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A recipe to help you run better

Posted by Nancy Clark RD CSSD on May 25, 2012 4:54:00 AM

Beets, rhubarb and arugala are nitrate-rich foods.Sports nutrition research indicates the natural nitrates they contain can significantly improve running performance when eaten three-hours in advance of exercise. The nitrates convert into nitric oxide, a gaseous signaling molecule that acts as a critical biological messenger. Nitric oxide dilates blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, reduces platelet stickiness, and allows a person to exercise at a submaximal pace using less oxygen. This info is helpful for not only athletes but for unhealthy people with lung and circulation problems.


This nitrate-rich recipe is one of many tasty suggestions from the website of food-lover Eileen Behan RD


6 small red beets (12 ounces, raw or cooked), peeled and sliced very thin

1/2 large pink grapefruit, juiced

1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil


8 ripe strawberries

1/2 lemon
, juiced

1 tbsp olive oil


1-cup chopped
 (1 stalk) rhubarb


4 cups arugula, washed and dried


1. In a medium bowl, toss beet slices (either raw or cooked) with the juice and zest of the grapefruit-half, vinegar, pinch of salt and 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Marinate, at least 15 minutes to 4 hours.


2. Cut the strawberries into quarters. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, and juice from the lemon.


3. Prepare the rhubarb sauce: in a food processor, pulse rhubarb with 2 tbsp water and puree until smooth.


Just before serving, strain the marinated beets. Toss beets with the strawberries. Arrange the greens on a platter and top with the beets and strawberries. Put a dollop of rhubarb purée in the center. Optional: drizzle with a little olive oil.

Serves four. Calories per serving: 140



For other sports recipes: Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook

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