Did you hear about the guy who didn’t eat his vegetables?
His heart missed a beet.
Beets are really good for your heart, thus the name of this smoothie. It’s pure fruits and vegetables, just sweet enough, and bursting with antioxidants and phytonutrients. Not to mention it’s really beautiful. Let’s turn up the beet! (Vegetable puns, haha. You can’t beet ’em! Ok, I’ll stop.)
If you’re training for an athletic event or just want to have an easier time exercising, beets are on your side! Here is an interesting snippet from Dr. Michael Greger’s book How Not to Die:
“Nitrates, concentrated in green, leafy vegetables and beets, not only help deliver oxygenated blood to your muscles by helping dilate your arteries, but also enable your body to extract more energy from that oxygen—something never before thought possible. For example, one little shot of beet juice has been found to allow free divers to hold their breath for a half minute longer than usual. After sipping beet juice, cyclists were able to perform at the same level of intensity while consuming 19 percent less oxygen than the placebo group. Then, when they ramped up their bike resistance for an intense bout of what they called “severe cycling,” the time to exhaustion was extended from 9:43 minutes to 11:15 minutes.
“The beet-juice-drinking group exhibited greater endurance while using less oxygen. In short, the beet juice made the bikers’ bodies’ energy production significantly more efficient. No drug, steroid, supplement, or intervention had ever before been shown to do what beet juice could do.
“This effect works with whole beets, too. In another study men and women eating one and a half cups of baked beets seventy-five minutes before running a 5K race improved their running performance while maintaining the same heart rate and even reported less exertion. Faster time with less effort? Them’s some block-rockin’ beets!
“To maximize athletic performance, the ideal dose and timing appears to be a half cup of beet juice (or three 3-inch beets, or a cup of cooked spinach) two to three hours before a competition.
“It seems sports news programs are always talking about steroids and other illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Why hasn’t anyone mentioned these mighty and perfectly legit performance-enhancing vegetables? Beets me.” (That’s his pun, not mine!)
How Not to Die
Don’t beet yourself up by huffing and puffing unnecessarily during your next 5k. Beetrue to yourself and make this smoothie! (Ok, I’m really done now!)
Dance to the beet....of this yummy, vibrant smoothie.
- 1 beet
- 1 carrot
- 1 apple
- 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup frozen mango (or peaches, cherries, pineapple, banana...whatever frozen fruit you have)
- 2 cups water
Peel beet and carrot, cut into chunks. Slice and core apple.
Blend all together and enjoy!