Beetroot powder burst onto the health scene as the latest superfood in 2018. People went absolutely crazy for this reddish-purple vegetable powder, but unlike most other crazes, beetroot powder is here to stay.
And for good reason!
- Beetroot is a fantastic source of iron. It also has an abundance of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, antioxidants, and other healthy bio-compounds.
- It’s been used in cooking and herbal medicines as a health boost since the time of the Ancient Greeks and Romans.
As well as helping to maintain your physical well-being and supporting a healthy heart and brain, beetroot powder can help you lose weight and give you more physical energy to get through your busy day. In addition, beetroot helps lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
What’s not to love?
What is beetroot?
Funnily enough, beetroot is exactly what it sounds like. It is part of the root of a beet plant. To be specific, the part of the beet plant that we eat is actually the taproot. A taproot is just the large central part of the root system. It’s similar to a carrot. This means a beetroot may, in turn, have fibrous roots coming out the bottom, the same way a carrot does. The taproot is large and highly nutritious because it is the storage part of the plant. Therefore, most taproots can be eaten as vegetables.
- In some parts of the world, a beetroot is simply called a beet – after the plant it comes from.
The proper scientific name is Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, but most people just call it a beet, beetroot, table beet, or red beet. But really, it’s all the same thing.
The way we use beetroot
Beetroot is now super popular all over the world. It can be cooked, pickled, eaten raw and used in salads. Fermented beetroot is also very popular. It has a very potent purple colouring which can be used as a dye. In fact, the colour is so intense it can end up staining your fingers.
- Did you know one of the earliest forms of makeup involved using beetroot juice to stain lips and cheeks?
Growing the beet plant is relatively easy, which is why it is so popular. It needs plenty of water and rich soil but grows around the world. Usually, beets are harvested in summer and autumn. The longer you leave them in the ground, the bigger they get.
Beetroot is the central root part of the beet plant. This area is called the taproot. Beetroot can be eaten raw, cooked, pickled or refermented. The colour of beetroot is so strong it is also used as a dye.
A short history of beetroot
Beetroot has been around for ages. There is evidence of the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Ancient Egyptians using beetroot as food and in natural medicines. In addition, there’s evidence that beetroot had pride of place in the hanging gardens of Babylon.
- Beetroot was initially found in the Middle East, where, originally, the green leaves and stems were used. The greens could be used in salads due to the fact they are also highly nutritious. No one really knows when the first person decided to eat the root of the plant. All we know is that by the time the Romans were writing recipes, beetroot was a regular part of their diet.
Because beets usually only grow in the summer months, the Romans found ways to pickle and preserve the root for use in cooking all year round. The nutritional value was well-known, and so people wanted access to this vital source of goodness even in the winter months when the vegetable couldn’t be grown. As the Roman empire expanded into the warmer climates of North Africa, they planted and harvested beetroot all year round and traded it across the empire. They even found beets preserved in ash after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
Beetroot was so popular in herbal remedies and medicines, there are graffiti drawings of beets on the walls of old Roman towns. There are cooking books and medicine books from Ancient Rome and Greece, which use beets for a whole range of things. Beetroot has been a staple in cooking for thousands of years. One of the oldest recipes using beets is a Greek recipe for beetroot and feta salad. The combination is still very popular today, and we highly recommend you try it.
- Beetroot continued to be popular throughout the centuries across Europe, Asia, and Australia as a common vegetable used in cooking and medicine. Finally, people realised that beetroot can also be used to make beet sugar.
The first-ever factory to make beet sugar was in Poland, and even Napoleon used beetroot as a form of sugar and, eventually, beetroot made its way over the United States. Because beet sugar became so popular, some people argue that it helped end the trade of sugar from slave plantations.
Nowadays, beetroot grows all over the world. It is cultivated in gardens and found in the wild. Beetroot is used in cooking and medicines; it can be used to replace sugar and used to make dyes and stains.
