Not only is beetroot great for boosting stamina and making muscles work harder, it also contains potassium, magnesium and iron as well as vitamins A, B6 and C, and folic acid. Beets also contain carbohydrates, protein, powerful antioxidants and soluble fibre. What’s more, just three baby beetroot equal one of your recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Read on to find out more about how ruby red beets can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle…
Reduces blood pressure and the risk of heart attacks and strokes
Beetroot can help reduce blood pressure as well as its associated risks such as heart attacks and strokes. This is because the high content of nitrates in beetroot produce a gas called nitric oxide in the blood which widens blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. A daily dose of 250ml of beetroot juice or 1 to 2 cooked beetroot (approx. 100g) can help dramatically reduce blood pressure and its associated risks.
Powerful antioxidant properties Betacyanin, the pigment that gives beetroot its colour, is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants are believed to help reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, in turn protecting artery walls and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Folic acid Beetroot contains folic acid which is essential for normal tissue growth. Folic acid is crucial to the development of a baby’s spinal cord during the first three months of pregnancy and can help prevent spinal cord defects such as spina bifida. Beetroot also contains iron so is a fab pick-me-up for mums-to-be suffering from fatigue during pregnancy. Expectant mums must remember though that cooked beetroot has lower levels of folic acid than raw beetroot.
Reduces risk of osteoporosis Beetroot contains the mineral silica. This helps the body to utilize calcium, which is important for muscle and skeletal health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Lowers cholesterol Beetroot contains soluble fibre, which has also been shown to have cholesterol lowering capabilities. It also contains carotenoids and flavonoids, which help prevent LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol from being oxidized and deposited in the arteries.
Stabilizes blood sugar Beet is virtually fat free and low in calories. Although it has a ‘medium’ GI (Glycaemic Index) of 64, It has an extremely low GL (Glycaemic Load) of 2.9 which means it’s converted into sugars very slowly and therefore helps to keep blood sugar levels stable.
Treats anaemia and fatigue Beetroot’s iron content means it’s good for those with anaemia and fatigue.
Here is one of my favourite beetroot salad recipe:
Beet Salad with Arugula:
- 6 medium (2 lbs) beets
- 5 oz (6 cups) baby arugula, rinsed and spun dry
- 4 oz or 1/2 cup feta cheese, diced or crumbled**
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or finely minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
How to Make Beet Salad with Arugula:
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line the bottom of a medium rimmed baking sheet with foil. Wrap each beat tightly in a sheet of foil and arrange lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until largest beet is easily pierced. Unwrap beets and cool to room temperature then peel the skins and slice into halves and then wedges.
- Toast 1/2 cup pecans on a dry skillet, tossing frequently until golden and fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Transfer arugula to a large mixing bowl then add remaining salad ingredients: sliced beets, feta cheese, toasted pecans and dried cranberries.
How To Make Balsamic Vinaigrette:
In a small mason jar, combine all dressing ingredients and shake well to combine. Drizzle over salad to taste. If not serving salad right away, shake the dressing again just before drizzling over salad.
P.S. Use disposable gloves to keep your hands clean. Rub the beet and the skins will come right off. Slice off the root end to discard all part of the beet that touched foil.
Let’ start adding Beetroot to our daily salads!