So, why a beetroot?
Here is why I am a fan of the beautiful beetroot:
Beetroots contain phytonutrients referred to as betalains, which give them their colouring. These phytonutrients are known to have the following beneficial properties:
They are known to contain the following nutrients (in order of amount): Folate, manganese, potassium, copper, fibre, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B6.
Studies are ongoing of the effects of betalains on inflammatory conditions such heart disease, type II diabetes and cancer. The nitrate content of beetroots is also being studied for the use in cardiovascular conditions (e.g. high blood pressure).
What is the best way to eat beetroots?
Betalain loss increases with cooking time so here is the best way to eat your beets: wash them, keeping the skin on, quarter them, then steam for no more than 15minutes. Eat the greens as well, as you would spinach or chard as they contain carotenoids. If you are roasting them try and keep it to the minimum time needed. Beetroot juice (organic) is a great way to increase your intake (I recommend having with some pureed root ginger and maybe a little bit of good quality apple juice to take the earthy edge off).
Your urine may become pink or red after consuming beetroots - this is normal!