Beetroot sometimes gets left behind in the health and fitness world because, let's face it, it's just not trendy.
Anyone who remembers having to eat the slimy purple stuff as a child was no doubt put off the taste for years.
But in fact, beetroot has always been included in many lists of the most recommended vegetables for health benefits… and if used correctly it can taste AMAZING too.
The vegetable became popular in Roman times as it was then used to treat fever, wounds and skin problems, as well as being used as an aphrodisiac.
Interested now? We thought so.
Yes, while store-bought beetroot is often drenched in overly-sour juices, fresh beetroot is sweet, earthy and tender to eat. So if you want to make this vegetable part of your five-a-day, go for the fresh kind.
It contains potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamins A, B6 and C, folic acid, carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants and soluble fibres. So, see what we mean by a wonder food now?
To make it a bit easier for you we have compiled a list of all the benefits right here:
1. Lower blood pressure
Eating beetroot or drinking beet juice can help lower your blood pressure within an hour. The benefit comes from the naturally occurring nitrates in beetroot. In turn, when released into your body it helps relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and pressure.
2. Fight inflammation
Beetroot has a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protect cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress. It's also known to help fight inflammation as well as protect internal organs.
3. Anti-cancer properties
The powerful pyhtonutrients that give beetroot its deep crimson colour may help fight off cancer. Research has shown that beetroot has reduced multi-organ tumour formations and is also being studied for use in treating pancreatic, breast and prostate cancer.
4. Rich in valuable nutrients and fibres
As seen above beetroot has LOADS of vitamins and nutrients in them which can totally boost your immune system. Minerals like potassium is essential for healthy nerve and muscle functions – while manganese is good for your bones, liver, kidney and pancreas.
The betalin pigments in beetroot support your body's detoxification process, helping to purify your blood and your liver. So if you want to try a detox diet, beetroot is the way to go.