To generations of children, it is the unpleasant-tasting vegetable that gave Popeye his bulging muscles.
Now it seems that spinach may be able to give our heart extra strength too.
Previous research had already indicated that eating spinach reduces the chances of having a heart attack in the first place.
But the latest findings suggest it also boosts survival rates by a third for those who do suffer an attack.
The tests also revealed that nitrite - found in high quantities in green vegetables such as spinach and lettuce - speeds recovery.
Biochemist Dr Nathan Bryan, of the University of Texas, which carried out the study, recommends eating five to nine ounces of nitrite-rich vegetables a day, three times as much as is typically consumed on current estimates.
Cardiovascular disease is Britain's biggest killer, accounting for four in ten deaths and claiming more than 75,000 lives a year.
The researchers found that mice whose drinking water was supplemented with nitrite for a week before having a heart attack fared better.
They suffered much less cardiac damage and were 33 per cent more likely to survive, reports the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.
Source - Daily Mail