Our desire to keep healthy through it all is always in the back of our mind. I’m a huge advocate for getting the most out of your nutrition and wellness. Keeping in mind at all times you plan to eat, you ARE what you eat. Your skin is the ultimate display of your health. Not only what you eat, but when you eat and the amount of sleep you get are HUGE factors.
The holidays are by far my favorite time of year. The bright lights and a warm winter fire makes this time of year awesome. What’s included in this awesomeness is the food! Everything you can think gets tossed around for the eating. Not to leave out here aswell…the desserts! They are out there for the killing so beware.
As a self-proclaimed sports dietitian, I am always looking to offer my clients the best ways to stay healthy, both on and off the field. Beet root, also known as beta vulgaris, is a rich source of anti-oxidants and micro-nutrients including vitamin C, betaine, sodium, potassium and magnesium. There is also inorganic nitrate, which allows the smooth muscle of the inner lining of blood vessels to relax. When this occurs, blood flow to muscles is improved, enhancing exercise performance and recovery.
Although beets are not the most popular food on the table, they have been shown to help improve endurance performance. There was a study of 11 healthy and fit men and women to determine the effect of baked beet root on running performance. Participants consumed either a placebo cranberry relish or baked beet root with 500 milligrams of nitrate 75 minutes before a 5 km treadmill run. The results for the beet root group were very good.
The group that consumed baked beet root finished the run 41 seconds quicker than the placebo group. During the final 1.8 km of the 5k run, participants in the beet root group had a 5 percent faster running velocity than the placebo group. In addition, the perceived exertion, or the feeling of fatigue that runners experienced, was significantly lower in the beet root group as well. Results from this study suggest that nitrate consumption may increase running performance, specifically at the end portion of endurance events. In this case, beet roots might be helpful if you are an endurance runner or know of endurance runners to share the advice.
So you might ask, how does the beet and apple salad help me?
- It has just a few ingredients, so it is easy to prepare, made ahead of time and easy to serve.
- It contains beets, which contain nitrate and you can feel good about eating them for your busy holiday season and beyond.
- The Dijon mustard and horseradish give it a kick, which may bump up your metabolic rate a bit as well (and who can’t use an extra few calories burned with all those holiday goodies?)
- This recipe might allow you a chance to add beets to your family’s nutrition program, which is always good.
There you go! Enjoy and please share!