Beautiful garnet red beets or charming striped Chioggia (candy cane) beets, these earthy root vegetables have pretty incredible superpowers. High in fibre, folate, potassium, iron and vitamin C, 1 cup of beets has only 60 calories. They are packed with betaine, an amino acid that lessens the body’s concentration of homocysteine, which is a harmful substance that contributes to peripheral vascular disease, heart disease and stroke. Evidence shows that betaine also protects agains non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and inflammation, both common markers of chronic disease.
Drinking nitrate-rich beet juice has been proven to boost exercise performance in athletes. As they are ingested, the nitrates in beets are converted to nitric oxide, which helps relax blood vessels and improves blood flow. This effect in the elderly may help fight the progression of dementia as more blood flows to the brain. For diabetics, it may lower the risk of complications, particularly nerve and eye damage. For men with erectile dysfunction, additional benefits. I think I can hear a stampede of feet running to the farmer’s market for a fresh bunch of beets *as we speak*!
This cold-pressed beet juice is so good, it’s hard not to guzzle it down all at once. It is best to drink it fresh, but it stores well in two 500 ml mason jars in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours. If stored, shake the jar before drinking.
3 large or 4 medium or 10 very small beets
4 large carrots
3 large celery stalks
1/4 fennel bulb sliced (optional)
1 thumb ginger
Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
This makes 4 cups (1 L or 32 oz) of juice.