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Beautiful Beetroot

Beetroot belongs to the chenopod family and along with other family members (including chard, spinach and quinoa) it does not fail in terms of its super nutritious benefits. Beetroot is a valuable source of folate, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin C.

In addition, beetroot has unique pigments which function as both anti oxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Researchers are beginning to look into whether these nutrients can reduce tumour growth in cancer and though in early stages, there have been encouraging results.

Preliminary studies also indicate that the unique mix of nutrients can help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes. The B complex vitamin choline in beetroot has also been shown to reduce inflammation with regards to cardiovascular disease.

Additionally, the special pigments in beetroot are thought to help stimulate detoxification activity, consequently aiding the removal of toxins from the body.

Beetroot contains a special type of dietary fibre (as with carrots) that is particularly beneficial to our digestive tract and will offer further cardio vascular support.

Don’t forget to make use of the beetroot’s green leaves which are also highly nutritious. Beet greens are especially high in the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin which are fantastic for eye health.

Beetroots need to be cooked delicately to retain these amazing nutrients. They can be lightly steamed and tossed in a salad with olive oil, lemon juice and goats cheese. Alternatively, this magnificent vegetable can be roasted, juiced, grated raw in to salads and blended in to soup.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

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Super Sweet Potato

These magnificent vegetables are delicious, versatile and packed with nutrients  including vitamins C, B5, B6,and minerals manganese and copper to name but a few. However, the sweet potato is most notable for its exceptionally high beta-carotene content which provides us with over 100% of our daily beta-carotene requirements!
 
The beta-carotene and vitamin C content are particularly beneficial for our eye health, decreasing the risk of macular degeneration (AMD).Both are powerful antioxidants that can inhibit the detrimental effects of free radicals and help to optimise immune function.

The high fibre content of the sweet potato can help to keep blood sugar balanced. In addition, recent research suggests that sweet potato can increase levels of adiponectin, a hormone produced by our fat cells. This hormone aids insulin utilisation and can help to reduce the risk of the development of diabetes.
 
Steaming sweet potato, allows for optimum retention of nutrients and the inclusion of a little good fat, such as a drizzle of olive oil, can improve the absorption of beta-carotene.
 
Sweet potatoes are fabulous roasted and sweet potato wedges are always a winner with the kids! Simply enjoyed baked in the oven (like a baked potato), sweet potatoes can also be blended into soups and chopped into stews. You can even try sweet potato muffins to add a sweet, savoury mouth watering touch to any meal.

My weekly ‘Nutritional Nugget’ written for Fields to Fork Organics

If you are interested in reading more ‘Nutritional Nuggets’, top tips and the latest nutrition news, sign up to my monthly newsletter at www.marcellerosenutrition.co.uk