As summer approaches our thoughts go to salads rather than stews and what better vegetable to add into your salads than the beautiful beetroot!
What is beetroot?
Beetroot (Beta Vulgaris) is a root vegetable also known as red beet, table beet, garden beet or just plain beet.
It is proclaimed as one on the healthiest veggies. It is the root portion of the beet plant. Mostly grown on the coastlines of North Africa, Europe and Asia for their edible roots and leaves.
Apart from being used as food beetroot is also used as a food colourant and as a medicinal plant.
They are packed with essential nutrients and are a fabulous source of:
- Fibre. A high-fibre diet may lower the risk of developing haemorrhoids and small pouches in the colon (diverticular disease). Studies have shown that a high-fibre diet is likely to lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
- Folate (vitamin B9). One of the B vitamins, folate is important for normal tissue growth and cell function.
- Manganese. An essential trace element it is found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes in high quantities.
- Potassium. A diet high in potassium can led to reduced blood pressure levels and have a positive effect on heart health.
- Vitamin C. Essential for immune function and skin health
- Iron has many important functions in the body. It is necessary for the transport of oxygen and red blood cells.
There are many varieties, many of which are recognised by their colour – white, pink, yellow or dark purple. They are delicious raw but can be cooked or pickled. Their leaves are delicious too, add them to your salad!
We know it as beetroot or beet and is called Chukandar in Hindi, Remolachas in Spanish, and Hong cai tou in Chinese!
Health benefits of beetroot
There are numerous health benefits of the beautiful beetroot, let’s take a look at 5 of them:
- Can help fight inflammation.
Beetroot contains important pigments called betalins, which have been found to have various anti-inflammatory properties. Ongoing inflammation in the body is linked to several diseases including:
- Type II diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
More studies in humans are needed to verify whether enjoying beetroot in normal amounts as part of a healthy diet may provide these anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Helps control high blood pressure.
High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels and heart. It is among the strongest risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and premature death worldwide!
Beetroot contains nitrates, this means they boost the body’s levels of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a naturally occurring gas in the body which tells the blood vessels to expand, increasing blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
- Improved exercise performance
Several studies suggest that dietary nitrates like those found in beetroot may enhance athletic performance.
Nitrates appear to affect physical performance by improving the efficiency of mitochondria, which is responsible for producing energy in the cells.
One study found that the stamina-boosting properties of drinking beetroot juice could actually help you exercise for up to 16% longer.
- Can help maintain healthy bones.
Magnesium, along with copper and folate which are all found in beetroot help bones grow stronger.
- Fabulous source of fibre
Eating beetroot is a fantastic way to boost fibre intake, just one cup of beautiful beetroot contains 3.8 grams of fibre!
Fibre can help control:
- Blood sugar levels
- Lower cholesterol
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Reduced risk of colon cancer
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Reduced risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBS)
- Prevents constipation.
A word of caution ………
Beetroot is usually well tolerated – except for those of you who are prone to kidney stones! They are rich in oxalates which has been shown to contribute to kidney stones.
Eating beetroot can also turn urine pink or red, which is harmless but often confused for blood!
If you would like some further information or to speak to a member of our team please call us on: Hitchin 01462 420077 or Luton 01582 579687, alternatively e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or [email address=”email@example.com”