Good Mood Food: Beetroot
Eating seasonally is a great way to ensure the vegetables and fruits you are eating pack the most nutritional punch. In season during January is this firm favourite in the wellness world – Beetroot.
After a month of indulgence, many of us are looking to support our bodies with healthful foods. Beetroot can play a starring role here due to its liver friendly properties. As well as supporting the liver, this root vegetable and its juice have been associated with numerous health benefits, including increased exercise performance, improved blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
Liver friendly food
Beetroots and beetroot juice can be used to activate liver enzymes and increase bile, which helps the liver’s natural detoxification function. It also contains fructans, short-chain carbs that feed your beneficial gut bacteria, needed for processes that support all our bodies systems, including the brain. Be warned though, if you have some digestive issues, these fructans can sometimes exacerbate them!
Beetroot is well known to be high in nitrates. Research has shown that diets rich in plant nitrites can have positive health effects, as your body can convert dietary nitrates into nitric oxide. This is essential for your artery walls, sending signals to muscle cells around your arteries and telling your blood vessels relax, dilate and bring blood pressure down. What’s more, studies suggest that these nitrates can enhance physical performance, particularly during high-intensity endurance exercise.
Ready to include beetroot in your recipes? Try this one;
Beetroot & Lentil Salad
- Beetroot (roasted or cooked)
- Feta / Goats cheese
- Cooked lentils (puy or green)
- Rocket & Spinach leaves
- Spring onions or red onion thinly sliced
- Plum tomatoes
- Mixed seeds to sprinkle
Click here to get the Tahini dressing recipe to serve
This salad is so quick you can make it on your lunch break! If you’re in a rush, head to your local supermarket and buy cooked beetroot & some precooked lentils like these ones from Merchant Gourmet. If you’ve got a little longer to spend over your plate, then slowly roast your beetroot in the oven with some thyme and olive oil and cook your lentils while you wait.
Simply wash your greens, chop up your onion of choice and combine all the ingredients. Make your dressing and pour on top with a generous sprinkle of seeds!