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What are the health benefits of eating spinach while on a slow-carb diet?

Tim Ferriss
Fitness
Spinach is incredible for body recomposition. The phytoecdysteroids (20-hydroxyecdysone (HE) specifically) in spinach increase human muscle tissue growth rates 20% when applied in a culture (think petri dish). Even if you're not interested in growth, it also increases glucose metabolism. Phytoecdysteroids are structurally similar to insect molting hormones -- finally, an affordable way to eat insect molting hormones! -- and both increase protein synthesis and muscular performance. Even little rats build stronger paw grips. In good news for women, the 20HE ecdysteroid tested demonstrates no androgenic properties. In other words, it won't give you a hairy chest or an Adam's apple.

The Rutgers University researchers responsible for the principal study emphasize, almost as a deterrent, that one would need to eat 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of spinach per day to mimic the administration used. In testing, I've found that it's not hard at all to see a visible effect with smaller amounts. I routinely eat two to three cups of spinach per day, which is less than you think, and each cup is 81 grams. Two cups, at 162 grams, is about 16% of 1 kilogram. Three cups is almost 25% of 1 kilogram. If the results of the study are dose-dependent, one might expect an increase in muscle fiber synthesis of 3% from 2 cups and 5% from 3 cups, not to mention the effect of increased carbohydrate metabolism. Compounded over time, this is significant. If the effect is not dose- dependent but rather triggered at a dose less than 1 kilogram per day, it is possible that the 20% increase could be achieved with far less than 1 kilogram. I also believe that spinach increases cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), but that's for the geeks to explore.
The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.