We hope that by now you realise how important it is to eat a variety of fruit and vegetables every day (see our recent Coaches' Tip on the importance of food rotation!), and while lots of you will be devouring broccoli, kale and asparagus, there are a few outstanding choices which are often overlooked!
The three we want to tell you about today are carrots, beetroot and ginger.
Carrots are a great source of antioxidants with a high fibre content, the latter promoting a healthy digestive tract and blood sugar stability. They contain β-Carotene (Beta-Carotene) which the body converts into Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin, good vision, and a healthy immune system. β-Carotene has also been shown to slow cognitive decline and help older people retain lung strength.
Beetroot is a great source of iron and folic acid. They can help lower blood pressure, have recently received a lot of press for their well-documented boost to exercise performance and they can even help to prevent dementia. The nitrates found in beets are converted into Nitric oxide by enzymes in our saliva, which enhances bloodflow and have been shown to improve endurance.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, has been shown to promote energy circulation, and is known to benefit proper blood circulation. It reduces motion sickness and shortens the amount of time we suffer with colds and the flu. Ginger has a beneficial impact on nutrient absorption, and is therefore an ideal choice for improving digestion.
Here are our top two ways of getting these vibrant vegetables into your diet:
1. Grate one large beet, two large carrots, and a thumb-sized piece of ginger; mix in a bowl, then top with some Himalayan Pink Salt and the juice of half a lime; this makes a delicious side salad for lunches and dinners.
2. Blend the three ingredients in a NutriBullet or similar; if the taste is too strong for you, add half an apple or one whole apple to make your super smoothie a bit sweeter.