Britain is in the midst of a beetroot boom. The increasing popularity of pre-cooked and flavoured varieties has led to a purple patch for the humble root vegetable.
Supermarket sales of beetroot have reportedly increased by as much as a third year on year, and 2017 has seen the rise of the ‘purple trend’ – people eating purple to consume more antioxidants and nutrients in a bid to stay healthy. ASDA supermarket says sales of uncooked bunched beetroot are up by over a third (35 per cent) compared to last year and cooked beetroot is up 28 per cent.
Leading researchers Kantar cite the total market spend over the past 12 months on fresh beetroot - beetroot which is ready for eating, pickled in vinegar or infused with various flavours - was more than £34 million, which is an increase of six per cent year on year.
Now experts on behalf of Love Beetroot have come up with a list of benefits – and weird facts – about the colourful food.
- It was used as an aphrodisiac in Roman times as beetroot contains a mineral – boron – which is said to enable sex hormones to circulate in the body
- Betanin – the natural pigment which gives beetroot its red colour – is said to have anti-cancer effects
- If you’re feeling blue eating purple could be the answer. The high folate content correlates with a low risk of depression and combats low moods
- The exceptionally rich source of antioxidant compounds mean beetroot is great for the skin and hair.
- Eating beetroot is a quick way to fill up on fibre, with a 200g portion providing 20 per cent of the recommend daily allowance
- Unlike many other vegetables the purple plant contains iron which prevents tiredness and fatigue
- Beetroot helps to increase performance in the gym, as people feel more energetic and have a better capacity to exercise after eating
- As one of the best sources of nitrates, beetroot has natural chemicals which lower blood pressure
- Those that love the purple snack should have a strong heart, as the high potassium content links to good circulation and better heart health
- For those striving for younger looks and firmer skin, beetroot could be the answer. Raw beetroot provides a good source of Vitamin C which is essential for collagen.
Dr Carrie Ruxton, an award-winning dietician, health writer and TV nutritionist, who put together the beetroot health benefits said: “The huge boost to beetroot sales shows that more and more people are recognising the benefits of introducing a bit of purple into their diets.
“Studies show that eating a colourful concoction of vegetables each week is far better for health than sticking with two or three favourite types.
“Given the nutritional properties of beetroot – delivering benefits from beauty to sports performance and heart health – it seems crazy not to eat it on a regular basis.”