By Mel Brown, IVFB Nutritionist
Beetroot is not everyone’s favourite vegetable, but it has had a bit of a revival recently thanks to its use by athletes at the Olympics for increasing blood flow to the muscles. For women undergoing IVF with thin uterine lining I often recommend 300mls of beetroot juice a day until embryo transfer for the same reason. Beetroot contains nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels allowing a rich supply of oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to flow to the uterus and ovaries.
This ‘opening’ of the arteries allows blood to flow more freely and is also the reason why drinking beetroot juice regularly may help lower blood pressure and improve brain function; some research has shown improvement in memory before specific tests.
Uterine blood flow is so incredibly important for implantation; aspirin and Clexane thin the blood and increase uterine flow. So if you have thin lining it is worth trying 100mls a day of beetroot juice alongside another food that increases blood flow, a handful of blueberries. Beetroot is also a great source of iron for vegetarians.
Why not try some of these ideas:
- Finely grated fresh beetroot, mixed with horseradish and crème fraiche, with smoked trout on healthy soda bread.
- Freshly squeezed beetroot, apple, carrot and ginger juice.
- Roasted baby beetroot; arrange on a dish with butternut squash. Cut in to round slices, drizzle with a little rape seed oil and scatter with fresh thyme then roast for about 40 minutes.
- Finely sliced raw beetroot with baby spinach and torn buffalo mozzarella, with a sweet balsamic and olive oil dressing.
- Grated raw beetroot and carrot salad with a dressing of rape seed oil, apple cider vinegar and a little honey.