Using beetroot in cooking adds a fabulous anti-oxidant hit as well as being visually stimulating. There are lots of reported benefits especially in the area of heart health. Reportedly, it is the high nitrate levels which offer such cardiovascular support and may offer a low cost and effective way to reduce high blood pressure.
As I’m currently researching a lecture on ageing, I am also interested in dementia and how this condition may be benefitted by the use of super-foods.
Researchers at Wake Forest University have found that drinking beetroot juice can improve oxygenation in the brain which may slow the development of dementia in older adults.
Diabetes is another topic which I am always keen to learn more about. Beets may be of use here as they contain good levels of alpha-lipoic acid. ALA is an anti-oxidant which for a diabetic may have many useful functions; reportedly ALA lowers glucose levels, improves insulin sensitivity and inhibits oxidative stress. Additionally this anti-oxidant has been shown to decrease neuropathy (damage to the peripheral nerves) which is often a concern with this prevalent condition.
With any super-food this is NOT a golden bullet but a great addition to a healthy diet.
(Some information from www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277432.php)
Making a fibre and protein rich dip containing beetroot would be a sensible choice, as the addition of these macro-nutrients slows down the rate at which sugar is absorbed.
This recipe is super delicious served as part of a mezze or a dip with crudities.
1 pack of ready cooked mini beetroot (I use the CO-OP one with a hint of chilli)
½ tin chickpeas
Snippets of coriander
3 segments of a satsuma
A good glug of olive oil
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
Squeeze of lemon juice
Black pepper and a smidge of salt to taste
Blend all the ingredients in a blender or mini-chopper. Add more olive oil a little at a time to create your desired consistency.