If I asked what vegetable packs the biggest punch in terms of nutrients, kale or spinach would probably be near the top of everyone’s list. But what about the humble beetroot? I know Popeye wasn’t chowing down on this incredible red vegetable to get his amazing powers, but he should’ve been. Beetroot is like the red powerfood, spinach’s amazing cousin. Cooked or raw, solid food or juice, what can’t the beetroot do? First of all let’s take a look at just some of the benefits of beets, then I’ll share with you a favourite veggie juice, headlined by beets.
Top 5 Benefits of Beetroots
1. Increased blood flow and reduced blood pressure
Beets contain nitrates that convert in the body to nitric oxide. The nitric oxide allows for the expansion of the blood vessels giving you more oxygen. As a result, beets have been shown to reduce resting blood pressure and allow athletes to benefit from increased blood flow. The British Heart Foundation funded a study which compared the blood pressure of people drinking beetroot juice, having a placebo drink or taking nitrate tablets. Both the real beetroot drink and the nitrate tablet takers noticed a drop in blood pressure. And as I’m all for eating natural food, I’d rather drink a regular glass of beetroot juice than have a tablet.
2. High in anti-oxidants
The blood-red color of beets comes from antioxidants called betalains, which are known to reduce cancer, inflammation, diabetes and heart disease. Beets also contain tryptophan, which relaxes the mind. Interestingly, tryptophan is also found in chocolate. (Don’t just go and eat chocolate, though, this beetroot juice tastes amazing).
3. High in vitamins and minerals
Beets contain high levels of vitamins A, B & C; beta-carotene, beta-cyanine; folic acid; potassium, magnesium, fibre, phosphorus iron.
4. Improved brain health
Due to the increased blood flow caused by beets it has been found to improve brain health and is a natural remedy to reduce the onslaught of dementia.
5. Nature’s viagra
Umm, what? Beets have been known since Roman times to be an aphrodisiac. Apparently they contain boron which is a sex hormone. And if you read point number one above you will know that beets increase blood flow. Say no more!
So here’s a beetroot juice recipe that’s brimming with nutrients, anti-oxidants and most importantly, taste. Pop the ingredients into a juicer – a slow press juicer is best – and juice.