Benefits of Beets

by Ashlea Hartz N.C., RYT

I love beets! These taste tubers are packed full of nutrients that support a healthy body. But I was super excited to learn that beets can also be a beneficial addition to your pre workout meal or snack.

Beets are packed full of essential nutrients. They are high in fiber and a good source of folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Beets are also an excellent source of phytonutrients called betalains, which have been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification benefits for the body.

Now the dietary nitrates found in beets are where things get really interesting. These nitrates help the mitochondria of the cells produce energy more efficiently, decreases oxygen consumption, and extends time before exhaustion. Studies also show inorganic nitrates may help protect against cardiovascular disease. All great benefits for athletes and physically active individuals.

Beets are made up of simple sugars (glucose and fructose) which are easily burned for energy. This makes them an excellent option for a pre-workout food since they can be digested easily and transferred into energy the cells need for physical activity.

Want to add more beets to your diet? Try adding raw beets to a salad, make roasted beets as a side dish with chicken, or adding a little cold pressed beet juice will give your morning smoothie a nutrient boost! Another fun way to incorporate beets into your meal plan is trying this Beet Hummus recipe.

Beet Hummus
Servings: 8
252 calories per serving
14 g protein (20%)
9 g fat (30%)
33 g carbs (50%)

Ingredients
1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
¼ cup chickpea water (reserved from can)
2 small cooked beats
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp tahini
1 tsp himalayan salt or sea salt

Preparation
Drain liquid from chickpeas and reserve ¼ a cup. Rinse chickpeas well.
Place chickpeas, ¼ c chickpea water and all other ingredients in a food processor or vitamix ( with wide base) and blend until smooth. If too thick add a little more olive oil.
Serve with your favorite raw veggies stix (carrots, celery, cucumber) or pita bread

Tips
Precooked beets such as Love Beets work great for this recipe
Optional Booster- You can add 1 Tbsp of nutritional yeast to add a savory/cheesy like flavor and boost this recipe with extra B-Vitamins!

What next? 

Book a private nutrition session with Ashlea!

For more info on how to get started email us at info@yogaathletex.com

References:
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=49

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