HUMBLE FOODS: BEETROOT
We're in an exciting time when more and more food is being fully researched and appreciated for it's incredible therapeutic abilities, working in synergy within the body to create extraordinary results. These foods are expensive or particularly ground breaking but common, easy to grow and affordable, including autumnal beetroot. Beetroot’s sweet earthiness is an acquired taste that is loved by some and hated by others. A humble superfood, beetroot in the past was celebrated by very few but has now risen in demand and is popping up everywhere! From juice to restaurant menus, paired with boiled eggs and anchovies, blended in hummus and even used in brownies beetroot is having a moment.
One interesting property of beetroot is it’s nitrate content. When ingested, the bodies converts these nitrates in to nitric oxide, this then dilates blood vessels and improves blood flow meaning more oxygen to your muscles. Not only does better blood flow bring you more energy, it also dilates and relaxes blood vessels, which in turn lowers abnormally high blood pressure.
Aside from nitrates, beetroot contains high amounts of anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory phytochemicals, full of water soluble fibre, potassium and vitamin C. These all help fight off the chance of disease aiding in the protection of free radicals, balance out cholesterol levels and aiding any digestive motility. Finally, beetroot is a detox food, improving liver function by thinning bile, allowing it to be flushed out more effectively.
More versatile than you think, try beetroot boiled, roasted, steamed or raw, although be careful it’s amazing vibrant colour can stain anything!