As an almost 40-year-old woman, diet matters to me tremendously as I know how much it impacts my energy levels.
That’s why quality always comes first with energy-promoting nutrients.
Who does not want energy, right?
We all need it for different purposes. And you definitely do not need to be an endurance athlete to desire keeping up with your daily tasks, and never having to worry about your energy levels declining as the day goes on.
I always look for whole foods - natural food ergogenic aids - to support my daily performance. I am very aware that as I joyfully age, my nitric oxide levels go down so natural foods that I consume need to lift me up with every opportunity I get.
There is one particular veggie I’ve added to my diet in the last several years that I want to talk to you today about, red spinach. Not green, but red spinach, sometimes called Amaranth.
My Personal Story with Red Spinach - How to Eat It
I learned about this red leaf in 2015 in Geneva, where I was searching what else besides red beets can naturally support blood flow and nitric oxide levels.
At that scientific conference I realized the power of that red vegetable and how much more potent it can be in comparison to red beets, red beet powder, or even red beet extract.
Once I got back to the US, I realized that this vegetable is not always readily available at our local supermarkets, though I did get lucky once and was able to purchase it at a local Asian market.
What I discovered, was that the taste can be very bitter. However, if you’re not happy eating it on its own, you can add chopped red spinach into omelets or salads to reduce its flavor harshness, and to still enhance the benefits of this red veggie. Please keep in mind, by not cooking it, you maintain its full nutritional value.
A few years back, I learned that the natural nitrates which are so valuable in red spinach for our cardiovascular health should not be consumed with any fats. Why?
Through work that was done by the scientific community I learned that meals containing high dietary fat and a postprandial period 2-3 hours after a meal can lower the ability of nitrate in the diet to relax blood vessels because nitric oxide itself is soluble in fat.
In that postprandial period after a high nitrate material, dietary nitrate containing foods like leafy green vegetables may not have that vaso-relaxing property if you diet is super high in fat.
Well that is something to pay attention to, and if you have an atherogenic diet you definitely need more natural nitrate from vegetables like red spinach to support your daily energy levels. Make sure to consume them with lean protein.
3 Significant Points on Natural Nitrates:
- The human body naturally makes 20-40 mg of nitrite per day.
- We need 300-400 mg of nitrates per day to support cardiovascular endurance and health.
- Organic vegetables do not allow nitrite from the soil. That means that specific veggies which are naturally high in nitrates, like bok choy, arugula, beets, rhubarb, celery, spinach, butterleaf lettuce, carrot, basil, Chinese cabbage, swiss chard, mustard leaf, eggplant, or cucumber should maybe consumed as non-organic choices to support your daily energy levels. Our body converts the nitrate in vegetables to nitrite, some of which is then converted into nitric oxide (N-O). To learn more on nitric oxide and its cardiovascular and overall health benefits please read my previous blog linked here.
Also please keep in mind I am speaking not only of natural sources of nitrates from veggies, but also antioxidants like anthocyanins, betalains and more, which together support even better health.
I always make sure that the veggies I chose support my nitric oxide and energy levels. They usually come from different flavor families and their textures vary as well.
Another significant point I would like to make is that, it turns out that when you eat other anions like sulphate or thiocyanate containing vegetables that you can affect cell rate nitrate levels quite dramatically. That simply means some plant foods such as cassava, cabbage, turnips, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower may have more benefit for your cardiovascular health and endurance than others.
Sometimes I create pure, earthy vegetable plates with red beets, brussels sprouts, kale and then on top of that I add red spinach. But on other days, I can absolutely go the other way and create my red and green veggies around mild and more neutral ingredients like boy choy (super good other natural nitrate to support your nitric oxide levels) and radish, napa cabbage and zucchini. The last one I cook and the rest I mix as raw veggies to get the full potential of their bioactives and phytochemical sulforaphane. Check out more on this here: Make The Best Of Your Veggies: Synergy Of Whole-food Nitrate Combinations
That’s right – not only do you need to eat the right nutrients to support your daily energy, but you also need to make sure you prepare them correctly so they maintain their nutritional value.
That is why when I travel or am on the go and do not have the privilege of cooking the right plant-based foods at home, I still always make sure I have my valuable “reds” available to me in a drink version: Resync's clinically studied Resync Recovery or Resync Collagen Blend.
Red Spinach Extract
During my trip to Geneva, I had the opportunity to meet the company which makes the powerful red spinach extract that we now use in Resync products to naturally support your nitric oxide levels and deep, clean energy levels.
The benefits of this red veggie go beyond the natural, high amount of nitrates present in its leaves. There is also quite a big difference between green and red spinach, not just in color but also in oxalate levels. It’s important to note that green spinach is high in oxalates, which can contribute to kidney stones and painful urination among other things. Red spinach extract is oxalate free. Learn more about why Resync has the ingredients it does here.
Red Spinach and Health Benefits
Red spinach also contains iron which is essential for your blood health. It is super significant for any endurance activity and even more important to prevent anemia.
Red spinach is also high in potassium. Which plays a very important part in your electrolyte balance and can easily affect how energized you feel.
Besides this, the red leaf is also valued for its high vitamin C content. It is low on calories, carbohydrates, and especially sugar content as well. It is truly a great veggie to support your energy and your cardiovascular endurance on a daily basis.
If you are not lucky enough to find red spinach at a local Asian market, then I invite you to try Resync which is loaded with natural nitrates from red spinach, red beets and additional valuable ingredients like aronia berry and mango extract to support your blood flow, endurance, and cardiovascular health.
Have a joyful and energized day.
If you liked this, I know you'll enjoy reading my other popular blogs:
- My next blog: Key Reasons why you should consume Aronia Berry
- Make The Best Of Your Veggies: Synergy Of Whole-food Nitrate Combinations
- What Is The Best Collagen Supplement On The Market?
- Which Collagen Is Best? How do you find the right supplement for you?
Edited and fact-checked by registered dietitian, Detrick Snyder, MPH, RDN. Updated 09/22/2020