If you are trying to detoxify your system, load up on antioxidants and give your body all the vitamins and minerals it needs to function at its best… you might want to start adding beetroots to your diet!
With a strong anti-inflammatory profile, beets are great for supporting your own body’s detoxification pathways: not only they stimulate liver function, they also help remove toxins from your digestive system by providing good quality fibre. Their fibre content ensures regular waste removal from your bowel, while also lowering cholesterol levels.
At the same time, phytonutrients contained in beetroots called betalains stimulate phase 2 liver detoxification pathway – a great way to improve your energy levels, improve excretion of old hormones and getting rid of toxins. A word of caution: because of the colourful compounds they contain, eating beets can cause your urine and stool to turn pink or red – this is perfectly normal and you should not worry!RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Beetroot juice in particular also contains a high concentration of chemicals called nitrates that your body transforms into nitric oxide, which has a relaxant effect on blood vessels: this leads to improved circulation, lower blood pressure and increased stamina – it is therefore the perfect drink to include in your workout regime.
Try using beetroot juice as a base for your green smoothies: adding ginger, a squeeze of lemon and blending with your favourite greens will provide a delicious anti-inflammatory, nutrition-packed detox drink.
But it is not just the bright pink roots deserving a superfood status: did you know that beet greens are higher in nutritional value and lower in calories than beetroots? They are richer in calcium and vitamin K for bone health, iron for strong hair and nails, and vitamin A + C for skin health and immunity.
Like all green leafy vegetables, they are also a great source of magnesium and folic acid.If the greens are fresh-looking, with no sign of spoilage, they can be included in your green smoothie, or added to soups, stews or stir-fries: use them as you would use spinach, chard or kale (beetroots actually belong to the same family of chard and spinach).
With their vibrant colour and sweet taste, beetroots can be easily incorporated in your diet: beetroot juice, alone or mixed with other vegetables, will surprise you with its deep and sweet flavour; you can shred a raw beetroot in your salad, with fennel, carrots and rocket – sprinkle with some toasted pumpkin seeds, and you’ll have a quick nutrition-packed, low-fat, anti-inflammatory meal!
Or why not add chopped beetroots to soups and stews – they will add to the fibre, vitamins and minerals content of your meal, while also giving a deep earthy flavour which combines particularly well with lentils.
Just remember: long cooking times cause loss of vitamins, minerals and enzymes – try to include raw beetroots or lightly steam them. If you want them to retain their bright colour, use lemon juice – also great to remove stains they might leave on your hands.