The mighty beet…no we are not talking about the newest dance track but in fact the beautiful pink root vegetable!
The unassuming beet has many nutritional and disease protecting properties…alongside brightening up your salad! Beetroots contain dietary nitrate (NO3) which is broken down in to nitrite (NO2) by enzymes in the saliva in the mouth. Finally the nitrite is broken down into nitrogen oxide (NO). It is this nitrogen oxide which stimulates the blood vessels walls and causes them to vasodilate. When a person’s blood vessels widen it can increase the volume of oxygenated blood which reaches the muscles. It has been proven that this effect can improve endurance performance, reduce blood pressure (in high blood pressure patients), and reduce the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases.
Beets are rich in a phytochemical called Betanin. A phytochemical is any antioxidant present in a plant which has been proven to benefit health. Studies have shown that Betanin can reduce the risk of damage to the DNA from oxidative stress, thereby limiting the chance of certain types of cancer.
Although folate and iron are important to everyone’s health, they are specifically important to women as we are at a greater risk of developing anaemia. Beets are an excellent source of both these minerals, thereby aiding the production of healthy red blood cells and helping fight fatigue.
Have a look at our five new beetroot recipes to help boost your intake!