Beetroot on burgers is an Aussie classic, but beets have more health benefits than just jazzing up a burger.

From improving exercise performance, to reducing inflammation, to keeping your gut healthy, beetroot deserves recognition in the functional food hall of fame – read on for our top four reasons why beetroot is a nutritional powerhouse.

Digestion

Beetroot contains 2-3g of fibre per 100g. Fibre is essential for keeping you regular, making you feel full, and keeping your gut bacteria healthy and happy.

Cardiovascular health

A number of studies have shown that beetroot may be beneficial for reducing blood pressure. The exciting thing about the study linked, is that it was conducted on people in real life, who were asked to drink beetroot juice, as opposed to being conducted on animals or in a laboratory setting. If you are being treated for high blood pressure, please talk to your medical professional before changing your treatment regime.

Improved exercise performance

Studies on the effects of beetroot juice and exercise performance have shown that consuming beetroot juice can improve performance in high intensity exercise, running, cycling, and team sports. This has to do with the high levels of nitrate in beetroot, which improves how efficiently your body can utilise oxygen.

Anti-inflammatory effects

Beetroot is one of only a handful of vegetables that contain betalains, which are responsible for beets deep purple red colour. These powerful pigments have been linked to beetroots antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect.

How to enjoy beetroot?

Recipe: Energising ginger beet juice

Adding ginger to beetroot adds an extra anti-inflammatory punch, as well as being really delicious.

If you’ve got a juicer (or your local cafe offers fresh juice!), the combo below is worth trialling as a pre-workout or anytime you need a soothing pick me up.

  • 1 whole beetroot, peeled
  • 2-3cm ginger root, peeled
  • 1 apple or ½ cup of pineapple for sweetness
  • 2-3 carrots

Recipe: Roast Beetroot & Walnut Salad

Balsamic roasted beetroot is one of the most incredible things to add to a salad. It pairs perfectly with walnuts and feta cheese, and can be served warm in winter or cool in the summer.

To roast the beetroot:

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees. Cut 1-2 fresh beetroots into evenly sized cubes – if you cut the beetroot in the sink under running water you won’t stain your hands/bench/everything in sight!

Place all beetroot cubes in a single layer in a roasting dish, and add a drizzle of olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, then top up the tray with cool water til it almost reaches the top of the beetroot cubes. Cover the tray with foil and put in the oven for 35-45 mins.

Check on the beetroot after 35 mins, and if the moisture is gone remove the foil and return to the oven to cook until the beetroot is soft.

To make the beetroot salad:

Mix together in a large bowl salad leaves (arugula, spinach, rocket, anything you like!), the roast beetroot (either cold or warm), cubes of feta cheese, and a handful of walnuts. Incredibly tasty served with roast chicken or grilled salmon.

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