Beetroot. Known for its bright pink colour, sweet taste and iconic addition to any great burger! Commonly associated with savoury dishes, I want to teach you about the immense benefits beetroots hold and how great they can taste in a sweet dish!
The following is a list of the many benefits a serve (1/2 cup) of beetroot can provide to you!
REDUCE BLOOD PRESSURE – which can in turn reduce stroke and heart attack risk! The rich amount of nitrates in beetroot becomes oxidised when mixed with blood forming nitric oxide. This enlarges blood vessels and increases the oxygen content in blood, resulting in decrease blood pressure and a healthy heart.
ANTIOXIDANTS GALORE - Colourful fruits and vegetables are known to contain antioxidant properties! Due to beetroots glorious red colour, it is known to contain beta cyanine! This antioxidant can reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) and in turn keep our hearts healthy!
BRAIN POWER – Once again due to the powerful little nitrates in beetroot, consumption can improve oxygenation to the brain, slowing the progression of dementia in older adults. Blood flow to certain areas of the brain decrease with age and leads to a decline in cognition, so consuming a diet high in nitrates can improve the blood flow and oxygenation to these areas!
FULL of FIBRE – beetroot contains 4g of fibre per serve and resultantly ensures your digestion is optimal!
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY – Beetroot contains an important nutrient – Choline! This nutrient helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory and also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation which is a major issue within our society today!
EXERCISE PERFORMANCE – now this is cool!! Beetroot juice supplementation has been shown to enhance exercise tolerance during long-term endurance exercise. Quality of life for those with cardiovascular, respiratory, or metabolic diseases, who find the activities of daily living physically difficult because of lack of oxygenation, could be improved!!! How amazing! Beetroot juice improved performance by 11 seconds, in a 4-km bicycle time trial and by 45 seconds, in a 16.1-kilometer time trial! WOAH! Gimme some of that!
The thing I love about food is that there are endless possibilities of ways you can use it, some which can make the food more tolerable, some which can increase the nutritional properties and some which don’t even require eating! Here are some of my favourite uses for beetroot:
Make your own beetroot juice by peeling beetroot and blending with a combination of fresh orange, mint and pineapple or apples, lemon, and ginger. YUUUMMM!! So refreshing!
Grate raw beets and add them to your favorite salad or even a bolognaise sauce!
Roast beetroots in 200°C oven for 30-40 minutes and then top with goat cheese, crushed walnuts and a drizzle of honey!
Slice raw beets and serve them with lemon juice and a sprinkle of chili powder.
DANDRUFF FIGHTER - Beetroot juice contains protein, phosphorus, potassium and many other essential vitamins and minerals, which improve blood flow to the scalp. It has anti-septic and anti- inflammatory properties, which remove and heal the dead skin and condition the scalp to make it healthy and dandruff free and it strengthens the root of the hair and opens the dead pores to make them absorb more nutrients into the scalp. Simply, boil beets in a cup of water and allow the water to cool. Remove the beets and massage the concentrated liquid into your scalp. Make sure you rinse well otherwise you will have red roots!!
I must admit I am one of those people who when told “less is more” ignores that advice COMPLETELY and will instead use half the product in the first use or drench my whole meal with the “SUPERFOOD”. I think that especially in regards to products and foods that are deemed “healthy” for you, people are more likely to consume/use extra in the hope that it will make them SUPER HEALTHY, SUPER QUICK! Though I have come to realise that sometimes having too much of a good thing can actually to more harm than good! It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health, therefore, it is better to eat a diet with variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health! Some of the not so happy side effects that can occur if you overdo it are:
If improperly stored, beetroot may accrue bacteria that convert nitrate to NITRITE and contaminate the juice. High levels of nitrite can be potentially harmful if consumed, so ensure you store your beetroots correctly by storing them in plastic bag in the refrigerator. But do not wash them before refrigerating!
Drinking beetroot juice may cause red urine or stool. Some people may like this I guess? Hehehe!
Serves: 12 balls
1 small cooked beet (I used Love Beets pre-cooked beets)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup almond butter
2 pitted dates
1/4 cup rice malt syrup
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp cacao powder
Mix all ingredients in a food processor until blended
Roll into small balls
Store in freezer for 30 minutes
Eat them all up. Easy as 1.2.3!