Because beetroot can go off quickly once harvested, most people choose to use beetroot powder. Beetroot powder can be stored and kept for longer than raw beetroot, and the powder has all the nutrients and benefits of raw beetroot.
Beetroot has been used in cooking and herbal medicines for around 3,000 years. There is evidence of beetroot worldwide and it is still very popular today. It was even used to make sugar and helped the slave trade sugar plantations in the 19th century.
Why is beetroot a superfood?
Beetroot has been used in herbal medicines and homeopathic remedies since the times of the Ancient Egyptians. As the storage part of the root system, beets contain a large portion of the plant’s nutrients. This makes the beet super healthy and full of goodness.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B9
Because it contains so many nutrients, beetroot has been an ingredient in herbal remedies and cooking for its health benefits for thousands of years. The plant is often cooked, pickled, or turned into a powder so it can be used year-round for its fantastic health benefits. One of the significant benefits of regularly consuming beetroot is that it can help you lose weight, boost your metabolism and make you a better athlete.
- Everyone from the original Olympic Athletes in Greece to modern Olympian, Mo Farah, used beetroot powder instead of energy drinks to help them win medals. Even the Sports Dietitians of Australia recommend Beetroot.
As a taproot, beetroot is the storage part of the plant which means it is high it a range of vitamins and nutrients. Beetroot can help boost your metabolism, aid weight loss and increase energy levels with no adverse effects.
Beetroot latte recipe
A great way to add beetroot to your diet is to swap your morning coffee or tea for a tasty beetroot latte. You can get the energy boost and all the other great health benefits of beetroot powder. This recipe is one of our favourites, and makes one cup of beetroot latte.
- 1 tbsp. Black Leaves beetroot powder
- 120ml coconut milk
- 120ml almond milk
- 2 tsp. maple syrup
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
- Mix a teaspoon of beet power into two teaspoons of maple syrup.
- Once you have a consistent texture, place the pan on a low heat and add equal amounts of coconut milk and almond milk, slowly whisking until the maple-beetroot mixture is combined with the milk.
- Let the mixture warm for several minutes.
- Once hot, pour into a mug. Froth a small amount of almond milk to add to the cup at the end and enjoy! If you want an extra delicious taste, add two drops of vanilla extract when you add the milk for a yummy sweetness.
Might help improve athletic performance
One of the main reasons beetroot powder is so popular is because a large number of sportsmen and women say that it helps them to be better athletes. Using beetroot powder to help improve fitness is something that even the ancient Greeks did. The original Olympic athletes used beetroot powder to help build muscles, improve endurance and recover faster.
Beetroot contains a high concentration of nitric oxide, which can help increase blood flow and take oxygen to your muscles. Your muscles need oxygen from your blood to function correctly. After high-intensity exercise, your muscles use oxygen to aid recovery. With better blood flow, your body can recover better, meaning fewer aching muscles and better muscle building.
- This means that whatever sport or workout you like to do, you’re more likely to improve, and your body will be fitter and healthier. In addition, heavy, regular exercise can result in cell damage caused by stress.
Furthermore, the antioxidants in beetroot help prevent and repair cell damage, meaning your body can heal faster and more efficiently and sustain less long-term damage if you are supplementing with beetroot powder.
If you are prone to injury and regularly feel achy and sore after sport, beetroot powder could really help reduce the pain and promote recovery.
Another significant benefit of beetroot powder is that evidence suggests it could also boost your endurance levels. This is because metabolising the nitrate in beetroot into nitric oxide allows greater blood flow to your muscles. This prevents your muscles from tiring so quickly and will enable you to stay active for longer.
- In addition, studies have shown that beetroot juice can help improve your cardiorespiratory system. This means it gives your heart and lungs a boost. Beetroot can cause vasodilation which increases blood flow and the movement of oxygen around the body.
Further research suggests beetroot can increase the volume of oxygen intake as well as how much oxygen your body can absorb. Studies performed with runners, swimmers, and cyclists showed that they all perform better having taken beetroot powder before exercising.
