In the spirit of my love affair with food (seriously if we were in a relationship, food would have a restraining order out against me) I've renamed today 'Tasty Tuesday'. Every Tuesday I'll be posting general nutrition chat and there may even be the odd recipe here and there (be warned - Nigella I am not).
Today it's the turn of a veggie that's been on my mind for a while (that looks weirder written down than it did in my head) and it's been getting more and more press in recent months. Yes, you've guessed it (or maybe not), I'm talking about the beetroot.
So what's the big deal about these little purple delights? Well, firstly they're really high in nutritional value - i.e. you get a lot of micronutrients for your buck! They're rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C. They're also a great source of folic acid, fibre, potassium and manganese.
In terms of their health benefits, it's been suggested that beetroots can help lower blood pressure, prevent dementia and also enhance athletic performance. Oh, and they may or may not turn your pee pink - fair warning!
It's possible that the effect on performance is due to the nitrates in beetroot reducing the body's 'oxygen cost' when taking part in endurance sports such as long distance running/cycling, but research is still ongoing. I'll stop blinding you with science now, promise.
Endurance athletes like Amelia Boone (OCR Goddess, lawyer extraordinaire and general girl crush, if you don't know who she is Google her immediately or maybe after you've finished this post) have long been vocal in their belief in the benefits of beetroot and, although research is still ongoing and the jury is still out on the 'real' benefits of this unassuming veggie, I figured I'd test it out for myself.
Jumping in with both feet without looking as is my preferred way of doing things, I'm going to spend the next month increasing my beet consumption (whole and juiced) to see if I notice any difference in performance and I'll keep you guys updated. So watch this space for beetroot-related updates. I know, I know - you can hardly wait! Am I right?!
So far today:
4 whole beetroots consumed - result: still not a pro athlete (dammit)! That said, I would highly recommend one of today's lunches (yes, one of): beetroot, feta cheese and spinach leaves with a little olive oil and black pepper.
For more information on the benefits of beetroot check out this article in Coach magazine.
All opinions are my own and this blog is intended for motivational and informational purposes only. The information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult a medical professional before starting a training or nutrition program.