So revered was the beetroot in ancient Greece, that it was regularly submitted as an offering on a silver platter to the god Apollo at the temple at Delphi. There is a glorious variety of beetroot available in delis and better supermarkets nowadays, from white to golden to candy, as well as the familiar purple. It’s super versatile and you can include it in almost anything. However, the magic of the brilliant beetroot is its many health benefits.
Rich in beta-carotene, it is a powerful anti-carcinogen which is bound to the red colouring of the vegetable.
Beetroot delivers high levels of folic acid, making it an essential dietary addition to women of child-bearing age or those trying for small people.
Its high levels of potassium and iron are invaluable for those getting over a viral illness or suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome such as ME. Finally, it is packed full of Vitamin B6, which helps protect against heart disease and aids regulation of the immune and nervous systems.
We always end up chopping off the leaves and throwing them out, but they are an excellent source of calcium, helping to build strong bones and avoid osteoporosis, as well as high levels of vitamin C. You can cook them the way you would spinach or include them in your daily juice. Not only do you get the full nutritional benefits, but you also have so much less waste!
If you are keen on fitness, beetroot should be part of your recovery programme. The vegetable can increase the cellular uptake of oxygen by up to 400 per cent.
More recently the University of Northumbria conducted tests and found that beetroot juice can reduce muscle stress after a workout, due to its anti-inflammatory properties giving you more gain and less pain.
If this doesn’t inspire you to eat it at least once a week, here are a couple of my favourite recipes to really whet your appetites.
Rainbow Beetroot Salad
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