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Beets can’t be beat!

Juicing enthusiasts have known for ages that beets are a great addition to their cleansing regimen of ingredients. Long touted for glorious pigment which boasts the powerful antioxidant betanin – a cancer fighting phytochemical shown to inhibit both colon and stomach cancer cells – beets belong in a healthy diet as an excellent source of fiber and other nutrient content. But recently, athletes have discovered that beet juice may be just the ticket for providing that extra boost needed for stamina during competition. A study from the University of Exeter found that the specific type of nitrate found in beets has the ability to reduce the amount of oxygen required by muscles to perform. This translates to a 16% longer period of exercise. Recently, the Tour de France cyclists were seen gulping down their beet juice with the hopes of achieving just that. Can beet juice also help the less stellar athletes among us? The answer seems to be yes. Research from 2010 indicates that the average person may live a more active life with regular beet juice consumption, and it may prove particularly valuable for seniors, and even those with compromised respiratory systems, where greater oxygen uptake could make a huge difference in feeling good. Increased oxygen also leads to better blood flow to the brain and may dramatically improve daily life for us as we age.

Exactly how much and how often we need to consume beet juice is still under debate. Athletes were tested by drinking 500ml of beet juice and experienced improvement after just one glass, but it’s probable that regular consumption is necessary for improved stamina in the long term. Unfortunately, if the idea of drinking raw beet juice is less than appetizing, eating cooked beets won’t provide the same effect for you as much of the nitrate’s power is destroyed when heated. To make 1 cup of beet juice you’ll need about 3 cups of beets and a durable juicer. Otherwise, health and specialty food stores often carry bottled beet juice. Add a few ounces to other juices or sparkling water to get used to the taste, and begin enjoying the benefits of beet’s energizing boost.

While most of the comments submitted to the education department came like it from those representing state or national education agencies or organizations, a few school district officials or teachers also filed comments
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Sharon Richter, RD
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Phone: 212.977.7779

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