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Which humble root vegetable can help you exercise more easily?

It’s beetroot! Who knew?

Rich absolutely loves beetroot, and has been known to come back from the farmers market lugging entire bags of it. It took me a while to be converted, as we don’t eat much beetroot in America. But as it turns out – Rich is right again! (sigh…)

New research into beetroot shows that it has some astonishing health benefits. The University of Exeter discovered that beetroot juice actually enables people to exercise for up to 16% longer. 1 Athletes went crazy when this story hit the press, and everyone from Premiership footballer to professional cyclists started concentrating on beetroot.

But it’s not just athletes who can benefit – scientist have shown that beetroot may help with us (ahem) low-intensity exercisers as well! Test subjects who consumed beetroot juice used less oxygen while walking, effectively reducing the effort it took to walk by 12%.

For folks who are elderly or suffering with asthma, a compromised cardiovascular system means that sometimes even simple tasks like walking may not be manageable. The studies suggest that beetroot juice can actually reduce the amount of oxygen you need to perform low-intensity exercise as well. In principle, this effect could help people do things they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.

Where’s the magic? Well, when you consume beetroot juice, it does two things:

  1. It widen your blood vessels, reducing blood pressure and allowing more blood flow.
  2. It affects your muscle tissue, reducing the amount of oxygen needed by muscles during activity.

Not bad, eh?

This traditional farmhouse recipe for pickled beetroot below adds another superfood star that packs a serious punch – real horseradish root. Studies show that horseradish contains certain compounds that could help detoxify and eliminate cancer-causing free-radicals in the body.

Horseradish contains the holy grail of health foods – glucosinolates. Not just a few – horseradish contains 10 times more glucosinolates than its superfood cousin, broccoli. And the hits just keep on coming – you only have to consume one teaspoon of horseradish to get the benefit! 2

Real horseradish might not look like much – it’s an ugly old root, but it packs a heck of a punch. You should be able to get hold of real horseradish root at any good supermarket.

Pickled beetroot


8 medium-size whole beetroots
½ oz whole black pepper
1 whole medium size horseradish (grated)
1 quart malt vinegar
¼ oz allspice
1 tsp sea salt

Bake beetroot in oven for 1.5 – 2 hours. When cool skin and slice. Place in jars. To prepare the horseradish, remove the leaves from the and rinse the dirt off of the root. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the surface skin off of the tuber. Chop into pieces. Grind in food processor, or grate by hand.  (Warning – real horseradish is hot! Proceed with caution.) Boil vinegar, horseradish, salt, pepper and spice together; when cool, pour over beetroot. Store in a dark, dry place.

Enjoy! ; )

Questions? Talk to a Nutritional Therapist on live chat!

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