In an age where we live in a society that is obese, yet starving for nutrition, vegetables have never been more important and needed.
The wonderful thing about vegetables, especially when juiced, is that they will cleanse your system of toxicity and feed your body with nutrition at the same time. Exactly what real food is designed to be, the perfect medicine, as well as the perfect nutritional balance your body requires. And if prepared well vegetables taste good!
Beetroot is often on people’s least favorite list of vegetables, perhaps due to it’s incredible staining properties, rather than taste – as actually beetroot it is quite sweet! I deeply respect and have a special place in my heart for beetroot. This is because of it’s absolute power in healing. In my eyes, beetroot is as powerful as a herbal medicine. During my cleansing retreats over the years, I have always warned people from the start, “only put 1/2 a beet in your juice.” If anyone was not listening, or decided to be experimental, the result could be headaches and/or nausea. Yes, beetroot is very detoxifying and 1/2 large-medium beetroot per juice is certainly enough, especially if you are new to juicing.
So what activity does beetroot have in the body? Beetroot is a whole body tonic, a restorative, especially to the heart and kidneys. It will alkalise and purify your blood and liver. It will cleanse, soothe and tone your kidneys. It also has a very powerful anti-inflammatory activity in the body and brilliant for arthritis or any forms of dis-ease where free radicals and inflammatory reactions are occurring, including cancer. Beetroot has been described as God’s gift to constipation, as the soluble fibre softens the stool and acts to promote the peristaltic wave like action of the bowel. (Move over prunes!)
As a vegetable it is delicious raw in a salad, steamed, stir-fried and best of all baked. Beet is brilliant of course in a juice as with the insoluble fibre removed, it hits the cells faster, in greater volume and more deeply, delivering it’s power-packed nutrients and life force. Beetroot will build your blood and is wonderful to be taken juiced during menstruation and will help balance your hormones during menopause. Do not however drink it as a juice alone, and you do not have to, it blends wonderfully with most fruit and veg – pineapple, ginger, apple, parsnip, carrot and any greens.
Beetroot contains Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Vitamin A, B6, C and Folic Acid. It is wonderful for expectant mothers due to it’s tonic affect, folic acid and iron levels. The kidneys have to work hard during pregnancy, so the faithful beetroot will nourish them and keep them in working order. It is worth mentioning, that cooked beetroot has lower levels of folic acid than raw beetroot.
Research has shown that beetroot can reduce blood pressure and therefore reduces associated risks of heart attack etc. The nitrates in beetroot produce nitric oxide in the blood which widens blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. Betacyanin, the pigment that gives beetroot its colour, is an antioxidant. Antioxidants act as free-radical scavengers and reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, in turn protecting artery walls and again reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Beetroot also contains the mineral silica, needed for connective tissue. Silica helps the body utilise calcium, which is important for muscle contraction, musculo-skeletal health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
A recent study by Wake Forest University in North Carolina, USA has shown that the high content of nitrates in beetroot may also help fight the progression of dementia, as nitric oxide in the blood (produced by the nitrates in beetroot) also helps increase blood flow to the brain. I know what I’m having for breakfast!