11 Jan Why you should eat beetroot
Food is far more than fuel. It’s information for your body, a means to connect with others and a profound way of nourishing yourself—both inside and out.
They say knowledge is power but, when it comes to food, you could also say knowledge is self-care. When we know how specific foods influence us, we’re empowered to make healthy, positive choices.
Read on to discover the benefits of eating beetroot, including my favourite ways to enjoy it.
Beetroot is a root vegetable with a distinctive reddish-purple colour. It’s related to chard, spinach and—believe it or not—quinoa! In the UK, beetroot is in season from July until January.
REASONS TO EAT BEETROOT
1. It supports gut health. This vegetable is a particularly rich source of glutamine—the amino acid that plays an important role in maintaining gut integrity .
2. It has anti-inflammatory properties. Beetroot contains special phytonutrients that can help to dial down inflammatory processes . We now know that chronic inflammation is an underlying factor of many conditions.
3. It supports detoxification. The colour of beetroot comes from a pigment called betalain. Studies in animals have shown that betalains boost detoxification processes in the liver, and may therefore help to eliminate toxins from our body .
HOW TO SELECT THE BEST BEETROOT
Go for a small to medium-sized beetroot, as this is likely to be more tender. Give it a squeeze to check that it’s firm, and make sure the skin is smooth and unwrinkled.
Although the quality of the leaves doesn’t necessarily indicate the quality of the root, it’s worth picking those that still have fresh-looking, unspoiled leaves, as you can eat these too.
To store, leave unwashed and keep two inches of stems attached as this prevents them from ‘bleeding’. You’ll need to eat the leaves within a few days, but you can keep the roots in the fridge for a week or more.
It’s also possible to buy beetroot ready-cooked and vacuum-packed! This is a good option too—just make sure there’s no added sugar.
EASY BEETROOT RECIPES
I love beetroot with the sharp, salty, creamy flavour of feta cheese. It also goes well with crunchy walnuts. For more inspiration, here are a few of my go-to recipes:
Both easy and inexpensive to make, these make for a nutritious alternative to conventional crisps. Find the recipe here.
Beetroot, bean and feta salad
This simple recipe makes the most of natural flavours. It ages well, too, so make a double portion for dinner and have some for lunch the next day. Find the recipe here.
Baked beetroot falafels
What I like most about this recipe is that many of its ingredients are things you already have in your store cupboard. I like to make mine gluten-free, so I simply use rice flour instead of plain flour and wrap the falafel in lettuce leaves rather than pita bread! Find the recipe here.
For help with your nutrition goals, please feel free to get in touch.