Beetroots are an ancient, prehistoric food that grew naturally along coastlines in North Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Originally, it was the beet greens that were consumed; the sweet red bit that most people think of as a “beetroot” today wasn’t cultivated until the era of ancient Rome.
Herewith some very fine reasons why we should be consuming them on a regular basis.
1. Lowers your blood pressure
Drinking beet juice may help to lower blood pressure in a matter of hours. One study found that drinking one glass of beet juice lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 4-5 points. That’s bright coloured pee coming your way!
The benefit probably comes from the naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are converted into nitric oxide (NO) in your body.
Nitric oxide, in turn, helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
2. Boosts your stamina
If you need a boost to make it through your next workout, beet juice may again prove valuable. Those who drank beet juice prior to exercise were able to exercise for up to 16% longer. It takes about 3-5 beets to get this benefit.
3. Fights inflammation
Beetroots are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins and enzymes from environmental stress.
It’s also known to:
- Protect internal organs,
- Improve vascular risk factors,
- Enhance performance, and
As reported by the World’s Healthiest Foods:
“[Betaine’s]… presence in our diet has been associated with lower levels of several inflammatory markers, including C reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. As a group, the anti-inflammatory molecules found in beets may eventually be shown to provide cardiovascular benefits in large-scale human studies, as well as anti-inflammatory benefits for other body systems.”
4. Help you poo and full of nutrients
Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fibre and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys and pancreas).
Beetroot also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.
5. Detoxification support
The betalin pigments in beets support your body’s Phase 2 liver detoxification process, which is when broken down toxins are bound to other molecules so they can be excreted from your body.
Traditionally, beets are valued for their support in detoxification and helping to purify your blood and your liver.
6. Your brain may work better
Nitric oxide relaxes and dilates your blood vessels, which in turn increases blood flow to the brain—which could bring on better brain function. That’s particularly important as we age, as research finds that our capacity to generate nitric oxide diminishes as we get older, along with our brain’s energy metabolism and neuron activity. So give your brain a boost with beetroot.
If all this wasn’t enough, beetroots are one of the easiest crops to grow ALL year round. Plant some today and then make this recipe.
The Red Salad
I never tire of making this salad.
- 2-3 beetroots, grated
- 2-3 carrot, grated
- 1/2 – 1 red onion, finely sliced
- A good sprinkle of caraway seeds
- A handful of walnuts, chopped
Dry roast a combination of:
- Pine nuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Sesame seeds
Dress with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar and salt to taste. Enjoy!
Until next month, I’ll leave you with this quote:
“The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent, not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.” Tom Robbins