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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!

I don't understand why I spent my entire childhood pushing beetroot round my plate as if it was deadly nightshade. It's red, it's sweet, what's for a child not to like? The life-changing moment was when I made a dish of sliced beetroot in cream to go with slices of bloody, melting roasted rib of beef. The deeply savoury, crusty bits around the beef and the warm, sweet cream was love at first forkful.

Nigel Slater

Beetroot is sadly misunderstood and, when cooked from fresh, it can be amazing. This honey-sweet crimson beauty makes amazing iron-rich salads and soups.

Valentine Warner