First cultivated by the Romans, beetroot belongs to the same family as spinach and chard. It is a vegetable best suited to cooler growing conditions, it’s an important part of Slav and Nordic and now, far more international cooking. Beetroot has a history of being used as a medicine, particularly for disorders of the liver as it helps the liver detoxification process. As well as this, it has many other benefits so read on to discover our Top 5 Health Benefits of Beetroot!
1. Reduces inflammation
Beetroot is a source of the nutrient betaine, which protects cells from environmental stress and fights inflammation. Often, levels of inflammation in the body are too high (due to factors such as stress and consumption of processed foods) which can make the body vulnerable to disease. Foods like beetroot that reduce this inflammation are therefore important to include in your diet.
2. Improves muscle performance
Beetroot is a natural source of nitrates, which improve muscle performance and can boost your stamina – it helps the body to use less oxygen, therefore reducing tiredness whilst exercising. In one study, those who drank beetroot juice before a workout were able to exercise for up to 16% longer! Additionally, drinking beetroot juice after exercise has been found to reduce muscle soreness and enhance recovery. Take note that Olympians and athletes in high level competitive training are well aware of the edge beetroot can bring to their game!
3. Supports your liver
The liver is your largest internal organ, and one of its main tasks in the body is to produce bile, in which the body dumps toxins such as excess sex hormones, pesticides, and chemicals. Beetroot contains compounds called glutathiones, which thin this bile and allows it to carry toxins to the small intestine more easily. Supporting the ability of the liver to carry out this detoxification process allows your body to function properly in other ways too – for example, a healthy liver ensures an effective immune system and increases your energy levels. The fibre in beetroot also helps to clear the digestive tract of toxins and help prevent constipation.
4. Lowers high blood pressure
Consuming beetroot has been shown in various studies to reduce high blood pressure and arterial stiffness. High levels of nitrate in beetroot are turned into nitric oxide in the body, which relaxes and dilates blood vessels.
5. Packed with nutrients
Beetroot is high in immune-boosting Vitamin C , potassium; needed for healthy nerve function and Vitamin B6; for nerve function as well as healthy hair and skin.
So there you have it – 5 great reasons why you should consider consuming more of this purply wonder bulb! Try blending beetroot into soups, or grating it raw for a bright addition to your salad. Beetroot juice is also great for a pre-workout boost to improve your stamina and performance, add a lemon twist for a truly wholesome super-drink! Into beetroot? Tell us your fave recipes below or @ keepfitkingdom !