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beetroot juice superfood

The idea that a food can be a ‘superfood’ and offer some huge health benefits regardless of other dietary habits, is a bit of an exaggeration. It doesn’t matter how much broccoli you eat if 90% of the time you’re gorging on pizzas, pasta and cake. That being said, if you’re already eating relatively clean, there are some foods that have a bit more ‘bang for their buck’ in them and will improve your diet. Most people are familiar with the usual crowd of broccoli, spinach, kale and oily fish – but here are 3 you may not be as familiar with:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

What is it and where can I get it?

Apple Cider isn’t as popular as the usual Malt and Balsamic variety. The difference is fairly obvious, Malt and Balsamic vinegar is made from malt and grapes, respectively, and Apple Cider is, as you might guess, made from apples. You can purchase it at most supermarkets, just make sure you get the organic version (brownish colour with tiny bits of floating in it).

Health Benefits

Its high acetic acid and antioxidant content gives it potent biological effects such as:-

– Improving insulin sensitivity.
– Reducing fasted and post-prandial blood sugar levels.
– Decrease appetite and thus improve weight loss.
– Lowers HDL cholestrol (the bad one) and triglyceride levels.
– Protects LDL cholestrol (the good one)
– Lowers the risk of heart disease.
– Decreases blood pressure.

1 – 2 tablespoons a day, drizzled over food and you’re good to go.
For its other handy uses click here.

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2. Beetroot Juice

Beetroot juice has gained a lot of popularity, particularly in the UK and US, in recent years because of its substantial impact on improving health and exercise performance.

What is it and where can I get it?

Beetroot juice is, as you might expect, the juice from beetroot. While you can get some health benefits from just eating the vegetable, you would have to eat a lot to get the necessary amount of juice to get the health benefits (around 0.5l). Most organic food sections of supermarkets should sell it, otherwise it can be purchased in various doses from http://beet-it.com/.

Health benefits

Beetroot juice has a vast array of performance and health benefits such as:-

– Improving submaximal endurance performance.
– Improving muscular power.
– Improving strength of muscle contraction.
– Improving sprinting performance.
– Improving brain cognition.
– Decreasing insulin resistance.
– Decreasing blood pressure.

And many more…

The mechanisms behind these improvements largely stem from the nitrate found in beetroot juice that causes enhanced vasodilation as well as a number of other molecular changes at the muscular level that increase the efficiency of muscle contraction.

Drink 0.5l every day (if you can handle the taste!).

3. Kimchi

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to travel to Korea you would have come across heaps of Kimchi. The average Korean eats 40lbs of it every year! And for good reason.

What is it and where can I get it?

Kimchi is a fermented cabbage and raddish dish coming in plain and spicy forms and is generally served with every meal (makes for a particularly good and easy breakfast) or used as a topping on various foods. Look for it in the oriental food sections of most major supermarkets.

Health Benefits

Kimchi is considered one of the healthiest foods in the world and is praised with keeping obesity at bay in Korea. It’s full of vitamins A, B and C as well as a particularly useful bacteria called Lactobacilli which:

– Improves digestion and weight loss.
– Reduces inflammatory bowel syndrome.
– Promotes healthy bacteria in the gut.
– Reduces bad bacteria in the gut.
– Reduces the risk of cancer.
– Reduces coughs and colds.

Chuck a couple of handfuls in with your scrambled eggs for breakfast and you’re set.

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Interested in knowing more about how to get healthy with diet and exercise? Check out our online training app which you can use anywhere, anytime to get in the best shape of your life! Or contact one of our fitness experts to get started in you journey!

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