Have you ever tasted a freshly harvested beetroot? Or pulled one from the soil that you grew yourself?
If you haven’t…you’re missing out! See, they’re not only easy to grow (I’ll show you how in a minute!)…but beets are some of the most healing foods you can get your hands on & in fact, we try and include them in our daily lives as much as possible.
When I first started on my health journey – one of the first things that I wanted to ‘fix up’ A-SAP was my non-existent period (which thankfully now happens to be a ‘textbook perfect’ period every month)
Now in Traditional Chinese medicine – beetroots are seen as a blood building food. According to TCM, blood deficiency can not only lead to a light or absent period, but also poor vision, exhaustion, poor memory & dry skin & hair. And beautiful beetroots are said to help rebuild the blood
Beetroot isn’t just a powerful blood builder though, it also packs some other amazing health benefits too…
1. They help your liver to detoxify.
Beetroot helps the detox process by stimulating glutathione production. Glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants in the body & is crucial for removing toxins & heavy metals.
2. They lower blood pressure.
Beetroot contains nitrate, a compound that’s converted into nitric oxide by the bacteria in your mouth. Nitric oxide helps to relax your arteries, allowing the blood to flow easier throughout the body – however rinsing with mouthwash or chewing gum can damage the good bacteria in your mouth & stop this conversion from happening!
3. They help build muscle & improve stamina.
Studies have shown beetroot is able to help improve muscle capacity & even stamina.
4. They contain some mighty powerful antioxidants.
Betalains are a class of phytonutrients found in beetroots which can help to fight inflammation & cancer. They also contain lutein & zeaxanthin, which are crucial for eye health.
5. They’re high in Manganese.
Beetroots are a great source of manganese, a very important but under-appreciated mineral. It’s important for gut health, bone structure & energy production.
N.B – Glyphosate – the most commonly used herbicide in the world – actually binds to manganese & stops it from being absorbed. So there’s a good chance that you could be missing out by eating conventional foods that’ve been treated with glyphosate. Please try to choose organic or grow your own if you can!
6. You can eat the greens attached to them!
Beetroot greens are incredibly nutritious, more so than some other leafy greens. They’re an excellent source of vitamin K, A, C, B vitamins & minerals, especially magnesium.
So why grow your own? And how do you do it?
Well – As I mentioned before, if you’re eating conventional beets you can actually miss out on some of those incredible minerals that you would get with homegrown beets grown in mineral rich soil… crucial for feeling your best day in – day out.
But there’s another awesome reason as well… homegrown beets taste AMAZING. We can NOT go back to buying organic beets from the shop.
See, a lot of the time the root is overgrown which can cause lack in flavour, & the leaves are usually cut off as well – Not ideal!
The other thing about store bought veggies in general…is that they’ve often been sitting on the shelf for a couple of days…sometimes longer.
And the thing is – as soon as plants are harvested, they start to lose nutrients – for example, spinach loses up to 90% of its vitamin C content in the first 24 hours!
So you really want to be eating your greens & veggies as close to the harvest as possible to make sure you’re getting as much of that awesome nutrition as possible.
On that note – let’s take a look at how to grow your own beetroots!
First off, it’s good to note that when growing root veggies like beetroot, it’s best to plant them as seeds, as root vegetables generally don’t like having their roots disturbed which can happen when you move seedlings from a punnet to your soil.
However – in saying that – when you’re moving seedlings into a very healthy, nutrient rich soil, you don’t generally encounter too many issues – we never have!
1. Push seeds into soil (if climate permits!) 20cms apart, cover lightly with a bit of loose soil & water with a light spray – making sure your soil remains moist at ALL times. The soil MUST be moist for the seeds to germinate. Alternatively, plant beetroots seedlings 20cm apart.
2. Water with seaweed when true leaves emerge OR straight away if you have planted from seedling.
3. Harvest the leaves while you wait for the root to grow, just make sure to leave around 4 leaves on the plant at all times
4. You can harvest the root as a baby beet a little earlier on, or let it grow a bit bigger – But don’t let it get too big as they become tough & lose flavour. Rule of thumb – Don’t let it grow bigger then your fist.
Beetroot Pro Tip: Push the mulch away so you can see the diameter of the root – if you’re happy with the size, pull! If not, leave it for a little longer.
And there you have it! Hopefully you’re inspired to start growing your own beautiful beetroot – or at least get more on your plate if you aren’t already.