199. Popeye’s Strength


Popeye the sailor, has done more for promoting spinach than any other sales person ever dreamed possible. When Popeye made his first appearance in 1930s, spinach consumption rose dramatically by 33% !

Why? Spinach, so full of iron, was thought to be the cause of Popeye’s fabulous strength and bulging muscles. Actually this belief that spinach promotes strength was caused by a simple mathematical error.

The Nutrition researchers had placed the decimal point in the wrong place –one digit farther to the right of where it should have been! This credited spinach with 10 times more iron than it actually contained.

Modern Nutritionists believe that as a source of iron, spinach is no better nor worse than any other green vegetable. Its iron content is only average. Even this iron is practically useless as our body can not absorb it directly.

Later, in 1940s, nutritionists discovered the spinach had Folic acid and that does make a person strong. So the real secret of the super human strength and the bulging muscles of Popeye was the Folic acid found in Spinach and not its iron content!

Visalakshi Ramani

2 Responses to 199. Popeye’s Strength

  1. Great post, I really like your writing style, keep it up.

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