Beetroot was first used by the Romans in culinary practices and is known for its many health properties. It has a traditional reputation as a cleanser of the blood, intestines, kidneys and gall bladder. Beetroot contains the nutrients folate, manganese, copper, fibre, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, iron and B6, hence why it is considered such a healthful food. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and helps to support liver detoxification by neutralising toxins for excretion.
Beetroot’s high fibre content ensures it has a minimal impact on blood sugar (peaks and troughs cause hunger and cravings) and it helps push food through the gut for elimination, aiding the digestive process. This means it helps to keep energy levels consistent and is considered a food that can support weight loss as part of a healthy eating regime. More on fibre and weight loss here.
Beetroot does contain oxalate which can bind some minerals reducing absorption and, may contribute to kidney stones for some if too much is consumed, however that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be included in your diet. Cooking for longer does reduce the oxalate levels but also it reduces the nutrient content. Raw beetroot can be grated and added to salads or try marinating steamed beets (steam for 15 mins) with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and mixed herbs.
Now the weather has changed, why not try this tasty beetroot soup recipe?
2 tbsp refined avocado oil, 1 onion chopped, 2 garlic cloves, crushed, 4 large beetroot, peeled and chopped, 2 carrots, peeled and chopped, 1l/35 fl oz/4 cups of stock, 4 tbsp Greek yogurt.
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the beetroot, carrots and stock and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently until soft. Blend and divide into bowls and top with yogurt.