The Olympics have passed and the Paralympics are underway, a year late and without any crowds but elite athletes now have the opportunity to achieve their dreams. I am an Olympics fan and keep myself updated each day regarding who has won what, and it was whilst reading a daily update that I came across an article extolling the benefits of beetroot juice! Legitimate research has been carried out and there appears to be genuine benefits of consuming beetroot juice. In 2011, a study found that cyclists improved their performance by 2.8%, a significant improvement when you are searching for any marginal gains. A further study in 2015, found that drinking beetroot juice improved the performance of Australian Kayakers. As a result, way back in 2018, the Olympic Committee formally recognised beetroot as a sports food!
Obviously not many of us Boldies fall into the category of ‘elite athlete’ but beetroot juice can still have tremendous benefits for your average person. One of the biggest benefits is that it can lower your blood pressure. A study originally published in 2014 found that drinking beetroot juice daily reduced both your systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Beetroot juice contains nitrates that convert into nitric oxide in the blood, which helps to widen and relax your blood vessels.
A study in 2011 suggests that beetroot juice can also slow the progress of dementia. Those nitrates also help increase blood flow to the brain in older people, therefore potentially slowing cognitive decline.
It is also very low in calories and contains hardly any fat. Put it in your morning smoothie to help with weight management.
It contains a whole host of minerals to keep your body functioning at its best. Potassium, iron, magnesium, sodium, zinc, copper and selenium can all be found in beetroot juice.
Research also suggests that consuming beetroot juice regularly can help support your liver and could also help with lowering your cholesterol levels.
If you do decide to add beetroot juice to your diet, it’s always a good idea to begin with small quantities to see how your body reacts. Do be aware that if you suffer from low blood pressure drinking beetroot juice could make this worse. It could also turn your urine red or pink, although that may be a shock, it is quite harmless!
Beetroot – high in fibre, low in calories and full of vitamins and minerals!