Of course beets are good for you. Everyone knows that. Wild sea beets are similar to Swiss chard, and modern beets with big roots were domesticated from them. Despite the sweetness of beet roots, they have very little impact on blood sugar. The red color in beets comes from betalains which are excellent cancer-fighting phytonutrients. And, beets contain naturally occurring nitrates which can reduce blood pressure thereby increasing blood flow to muscles. The effect has been tested on athletes, and it was discovered that after drinking beet juice, test subjects were able to exercise 15 percent longer than others who didn’t drink it. British athletes drank beet juice rather than other Olympics-approved energy drinks before competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics. I loved learning this. I had kept a beet juice recipe from the September 2012 issue of Food and Wine magazine, and after learning this I couldn’t wait to try it before a run. There’s always a point in the winter when it seems like we’re inundated with beets from our CSA, and this year I was ready and waiting for that to happen. I was ready to juice all the beets we received. So, on a Friday afternoon when I was tired and ready for the week to be over, I set up my juicer and set about making an energy-enhancing beverage. I started with some ginger, a peeled lemon, and then I used several spinach leaves which I had on hand. The original recipe suggests kale. Then, I added a halved and cored apple, and instead of a cucumber, I used a pear. Last, I added a couple of cleaned and trimmed beets to the juicer.
The color is fabulous as anything with beets always is. And, the flavor is much better than you might think. That’s largely thanks to the lemon and ginger. Really, add lemon and ginger to any vegetable juice, and it will be delicious. But, the vegetal flavors of the beet and spinach do take a backseat here. I went for a run after drinking the beet juice and felt great. I’ll have to test the concept a few more times before I can say with certainty if it really makes a noticeable difference while exercising, but I do know it’s a very healthy and tasty drink that I’m happy to keep testing.
I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program.