Could this vegetable help you ‘beet’ tired muscles?

Aching muscles? Adding this earthy winter veg to your diet might just help.

Famous for its incredible colour, beetroot contains a group of pigments called betalains, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

It’s also a rich source of nitrate and phenolic acid, known to regulate blood pressure and boost the immune system respectively.

New research from the University of Northumbria suggests beetroot might also help our muscles recover after exercise.

In their study, men who drank 250ml of beetroot juice recovered more quickly from strenuous jumping exercise than those who drank a placebo.

However the beetroot didn’t appear to affect markers of inflammation an muscle damage, so more research is required to work out quite how it helps recovery.

Next time you have a tough gym session, try a vibrant beetroot smoothie – it might just take the edge off sore muscles!