This delicious root veg may look all gnarled and dirty but it offers a real powerhouse of wonderful and essential nutrients. There is nothing simple about beetroot.
Here are a few of its mighty attributes to encourage you to include more beetroot in your diet.
Beets are loaded with antioxidants. In fact the disease fighting antioxidant - beta-cyanine - is what gives the beetroot its dark red colour. The beetroot is listed in the top 10 list of beta carotine-rich foods. You can find it in the peel and the flesh of the beets.
Reduces inflammation. If you struggle with issues caused by chronic inflammation, such as chronic pain, IBS, obesity, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes or heart disease, adding some beetroot to your diet could provide the boost your body needs. Beetroot is packed with anti-inflammatory phytonutrients such as betanin, and isobetanin. These phytonutrients inhibit the enzymes that notify cells to flare up in response to an environmental trigger. No flare up = no inflammation.
Natural multivitamin and mineral. Beetroots and Beet greens are loaded with minerals such as magnesium, potassium and copper, iron and phosphorous - aiding cell function throughout the body. Beets are also a great source of vitamins A, B and C and provide a healthy source of fibre.
Lowers blood pressure. Beetroots are a prime source of phyto-nitrates, which help your body to naturally lower and maintain a healthy blood pressure level. This occurs when the healthy nitrites from the beetroot morph into nitric oxide. This compound opens up the blood vessels, which improves blood flow, therefore lowering pressure.
Try this delicious ferment in honour of this sweet veggie.
800g fresh, raw beets, peeled
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2-3 sprigs of fresh dill
Optional - 1/2 tsp anise seed, caraway seed, allspice or juniper berry.
Grate or thinly slice the beets.
In a large bowl, mix them with the remaining ingredients.
Pack the mixture into a wide mouth jar, pressing on the beets until they express enough liquid to cover.
Add a brine - 1tbsp sea salt dissolved in 1 cup of water if there is not enough liquid to cover.
Leave to sit on your worktop for 7-10 days then refrigerate.
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