By Melanie Brown, Nutritionist for Harley Street Fertility Clinic
Beetroot is not everyone’s favourite vegetable but it has had a bit of a revival recently thanks to its use by athletes at the Olympics for increasing blood flow to the muscles and the news that it can help treat blood pressure. Supermarkets report sales are up by 20% in the last four years and the once humble summer veggie has achieved the unlikely status of the new superfood!
Beetroot contains nitric oxide which dilates blood vessels allowing a rich supply of oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to flow to the uterus and ovaries. This ‘opening’ of the arteries allowing blood to flow more freely is also the reason why drinking beetroot juice regularly may help lower blood pressure and improve brain function; some research has shown improvement in memory before specific tests.
For women undergoing IVF treatment with a thin uterine lining, I often recommend 300mls of beetroot juice a day until implantation. Uterine blood flow is so incredibly important for implantation; aspirin and Clexane thin the blood and increase uterine flow. So if you have thin uterine lining try beetroot juice in combination with other foods that increases blood flow, such as a handful of blueberries. Beetroot is also a great source of iron for vegetarians.
- Try finely grated fresh beetroot mixed with horseradish and crème fraiche with smoked trout & healthy soda bread
- Why not make a freshly squeezed beetroot, apple, carrot & ginger juice
- Or roast baby beetroot; arrange in a dish with butternut squash. Cut both into round slices, drizzle with a little rape seed oil and scatter with fresh thyme, then roast for about 40 minutes.
- Try raw finely sliced beetroot with baby spinach and torn buffalo mozzarella with a sweet balsamic and olive oil dressing
- Or a colourful grated beetroot and carrot salad with a dressing of rape seed oil, apple cider vinegar and a little honey makes a health light meal.