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Less pain, more gain after exercise with beetroot juice

Drinking beetroot juice after exercise reduces muscle soreness and helps your muscles recover, according to new research from Northumbria University, published in this month’s European Journal of Applied Physiology (EJAP). The authors suggested that the nitrates and betalains in beetroot juice, which have been shown to act as antioxidants, might have aided exercise recovery by preserving muscle function and reducing inflammation.

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beetroot and heart health

Reducing blood pressure

The high content of nitrates in beetroot produce a gas called nitric oxide in the blood which widens blood vessels and helps to lower blood pressure.

Research has shown that beetroot can help reduce blood pressure as well as its associated risks such as heart attacks and strokes. This is because the high content of nitrates in beetroot produce a gas called nitric oxide in the blood which widens blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. A daily dose of 250ml of beetroot juice or 1 to 2 cooked beetroot (approx. 100g) can help dramatically reduce blood pressure and its associated risks. For more information on heart health, help, facts and lifestyle advice, visit the British Heart Foundation.

To juice or not to juice?

Did you know that eating 200g of cooked beetroot provides the same health benefits as drinking 500ml of juice? So whether you are juicer or a snacker you can easily get your 5-a-day with beetroot!

When most people think about beetroot, they think of big vinegary crinkle-cut chunks from a jar and immediately say no! But remember, beetroots are only vinegary when they’re pickled. When simply boiled or roasted they are juicy and sweet as you like. Raw beetroot is amazing in salads, giving you a deep, earthy, minerally flavour, lots of crunch and, of course, incredible colours.

Jamie Oliver

Beetroot is one of those vegetables, such as cauliflower, that many people find unattractive and uninspiring and it usually ends up either boiled into some form of borscht or sliced into a salad, where it soon taints everything pink, as if in reproach at the cook’s lack of imagination.

Heston Blumenthal

beetroot and chicken wraps

Sweet Chilli Infused Beetroot and chicken wraps

Spice up your lunchtime with this quick and easy recipe that’s perfect for sharing. Featuring sweet chilli infused beetroot teamed with creamy avocado, crunchy red onion and healthy wholemeal wraps, the whole family will keep coming back for more.

Beetroot and potato mash

Delight kids with this hot pink mash – use sweet chilli beetroot if they’re a bit older and like it spicy, or plain cooked beetroot if they’re still getting used to different tastes and flavours. Either way, this dish is sure to make an impression at mealtimes and the best bit is it’s another one of their 5-a-day.