The Beauty of Beetroot
Can you visualize the famous cartoon character Popeye gulping cans of spinach to build his bulging muscles?
Swedish researchers, from Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute have found that spinach, like other leafy greens and beetroot, contains nitrates and can actually improve muscle strength.
The study, funded by four scientific and medical groups including the Swedish Research Council, involved lacing the drinking water of mice with nitrate for seven days and monitoring the muscles in the mice’s legs and feet. They found that mice drinking the nitrate solution had significantly stronger muscles than the control group.
Leading researcher, Dr Andrés Hernández, said his team is keen to continue the study and see how their findings may be applied to people suffering from muscle weakness.
“From a nutritional perspective our study is interesting because the amount of nitrate that affected muscle strength in mice was relatively low,” Dr Hernández, said.
“Translated to humans it means that we can obtain the equivalent volume by eating more of a vegetarian diet, as nitrate is found naturally in several leafy vegetables, especially in beetroot juice, for example.”
Nitrate is already being trialled in athletes around the world as we speak. Keep an ear to the ground for further research in humans.
Roasted Balsamic Beetroot
1 bunch beetroot, scrubbed, trimmed and chopped
1/2 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Place beetroot, stock, vinegar and sugar in a bowl and toss to combine.
- Spoon into a 3 litre capacity ovenproof dish.
- Cover with aluminum foil, place on a baking tray and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the beetroot are tender.
Source: Donna Hay Magazine
P.S. This recipe also works well with purple carrots.
Farmland Greens “Crunchy Combo Sprouts”
I have recently discovered a fantastic West Australian grown product that can be eaten as a snack or added to any salad. As the name would suggest Crunchy Combo Sprouts are a combination product including mung beans, lentils, blue peas and Red Caloona beans that are have just started to sprout. These legumes are a great way of adding fibre, protein, Vitamin C and resistant starch. Research shows that resistant starch can promote intestinal health and may play an important role glucose and energy management. For those of you who don’t enjoy legumes such as baked beans and other dried or tinned varieties, “Crunchy Combo Sprouts’ are a tasty, healthy and convenient alternative. They are available at supermarkets and fresh produce stores, find a location near you at www.farmlandgreens.com.au.
Don’t forget to tune in to 882-6PR radio every alternate Wednesday at 10am for a chat with Paul Murray and myself on the Morning program. We discuss everything nutrition and performance and answer callers questions. The next broadcast is on Wednesday 1st August.
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