Furthermore, at the end of long distances, their performances didn’t drop off, and they were able to maintain their level of exercise for longer.
Another great thing about using beetroot powder instead of protein powder is that it boosts your metabolism.
With an improved cardiorespiratory system and increased endurance, your body will burn fat better and for longer. In addition, with increased metabolism, your fitness levels will improve, and you’ll find that your breathing will be easier when you exercise.
- If you are looking for an overall boost to your fitness levels, beetroot is an excellent natural way to go about it. Research shows that having beetroot 2-3 hours before working out is ideal. You can eat it raw in a beetroot salad, or you can make beetroot smoothies as a pre-workout boost.
Unlike steroids, protein powders, and other workout supplements, using beetroot has practically no side effects. The only common beetroot side effect is you’ll get red pee! So watch out!
Beetroot is used by professional athletes to help increase oxygen flow around the body. Beetroot also increases oxygen absorption leading to improved performance, increased endurance, and better recovery.
Could aid weight loss
Because beetroot can help boost your athletic performance and encourage muscle recovery, it is a great thing to eat if you want to lose weight. Increased metabolism means your body is more efficient at burning fat.
- Studies have shown that the fibre and proteins found in beetroot can also help make you feel fuller for longer, which means it acts as an appetite suppressant. So, snacking on beetroot can prevent you from overeating and reduce food cravings.
Low calories, high nutrition
Beetroot powder and beetroot extract are often one of the ingredients in weight loss and diet products because it has so few calories. Beetroot contains an abundance of nutrients and vitamins but has so few calories, making it great for use in salads and low-calorie beetroot meals.
- Beets are around 97% water which means they have very few calories.
However, because it contains so many nutrients, eating beetroot can help ensure you are still getting the full range of nutrients you need for a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Beetroot has
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
Low in fat and calories, but high in nutrients makes beetroot ideal for weight loss. Beetroot powder in water or a smoothie can aid weight loss because it can be more easily digested while you get to keep all the benefits.
Beetroot and the keto diet
Since beetroot is a very popular weight-loss food, you might be wondering, “is beetroot keto?” Although beetroot is super healthy and very nutritious, and low in calories, it is not keto. This is because beetroot contains a reasonably high amount of starch. It is similar to other root vegetables like parsnips and potatoes.
- If you are following a strict keto diet, you shouldn’t be eating beetroot.
However, lots of people make exceptions for beetroot because of its fantastic health benefits. It’s really a personal choice!
Beetroot is low in calories and fat, but high in nutrients, making it ideal for weight loss. It can also help suppress food cravings and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Combined with its athletic-boosting properties, beetroot is a great natural supplement for fitness and weight loss.
Might boost energy levels
Beetroot is often used in smoothies and juices in the morning because it can help give you a sustained energy boost. Beetroot helps get your blood flowing, keeps your blood pressure low, and encourages your body to feel rested. All the same properties that make you a better athlete can help make you feel more awake and relaxed in your daily life.
The increased blood flow to your brain can stimulate your brain and trick you into feeling more awake, despite the fact there is no caffeine in beetroot.
- In fact, studies have shown that having caffeine could interfere with the health benefits of beetroot.
In addition, the nitrates found in beetroots can also help increase the efficiency of the mitochondria in your body. These cells are responsible for producing energy and keeping you active. With these cells being made more efficient, you’ll feel more awake and ready to take on the day.
Beetroot can boost your energy levels by increasing your mitochondria cells’ efficiency and function. These cells are responsible for energy production. In addition, increased blood flow to your brain can stimulate mental activity, helping you feel more awake.
May help lower blood pressure
According to the Heart Foundation, more than six million people in Australia have high blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause significant health concerns, including heart diseases, heart attacks, stroke, and even death. High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
However, research suggests that eating beetroot every day can help reduce your blood pressure. Beetroot helps your blood vessels expand slightly, this means there is more space for the blood to flow, and therefore your blood pressure drops. In addition, beetroot is shown to be effective after just a few hours because your body can absorb and digest the nitrates in beetroot very quickly. It’s the nitrates that cause this effect on your body.
