So today I got bored – kind of how most of my days start – and I actually decided it might be interesting to flip through my college’s summer edition of their magazine. Juuust as I was about to lose interest, I came across this picture:
And I was like, Hey. That’s a beet. So I read on.
The first thing the article told me was that, apparently, professors actually do things in their spare time besides smoke pipes or go shopping for leather messenger bags. A lot of professors, especially the super science-y ones, spend much of their time doing research.
The article that caught my eye talked about the research conducted by Dr. Daniel Kim-Shapiro, who is now the director of the Wake Forest Translational Science Center. More than ten years ago, Dr. Kim-Shapiro was working on a study led by Mark Gladwin in which they were analyzing a compound called nitrite, who’s precursor, nitrate, is found most commonly in beets. The reason nitrite was of such interest in their study was because it gets converted into nitric oxide in the body, which acts as a vasodilator (blood vessel expander), leading to increased blood flow to various muscles, a benefit with some pretty major health implications. What these researchers found, however, was that simply ingesting nitrite might not be very good for you, but it’s precursor, nitrate, could be ingested via a decent amount of beet juice.
The scientists had one little problem: beet juice tastes nasty. You might as well just drink a giant glass of dirt.
So, Dr. Kim-Shapiro and his colleagues, in the true college fashion, set out to buy some mixers to make their drink go down a little easier. Then in 2010, with a little help from a flavoring specialist, they developed a formula for a drinkable beet juice, so yes there’s a liiitle sugar in it.
Today, their product called Unbeetable is sold online and in stores like Whole Foods and Harris Teeter, but currently only in the North Carolina area. Additionally, the Translational Science Center at Wake Forest University has granted Kim-Shapiro and his team five more years of support in order to explore the benefits of beet juice in patients with heart failure, stroke, and other illnesses.
Oh yeah, and this juice might be the next Gatorade…
Just thought that it was pretty cool that this was all going on right in my backyard at school. Luckily, they’re sold on Amazon, so I don’t have to go all the way to North Carolina to get some.
Unfortunately there’s not beet juice in my plan today, but there is some other good food! Cheers!
DRINK 8 oz. of water when you wake up.
- 8 oz. water
- Turkey burger topped with spinach and an over easy egg
DRINK 16 oz. water before lunch.
- a peach
- Broccoli and apple salad from Paleo Leap
DRINK 8 oz. water before dinner.
- 8 oz. water
- Steak carnitas with sautéed peppers and onions
- Paleo tortillas
There are so many different recipes for paleo tortillas, so if you don’t happen to have arrowroot starch or tapioca powder, just google a different recipe.
DRINK at least 8 oz. of water before bed.
I just wanna roll up inside a tortilla instead of go to work this week….