger muscles,” the researchers said.

What’s interesting is that the amount of nitrate “was equivilent to a human’s consumption of about 200 to 250 grams of spinach per day.” According to Andres Hernandez – one of the researchers at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology – “it’s a very easily obtained amount.”

Now that you know just how great spinach is for you (other rumored benefits of the vegetable include clearer skin, reduced risk of cancer and stronger bones), how about working it into your daily diet?

Check out these 10 great spinach recipes that will help you find some unique and creative ways to add more spinach to your nutritional regime:

*Click Images for Full Recipes

1. Mexican Spinach Dip

2. Strawberry Spinach Salad

3. Spinach Sedanini

4 .Chicken Stuffed with Spinach and Feta Cheese

5. Wilted Spinach Salad

6. Spinach Tortilla Omelette

7. Spinach and Blue Cheese Ravioli

8. Spinach Summer Salad

9. Spinach and Artichoke Crab Dip

10. Cheesy Spinach Pie

Angela Nightingale

If you want to know the best cupcake shop in any major city in America, just ask Angela. This girl knows her sweets, and she isn't shy about letting you know that your german chocolate cake needs more chocolate. If you want to find Angela on any given day, she's probably looking up reviews to decide where to grab lunch, or in her downtime, binge-watching the latest 'it-series' on Netflix.

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