- Although the effect is super quick to begin, studies have shown that the effect only lasts 6-12 hours. This means if you want to have sustained lower blood pressure, you need to have beetroot every day to get all the proper health benefits.
In particular, beetroot helps to reduce blood pressure as your heart contracts and pumps out the blood, which can help increase heart health over a long period of time. This means your heart is working less to pump blood around your body. If your heart is less stressed, you are less likely to develop heart disease or have heart failure in later life.
Pretty impressive for a plant root!
Consuming beetroot every day could help dramatically reduce blood pressure. Beetroot has a significant impact on blood flow when your heart contracts, placing your heart under less stress and reducing the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes in later life.
Could slow signs of ageing
Beetroot contains lots of antioxidants. When antioxidants get into your body through your food, they track down and eliminate free radicals. Free radicals can build up in your body and are caused by pollution, chemicals in skincare and makeup, smoking, drinking, stress, and more. These free radicals cause damage to your cells.
The damage these free radicals can cause to your skin cells can make you look tired, dull, and older than you are! If you want youthful, glowing, plump skin, you want to get rid of free radicals. The best way to do that is to increase the number of antioxidant-rich foods in your diet. Antioxidants help destroy free radicals and prevent cell damage.
- By eating beetroot, you are literally eating your way to being beautiful.
Remind me to pick up some beetroot on my next supermarket trip!
Age-related brain diseases
As well as keeping you looking younger for longer, beetroot might also help fight against neurological diseases like dementia. When we age, our brains stop working as well. As a result, we get forgetful and are prone to age-related diseases.
- However, because beetroot can help increase the amount of oxygen flowing around your body, it can help keep your brain healthy. Your brain needs oxygen and blood to work, so by keeping your oxygen levels high, beetroot is helping your brain.
Scientists have studied this to help prevent neurological diseases and found that increased blood flow from beetroot did help improve people’s mental and cognitive functions. In particular, studies found that beetroot has a significant impact on the frontal lobe of your brain. This is the bit that makes decisions and is responsible for rational, critical thinking. It’s also associated with memory and intelligence.
So, beetroot can make you more beautiful and more intelligent – no wonder it’s considered a superfood!
Beetroot can help protect against signs of aging. This means you’ll stay looking younger for longer with fewer wrinkles, and plump, beautiful skin. Beetroot may also help prevent age-related illnesses like dementia because it can help keep your brain healthy and improve your memory and critical thinking.
May aid detoxification
In order for your body to properly detoxify you need to have a working digestive system. Your stomach and intestines are the best form of detox you can get. They filter out the good stuff from your food, keep it, and then get rid of the bad stuff.
- One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your digestive system in order and ensure it works well is to make sure you’ve got lots of fibre in your diet. Beetroot contains an average of over 3 grams of fibre per serving, making it excellent for your digestive system.
Fibre moves through your digestive system into your colon, where it helps keep all the good bacteria that break down foods healthy. By keeping your gut healthy and full of bacteria, your body can break down and process foods more easily. This means your body can take anything toxic or nasty and get rid of it!
Benefits of a healthy gut
A healthy gut can help relieve symptoms of constipation, bloating, overeating, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBS), and more. A healthy gut also means less gas and uncomfortable pain after eating a big meal.
Furthermore, if your gut is working well and full of good bacteria, your chances of getting cancer in your stomach, intestines, or colon are much lower.
Of course, because beetroot helps your digestion and is easily digested, it can make your poop red, which is a shock if you aren’t expecting it!
Beetroot helps your body detox effectively by keeping your gut and digestive system healthy. Beetroot contains lots of fibre which promotes a sound digestive system.
May help prevent cancers
Because beetroot contains an abundance of nutrients and antioxidants, there is some evidence to suggest it can help keep your body healthy and prevent the growth of cancers. These antioxidants can help prevent cell damage and help protect against oxidative stress. This reduces the risk that your cells will mutate into cancerous cells.
