Health Facts

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 folic acid

Folic acid

Beetroot contains folic acid which is essential for normal tissue growth. Folic acid is crucial in the development of the baby’s spinal cord.

Betacyanin, the pigment that gives beetroot its colour, is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants are believed to help reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, in turn protecting artery walls and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

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.

Nutritional number

Beetroot is virtually fat free and low in calories. Find out the all the stats on this tasty root. Only 38kCals in 100g of raw beetroot.

  • Protein: 1.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 7.6g
  • of which sugar: 7.0g
  • Fat: 0.10g
  • of which saturates: 0g
  • Fibre: 1.9g
  • Salt: 0.17g

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 benefits to Alzheimer's disease

Slow the progression of dementia

The high content of nitrates in beetroot may also help fight the progression of dementia.

A recent study by Wake Forest University in North Carolina, USA has shown that the high content of nitrates in beetroot may also help fight the progression of dementia, as nitric oxide in the blood (produced by the nitrates in beetroot) also helps increase blood flow to the brain. Beetroot’s folic acid may also play a part as studies suggest it can help protect against Alzheimer’s and dementia.