Beetroot Sales Boosted by its New ‘Superfood’ Status
Kale, quinoa and even seaweed have had their moments as the trendy superfood, usually made popular by food writers and celebrity chefs who promise a host of health benefits with each portion. Now it seems the latest ‘it’ food is beetroot.
The purple vegetable has been making an increasing number of appearances in food blogs, websites and television shows. Celebrity chef Yotam Ottolenghi and food blog Deliciously Ella have both endorsed its health benefits and, in doing so, boosted its popularity. As a result of such mentions, sales of fresh beetroot have risen from £30million a year a decade ago, to £50.5million this year.
Beetroot is a good source of iron and folate, and also contains, nitrates, betaine, magnesium and other antioxidants. This selection of beneficial nutrients certainly makes the vegetable a positive component of a balanced diet.
A number of studies, including one conducted at Queen Mary University of London, have linked beetroot to reduction of high blood pressure. Scientists attribute this to the vegetable being rich in nitrates, which they believe our body converts into nitric oxide – a chemical thought to lower blood pressure.
If you would like to read more details of this study, click on this link to our earlier article.
Other research has linked beetroot to improved exercise performance and even a reduced risk of dementia.
Anthony Gardiner, marketing director at G’s Fresh, a major supplier of beetroot to the leading supermarkets, says that increasing documentation of beetroot’s superfood status has had a clear impact on sales. “There has been a lot of university work on the benefits of beetroot over the past six years and we are expecting more research in the next year, including the positive effects it can have on hypertension and endurance.”
Alison Hornby, a dietitian and BDA spokesperson, says: “Beetroot and beetroot juice, along with green leafy vegetables, cabbage and celery, are very useful as part of a balanced diet as their nitrate content may help to reduce blood pressure.”
This was further endorsed by Dr Michael Mosley in the BBC series, Trust Me, I’m a Doctor.
If you’d like to incorporate beetroot into your diet, there are now a wide variety of ways to do so. Beetroot is appearing in soup, juice, smoothies, yoghurt, salads and much more.
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