- Even more than other antioxidant-rich food, the betalain in beetroot has been studied for its ability to stop the growth and spread of cancerous cells in the prostate and breasts.
Beetroot has also been tested to see if it can help prevent the development of tumours. So far, scientists seem to think beetroot could help in this area. Although no one is really sure why a combination of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties helps keep your body healthy on a cellular level, it does mean cancer cells cannot divide and grow.
There will be lots of testing on beetroot over the coming years, and initial results look promising. So, although no one can really explain why Beetroot could be good to fight against cancer, we just know that it is good. It certainly has no adverse side effects, and since it’s so tasty, you might as well get your hands on some.
Beetroot is being tested by scientists for its anti-cancer properties. So far, tests have been successful, and Beetroot can be used to help stop cancerous growths.
Can improve immune response
- Beetroot is also great for your overall health. Because beetroot has loads of iron, potassium, and vitamins, it contains all the goodness you need to keep your body healthy. Vitamin C, Vitamin B, and beetroot iron, in particular, are all required to keep your immune system in tip-top condition.
Furthermore, beetroot contains a high amount of manganese which is crucial for a robust immune response to illnesses and disease. Manganese can help your body fight infections and can actively stop the growth and spread of some types of bacteria and pathogens in your body.
One of the first signs your body is trying to fight an infection is swelling. This occurs when all your body fluids rush to the infected area and try to fight the bacteria. With so much happening in one place, your body swells and gets inflamed to make room for your immune system to do its thing. The potassium in beetroot is excellent for fighting inflammation and fighting infections.
Potassium is also key to keeping your nervous system working correctly. It helps all the parts of your body communicate by helping transmit messages between cells. This means that increasing your potassium levels by using beetroot powder can help your body effectively send messages and work out the kind of immune response needed.
Iron is crucial for an excellent immune response because iron helps keep your blood healthy. Your blood carries everything around your body, so wherever you have an infection or a cut or get ill, your blood carries all the good stuff needed to make you better to that area. Iron helps encourage blood cells to absorb oxygen and carry it around the body. It also encourages immune cells within the blood to mature and start doing their job.
Vitamin C gets the gold star when it comes to your immune system. It’s a type of antioxidant that can donate electrons to other chemicals, meaning it assists your body’s reactions. As a result, vitamin C helps support barriers, keeping infections out. It also helps prevent oxidative stress and encourages healthy cells. In addition, it can promote enzyme production and help your body fight off infection and illness. Beetroot has a lot of Vitamin C, which can be easily and quickly broken down in your stomach more naturally than synthetic vitamin C supplements, meaning you get the benefits almost immediately.
Beetroot cake recipe
This beetroot cake recipe is a great way to make a healthy chocolate cake. Beetroot chocolate cake tastes fantastic because the sweet chocolate pairs well with the earthy beetroot flavour giving a much fuller flavour. The darker the chocolate you use, the more bitter the cake will be!
- 2 medium-sized beetroots or 170g Black Leaves beetroot powder
- 200g plain flour
- 100g cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 250g sugar
- 3 eggs
- Vanilla essence
- 100ml Sunflower oil
- 100g dark chocolate
- Peel and chop the Beetroot and blend in a food processer (or use beetroot powder).
- Add a pinch of salt, flour, cocoa, sugar, and baking powder. Mix thoroughly.
- Then, add the three eggs and mix until smooth.
- While slowly mixing, gently add the oil down the side of the bowl so it is gradually incorporated. DO NOT WHISK.
- Once added, stir in chocolate chunks.
- Tip the mixture into a loaf tin. Cook for approximately one hour at 190c (170 fan). Allow to cool and serve with cream.
How do you make beetroot powder?
To make beetroot powder, slice up several beetroots into thin slices. Then, place them in a food dehydrator or put them on a baking sheet in the oven at a low temperature for around 3 hours. Once the beetroot is dry, you can keep them as beetroot crisps. Or, you can put them in a blender or crush them (with a mortar and pestle) to make beetroot powder.
