You may or may not be a beetroot fan, but I bet you’ll be reaching for them after reading this.
The idea for this post came to me strangely enough after watching an episode of “Come Dine With Me”, a popular cooking show where random strangers are put together in competition to see who can win a cash prize for best dinner host. They each take a turn to cook and host at their house and are then rated from 1-10 by their team mates.
On this particular episode that I was watching a beetroot farmer was one of the competitors. He put beetroot in just about every single one of his dishes…a little over the top I thought, but I was intrigued. His guests were oohing and aahing over his food as almost intoxicated by beets! He spoke a bit about the benefits of beetroot, and how he would definitely be winning due to his beetroot spell!
Those sneaky beets couldn’t be beat!
I had to eat beetroot instantaneously!
I’ve always eaten them as I know they are really good for you but I was compelled to dig a little further into their spellbound, superfood benefits.
I am now making beetroot falafel, beetroot salads, currently on a mission to make a beetroot chocolate cake, and I’ll probably try to make butter out of them too!!
The Beet of the Matter
Let me just start by saying that since the roman times, beetroot has been viewed as an aphrodisiac. Enough said 🙂 They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They can be eaten raw in salads (leaves and all), cooked, boiled, baked, steamed, juiced, or used in desserts. They’re not only great eaten but are also found in natural skin care products, or as food coloring for food and beverages…even some not so healthy beverages. Lets not forget sugar production on that list as well.
Is Beetroot a Superfood?
Yes, the humble beetroot is a superfood. These crimson red vegetables are about as nutritionally potent as they come. To name just a few benefits:
- Beetroot has one of the richest sources of nitrates. Scientists suggest that when ingested our body converts nitrates into nitric oxide, a chemical that helps to lower blood pressure.
- It boasts a high source of iron, amino acids, antioxidants, and carotenoids.
- It’s high in folic acid making it essential in pregnancy to help prevent birth defects.
- Contains vitamin A, C and K.
- Feeling constipated? Beetroot juice is a laxative and diuretic, best used diluted. Use with caution as they can also bring on diarrhea! RED diarrhea!
- Beets have anti-inflammatory properties and is beneficial in treating skin inflammations such as acne, boils, and pimples.
- It helps lower bad cholesterol with its soluble fibre content.
- Its high iron levels help treat anemia and fatigue.
Beets For Hair & Body
It’s no secret that with one touch of a beet your hands become pink…sort of like that horrible fake tan…only much much better for the skin and not quite as stinky! Back in the day’s women used to use it as a blush or to add a bit of a healthy glow to pale skin. You can still find it today in many high-end skincare products, make-up, lipsticks and face masks.
When applied to the hair it helps to eliminate itchy dry scalp. It can be mixed with vinegar and applied to the scalp to help cleanse dandruff and psoriasis. This magic potion also makes for a subtle hair tint. Simple rinse your hair with a bit of beet juice!
Eating and drinking beet juice also becomes an anti-aging tool as its powerful antioxidants neutralize free-radicals helping prevent aging, wrinkles and fine lines.
A Word of Caution
Since beets are so powerful they have to be eaten with caution. Pay special attention if you’re juicing them making sure it’s diluted when drinking bearing in mind its laxative effect. You can mix them with carrot and apple juice, yum! If you suffer from very low blood pressure eat in moderation as its magical effects help to lower blood pressure.