Stick in your shopping bag this weekend and your lymph will love you right back!
Well on the road to rehabilitation after decades languishing in a glass jar swimming in malt vinegar, beetroot is fast gaining a reputation as a true super-food with the ability to boost stamina, lower blood pressure and improve immune and digestive function.
Whether eaten raw grated into a salad, juiced with apple, lemon and ginger or roasted in the oven as a side vegetable, beetroot is packed with fibre and nutrients that are naturally lymph enhancing.
Betalains are naturally occurring chemicals that are recognised as powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying agents. They are more highly concentrated in beetroot than any other plant food. Indeed the most plentiful betalain found in beetroot – betanin – has been found to be the most effective inhibitor of oxidative stress – a well-known lymph congesting condition.
Another compound found in beetroot, glutathione is known to thin bile. Bile has many important functions, one of which is the flushing of waste products from the liver – our largest and most hard working detoxing organ. Keeping the liver healthy and working well is crucial for the lymphatic system, which would otherwise be left to pick up the additional detoxing burden of a poorly functioning liver.
Beetroot is particularly effective in cleansing the gut, home to millions of specialised lymphatic vessels known as ‘lacteals’ Lacteals are primarily responsible for the absorption of fats and fatty acids, transporting them into the bloodstream where they can be used as fuel.
So, do yourself a favour and pick up this versatile and tasty vegetable next time you shop. Smaller beets are generally sweeter and less ‘earthy’ if you want to juice or eat raw, whilst the larger ones work well roasted or steamed as a side vegetable. Add a good, fiery creamed horseradish for the perfect finishing touch.