We all know that vegetables are great for our health and that we should be eating more of them. The latest Australian Dietary Survey shows that 90 per cent of Australians do not enough vegetables and 50 per cent insufficient fruit.
So where does beetroot fit in and how do you eat it regularly?
WHAT IS IT?
Beetroot is a bright (usually purple) vegetable that is generally eaten cooked or pickled but can be eaten raw. The root is sweet and the most common part to eat, however the leaves can be eaten also and are a little bitter. It is packed with nutrients like vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid as well as an abundance of antioxidants.
The plant pigment that gives beetroot its rich, purple-crimson colour is betacyanin; thought to have antioxidant properties and contains nitrogen. The nitrates in beetroot are of particular popularity to athletes and possibly people with high blood pressure, dilating the blood vessels.
Beetroot is a rich source of folate and manganese and also contains thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, choline, betaine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and selenium.
Beets have also been touted with improving athletic performance by improving muscle oxygenation during exercise from the naturally occurring nitrates, enhancing exercise tolerance during long-term endurance exercise.
The enormous advantage of Beet Powder is the convenience; there is no peeling or boiling required. Beetroot takes a long time to cook and gets messy – the pigment has stained more of my clothes than I care to divulge *must wear an apron*.
HOW DO I USE IT?
A powder can easily be added to recipes for an extra hit of nutrients + antioxidants, including veggie juices, smoothies, soups, dips (add to cottage cheese, ricotta or guacamole), as well as mixed in to yoghurt to use as a healthy dressing on salad or meat dishes.
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