The Benefits of Beetroot

Have you ever looked at the beautiful purple beetroot vegetable and given it credit for all the wonderful nutritional features it has?

Amongst many other great components, beetroots contains 3 main beneficial characteristics; high fiber content, antioxidants and nitrates.

Beetroot contains about 4g of fiber per cup, this fiber is soluble fiber which assists with cardiovascular health as well as ensuring a good functioning colon.

The nitrates in beetroot convert to nitric oxide once they have been ingested. Nitric oxide is a chemical that has been linked to assisting in lowering blood pressure. 

Beetroot is an exceptionally rich source of many anti-oxidant compounds, in particular the betalain pigments that have shown to protect the cellular components from oxidative injury. Beetroot contains several highly bioactive phenolics, such as rutin, epicatechin and caffeic acid, which are also known to be excellent antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances found naturally in food. They protect your body’s cells from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Some free radicals are formed from normal body processes when it uses oxygen. Others come from pollutants such as cigarette smoke. Antioxidants protect your cells from the damage caused by free radicals.

There is some recent research into the use of beetroot for recreational athletes, where it has been found to improve muscle oxygenation, especially for endurance events.

Beetroots are very versatile and can be used in many dishes, including salads, roasted veggie wraps, couscous salads and many more.

Enjoy these purple power-nutrient dense veggies regularly. 

  •  Chantal Walsh RD (SA)