Why is beetroot good for you? Let us count the ways
Beetroot is big news for A/W15. From roasted wedges to chilled Eastern European-inspired soups, this bold root is popping up everywhere. And this is one foodie trend getting involved with. Not only is beetroot great for boosting stamina and making muscles work harder, it is a veritable nutritional powerhouse, and it really pretties up a salad.
1. Beetroot reduces blood pressure, heart attacks and stroke risk
Research has shown that beetroot can help reduce blood pressure as well as its associated risks such as heart attacks and strokes. This is because the high content of nitrates in beetroot produce a gas called nitric oxide in the blood which widens blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.
A daily dose of 250ml of beetroot juice or 1 to 2 cooked beetroot (approx. 100g) can help dramatically reduce blood pressure and its associated risks.
2. Beetroot packs antioxidant properties
Betacyanin, the pigment that gives beetroot its colour, is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants are believed to help reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, in turn protecting artery walls and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
3. Beetroot is a source of folic acid
Folic acid is crucial to the development of a baby’s spinal cord during the first three months of pregnancy and can help prevent spinal cord defects such as spina bifida. Beetroot also contains iron so is a fab pick-me-up for mums-to-be suffering from fatigue during pregnancy. Expectant mums must remember though that cooked beetroot has lower levels of folic acid than raw beetroot.
4. Beetroot reduces risk of osteoporosis
It’s all down to the mineral silica. This helps the body to utilise calcium, which is important for musculo-skeletal health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
5. Beetroot can lower cholesterol
That’s thanks to the soluble fibre, which has also been shown to have cholesterol lowering capabilities. It also contains carotenoids and flavonoids, which help prevent LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol from being oxidised and deposited in the arteries.
6. Beetroot stabilises blood sugar
Did you know beetroot is virtually fat free and low in calories? Although it has a ‘medium’ GI (Glycaemic Index) of 64, It has an extremely low GL (Glycaemic Load) of 2.9 which means it’s converted into sugars very slowly and therefore helps to keep blood sugar levels stable.
7. Beetroot helps to slow progression of dementia
A recent study by Wake Forest University in North Carolina, USA has shown that the high content of nitrates in beetroot may also help fight the progression of dementia, as nitric oxide in the blood (produced by the nitrates in beetroot) also helps increase blood flow to the brain. Beetroot’s folic acid may also play a part as studies suggest it can help protect against Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Want more on why beetroot is good for you? For more recipe ideas, health information and facts visit www.lovebeetroot.co.uk