Vegetable of the Month – Beetroot for July

Eating with the seasons is the best way to nourish your body and to care for the environment. Fruits and vegetables bought out of season have usually traveled a long way and are may have less nutrients as they are picked before they are ripe. Many of us are familiar with the “ripen at home” range in supermarkets, which usually leads to produce going rotten before the ripen.

Solve this problem, support local growers and your health by eating seasonably!

Beetroot is a purple root vegetable, and relative of spinach, that many of us will have only ever eaten cooked and preserved in vinegar. There is a whole lot more to Beetroot! I can be eaten cooked or raw (as in juices and smoothies) and in sweet or savoury dishes.

I love to roast beetroot slowly in the oven (about 2 hours), then add it to a variety of dishes and salads. I also always eat the leaves. It’s important to get fresh beetroot, with crisp, fresh leaves. They can be wilted slightly and eaten like spinach.

Health Benefitsbeetroot 2

Beetroot is particularly high in Manganese – vital for bones, blood clotting, brain function and more – and folate, a B vitamin used for cell division and DNA formation (hence is necessity during pregnancy). The pigments that make beetroot red/purple are water soluble and provide both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory role capabilities.

Beetroot’s fibre and wealth of antioxidants increase antioxidants in the body and promote the growth of white blood cells – making it and ideal go-to food when your immune system needs a bit of a boost.

Beetroot also contains a high proportion of the amino acid glutathione, which is used in the healing and maintenance of our digestive tract. Beetroot is therefore particularly useful if you have suffer from digestive issues and suspect leaky gut (intestinal hyper permeability).

What’s your favourite way to eat beetroot? Let me know!

Caroline x

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Vegetable of the Month – Asparagus for June

Eating with the seasons is the best way to nourish your body and to care for the environment. Fruits and vegetables bought out of season have usually traveled a long way and are may have less nutrients as they are picked before they are ripe. Many of us are familiar with the “ripen at home” range in supermarkets, which usually leads to produce going rotten before the ripen.

Solve this problem, support local growers and your health by eating seasonably!

This month asparagus is in season in the UK (and from May to July). Asparagus is a flowering plant, from which the shoots are edible. Buy perky spears, not limp, and wrap in damp kitchen towel and store in the bottom of your fridge. It’s best to eat asparagus as soon as you can after picking, as the nutrient content diminishes reasonably quickly.

To cook, simply boil for 3 minutes, steam for 4-5 minutes or gently sauté. Many people like to add butter and salt. I find them delicious on their own!

Health benefitsasparagus 3

Asparagus contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals. It’s particularly high in Vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin B1 and B2, Selenium, Vitamin C and E, many of which are antioxidants and confer a wealth of health benefits.

Asparagus is known for it’s diuretic properties, helping us to eliminate waste, and therefore cleanse, by encouraging urination. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, due to the Saponins and is therefore considered potentially helpful in reducing risks of chronic inflammatory disorders and associated disease, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Asparagus also great for maintaining a healthy digestive system, and is commonly used in traditional Indian Medicine, Ayurveda, for promoting digestive health. Asparagus is high in both fiber and protein (for a vegetable!) and it contains Inulin. Inulin is a carbohydrate that bacteria in our digestive system feed on. These bacteria aid absorption of nutrients, reduce allergies and help reduce the likelihood of colon cancer.

Happy Eating!

Caroline x

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