IN recent times, people have been going back to nature and to grandma's concoctions to treat a wide range of illnesses, and from all accounts, these often work better than modern medicine at alleviating health issues. One food source that's highly rated is the famous beetroot, a super food that Jamaicans have been using for a very long time.
Nutritionist Donovan Grant describes beetroot as the solution to many of our health problems — chock-full of many of the nutrients that our bodies need. Grant explained that the plant can be consumed in different forms — you can grate it and use it on salads, you can use it to make juice, and some people cut it up small and eat it raw.
Listed below are some of the wonders of beetroot.
1. Lowers blood pressure.
2. Rich in antioxidants and nutrients like fibre, vitamin C, potassium and iron. Antioxidants reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and iron is absorbed better when taken with Vitamin C.
3. Reduces the risk of conditions like dementia and diseases like cancer; for example, pancreatic cancer.
4. Improves the muscle power of people with heart problems.
5. Serves as a good detox for the body.
6. Improves stamina.
7. Enhances the production of serotonin, the 'feel-good hormone' that keeps you in a happy mood.
8. Increases white blood cell production.
9. Improves blood flow.
10. Boosts blood count.
If you have certain illnesses, though, Grant warns that you should be cautious of how you consume beetroot and how often you take it. This includes people with low blood pressure and diabetics with high sugar levels, as beetroot is known to lower blood pressure and is the vegetable with the most sugar. What Grant recommends for diabetics is that they mix in other greens when making the juice.
“Be conscious of the amount you are putting in your body, as too much of anything is not good for you,” he said. “Taking beetroot two to three times a week will help your body just fine.”