What does beetroot powder do?
Beetroot powder can help improve athletic performance, lower blood pressure and help you lose weight. Because it contains so many nutrients, it can also help with overall health, help fight signs of aging, and help to encourage detoxification. Beetroot is so full of nutrients it makes a significant contribution to overall health.
How much beetroot powder can I have each day?
One teaspoon, or around 5 grams, of beetroot powder added to water or to a smoothie is enough to get the health benefits. You can have up to 3 teaspoons in one day, but you should try not to exceed this, and you shouldn’t have more than the recommended dose regularly.
How do you drink beetroot powder?
Beetroot powder can be mixed with water to make beetroot juice, or you can add beetroot powder to smoothies for a nutritional boost. Beetroot powder can be kept and stored for longer than fresh beetroot or beetroot juice, but it is just as healthy.
Can pregnant women have beetroot powder?
Yes! Beetroot is super nutritious and contains of vitamins and minerals, which make it perfect for pregnant women. The beetroot goodness can help keep both the mother and baby healthy. Because beetroot powder is made from fresh beetroot, it is safe for pregnant women and young children. However, some powders contain other natural substances to increase their health benefits, so you should check to see if the other ingredients are also safe.
Is beetroot powder the same as beetroot?
Beetroot powder is beetroot. It is made from dried, ground-up beetroot, and is usually bright pink or red. Because it has been dried, beetroot powder has fewer calories than other beets and is considered a superfood because it’s super healthy. Beetroot powder is a concentrated, condensed version of beetroot.
Will beetroot powder make my poop red?
Honestly. Yes, it probably will! And it is very confusing if you aren’t prepared for it. Beetroot has a rich purple-red colour that can persist through your digestive system and turn your poo and pee red. Beetroot urine can be off-putting for people, but it isn’t a bad thing.
What does beetroot powder taste like?
Beetroot does have a robust taste. Because it grows underground, it has very round, earthy flavours. It can have a slight tangy vinegar taste which is undercut with a sweetness. In short, it has a powerful, potent flavour, which means some people love it and some people really dislike it.
How can I add beetroot powder to my diet?
Beetroot is super tasty and really easy to add to your everyday diet. Eat it raw in salads, juiced, added to smoothies, or preserved. Pickled beetroot is delicious and lasts for a long time. You can cook it and serve it like other vegetables with a meal or as a side dish. Beetroot does have a strong flavour, so beetroot powder and beetroot extract is great as a beetroot substitute as they have a weaker flavour.
Can you eat beetroot leaves?
Yes, you can! The beet plant is famous for its root, but you can eat beetroot greens. Beetroot leaves are very sweet and tender. Beetroot leaves are best when boiled in water and served with butter and garlic. You can eat the beetroot stem, although some people choose to cut it off.
Beetroot has been popular for over 2,000 years, and for good reason! It’s tasty, goes great in salads, can be eaten raw or cooked, and has loads of health benefits. Everyone from the Ancient Greeks to modern day people like you and me has used beetroot in cooking- for their incredible flavour – and for their health benefits.
Beetroot can help with everything from enabling you to perform better at sports, encouraging weight loss, and reducing blood pressure to slowing the signs of aging. It really is a superfood!
The bright colour of the beetroot means you can use it as a food colouring or a natural dye – it certainly dyes your pee red which can be a surprise.
Beetroot does have a really strong taste, so if you don’t like the taste, fear not; you can still get all the health benefits by using beetroot powder. Add some beetroot powder to your favourite juice or smoothie to give it an extra health boost. You can even add beetroot powder to cakes and desserts to make yummy, healthy snacks like beetroot chocolate muffins.
We’d love to hear about some of your favourite beetroot recipes. Why not get in touch and leave us a comment? Beetroot powder has so many uses, and there are so many delicious ways to add it to your diet, so let us know your favourites!