There are so many super reasons for eating a lot of vegetables, especially leafy greens. Whole, plant-based food simply supplies the best source of nutrition for our bodies.
The same can be said for many others in the animal kingdom. For example, all the way back in 1854, one of America’s greatest writers, Henry David Thoreau, noted the following exchange in his most famous book, Walden: or, Life in the Woods:
“One farmer says to me, ‘You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make bones with;’ and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying his system with the raw material of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plow along in spite of every obstacle.”
This bovine belief speaks volumes both from the farmer and Thoreau’s opposite perspectives. Today’s plant-based perspectives might put the bovine expression on the farmer’s face, not the oxen’s.
Of course, there’s also the cartoon perspective of Popeye the sailor man brought to life by Robin Williams in the movie, Popeye. This man of the sea regularly ate canned spinach, which resulted in his bulging biceps. The cartoonish point was: eat spinach for big muscles and increased strength.
A study published in the March 2021 issue of The Journal of Nutrition confirms that the general gist of Popeye’s message was definitely on the right track when it comes to musculature because spinach happens to be high in vegetable nitrate.
The study’s title says it all: Dietary Nitrate Intake Is Positively Associated with Muscle Function in Men and Women Independent of Physical Activity Levels. It’s conclusion is “Higher habitual dietary nitrate intake, predominantly from vegetables, could be an effective way to promote lower-limb muscle strength and physical function in men and women.”
One of the many reasons why vegetables have such a nutritious profile is the presence of nitrate, a naturally occurring chemical compound containing nitrogen and oxygen that plants absorb from the soil.
Vegetable nitrate plays an essential part in the body’s production of nitric oxide, a gas that promotes cardiovascular health by supporting circulation and relaxing smooth muscle.
To be honest, it wasn’t that long ago that little attention was paid to the importance of nitric oxide given this tiny molecule’s few seconds of a lifespan. By 1992, nitric oxide had been declared the “molecule of the year”. Six years later, three scientists were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for discovering its vital importance for the cardiovascular system, maintaining healthy blood pressure and keeping blood vessels healthy. These are quite the achievements for a short-lived molecule whose existence depends on dietary nitrate.
As research continues into the future, even more “muscular” benefits are likely to be discovered about vegetable nitrate intake and the resulting nitric oxide. For as recent research indicates, nitric oxide levels are inextricably tied to dietary nitrate, and green leafy vegetables and beetroot are super sources.
AIMing for Supplemental Vegetable Nitrate
With its nutritiously rich selection of leafy greens, CoCoa LeafGreens contributes supplemental vegetable nitrate along with a diverse variety of nutrients and phytonutrients. The leaf powders of arugula, barley, kale, spinach (Popeye’s favourite) and Swiss chard as well as broccoli sprout and cocoa powders all support whole-body health.[WC2]
RediBeets makes it easy to get a nitric-oxide body boost from the juice powder of red beets, which are well-known for their nitrate wealth. Mixing a teaspoon of RediBeets in water makes a nitrate-rich beet juice beverage. The body converts this source of vegetable nitrate into beneficial nitric oxide.
Its AIM’s intention to support a whole-food, plant-based diet with supplements that greatly add to nutritional intake. And that includes a vegetable source of nitrate.