By Emma Andrews, RHN - Originally posted on MyVega.com
Avoid the temptation to pitch the leafy green stems of your fresh beets. They are nutrient powerhouses too! Try them out in this smoothie recipe to take advantage of the nutritional benefits (especially for athletes) from both the beetroot and the leaves.
Beetroot contain nitrates; a naturally occurring compound that converts to nitrite during digestion, and then begins to circulates throughout your blood stream. In conditions of low oxygen availability (such as during intense exercise and competition), nitrite can be converted into nitric oxide, which enhances vascular function1. This enhances your tolerance to strenuous exercise.
Beet greens are rich in vitamin A and C, powerful antioxidants. They also contain good amounts of magnesium and potassium, two key electrolytes for cardiovascular function. Beet greens can be served steamed, or sautéed, but their maximum nutrient density will be when consumed fresh and raw. Vitamin C especially, is highly heat sensitive.
Three great times to use this smoothie:
- At least 90 minutes before training. Ideally 2-3 hours prior due to the high protein content
- Post-workout, 20 minutes after using Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator
- During the day for a clean, plant-based nutrient dense boost.
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 serving Vega Sport Performance Protein Chocolate
- 1/2 cup frozen blackberries, or blueberries
- 2 tbsp dried and flaked coconut
- 1 medium raw beet root, diced (about 1/3 cup)
- 1/4 cup beet greens
- Add all ingredients to blender.
- Blend until smooth.
1. Jones AM. Dietary Nitrate Supplementation and Exercise Performance. Journal of Sports Medicine. 2014; 44 (Suppl 1): 35-45. Published May 3, 2014. Accessed online Sept 1st 2014, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4008816/
Good for your body and the planet, Vega is the clean, plant-based choice to fuel your healthy, active lifestyle—without compromise. Formulated by Brendan Brazier: vegan, former professional Ironman triathlete, and bestselling author on plant-based nutrition, Vega's award-winning products include Vega One All-in-One Nutritional Shake and the Vega Sport Nutrition System. Find more information and recipes at MyVega.comMore Vega Healthy Recipies