Up Beet

This vegetable could not be left off my blog! Beetroot has always been a favourite food of mine, even as a child my parents would catch me in the fridge with my hand in a jar of it.

Vegetables are broken down into different groups in the Australian Dietary Guidelines depending on the type of nutrients they provide1. Beetroot belongs in the same group as potatoes and carrots1. Eating a wide variety of different types of vegetables provides more nutrients and therefore more health benefits so it’s important to eat as many different vegetables as you can1.

After four years of studying nutrition, it still fascinates me the impact food can have on our health.

Each serve of vegetables you eat in a day reduces your risk of heart disease!

The evidence is very strong for this!  Cardiovascular disease is responsible for the most deaths and disease burden in Australia2.  Eating more vegetables is one of the ways we decrease this risk. Bright colourful vegetables also decrease your chances of having a stoke1.

beetroot-1236007_1920

How does beetroot stand out nutritionally?

Folate: Its main roles are in DNA synthesis to prevent neural tube defects3, which I also discussed here.

Manganese– A component of enzymes that help in the metabolism of food. It also assists in bone formation4.

Copper – Also a component of enzymes needed for iron metabolism4.

Potassium – Involved in muscle contraction, for example keeping your heart beat regular1.

It’s really easy to make and grow your own beetroot – all you need is a small amount of space, a pot is suitable, some seedlings from your local nursery and a bit of sun. 3 months later beetroot is ready. The leaves are great used in a salad.

  • Boil the beetroot until it softens, cool, peel, slice.
  • Put 1/3 vinegar, 2/3 water and sugar to taste in the pot and boil for 10 mins.
  • Place beetroot and liquid in sterile jars. Keeps for one year.

 

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Photo by Amy Smith

 

 How much should you be having?

Aim to eat at least 5 serves of vegetables every day1.

½ cup of beetroot = 1 serve.

 

Works Cited

[1]       National Health and Medical Research Council, “Australian Dietary Guidelines,” 2013. [Online]. Available: https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines-publications/n55. [Accessed 17 November 2016].

[2]       Australian Government: Department of Health, “Cardiovascular disease,” 14 January 2015. [Online]. Available: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/chronic-cardio. [Accessed 17 November 2016].

[3]       National Health and Medical Research Council , “Nutrient Reference Values,” 2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients. [Accessed 30 June 2016].

[4]       E. Whitney, S. R. Rolfes, T. Crowe, D. Cameron-Smith and A. Walsh, Understanding Nutrition: Australian and New Zealand Edition, Melbourne , Victoria : Cengage Learning, 2011.

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