Why are beets so good for your health?
Beets, or as they are also commonly known, beetroot, are root vegetables. Most varieties have more or less spherical roots with a dark red color. They are often added to food or blended to make juice. Beet leaves are also eaten either raw, cooked, or in salads. Make sure you rinse beet leaves well with clean water when making a salad. Also, you can make smoothies or garnish using raw beet leaves.
Beets are good for overall health. They are rich in minerals and vitamins, including vitamin C, folic acid, and potassium, that are important for the health of muscles, bones, and kidneys.
Below is an overview of nutrients found in a serving of 2 beets or 100 grams.
- Calories, 44 kilocalories
- Protein, 1.68 grams
- Fat, 0.18 grams
- Carbohydrates, 9.96 grams
- Fiber, 2 grams
- Sugar, 7.96 grams
- Manganese, 0.326 milligrams
- Copper, 0.074 milligrams
- Potassium, 305 milligrams
- Magnesium, 23 milligrams
- Sodium, 77 milligrams
- Vitamin C, 3.6 milligrams
- Vitamin B6, 0.067 milligrams
- Iron, 0.79 milligrams
Manganese is also present in beets and acts as a coenzyme in biological processes such as bone formation, defense of free radicals, and also in the brain.
What are the super health benefits of beets?
1. Improve the performance of athletes
Nitric oxide found in beets helps improve athletic performance. It helps in promoting blood flow in your body. Nitrates help in oxygen supply by controlling the vasodilation of blood vessels. Consuming beets will increase the flow of oxygenated blood during exercises.
Beet juice intake before exercise increases muscle endurance by increasing the time taken by your muscle to get tired. It also improves the performance of the heart and lungs during high-intensity workouts. It is worth considering taking beet juice 90 minutes before training or competition, as it takes 2-3 hours for nitric oxide to be absorbed in the body.
2. Control blood pressure
Studies have been done to test the effect of beet juice on systolic blood pressure (the pressure when the heart contracts) and diastolic blood pressure (the pressure when the heart is at rest). The results showed that beets lowered both pressures. Such pressure reduction was due to nitrates in beet juice that helped in air circulation in the bloodstream. It's a cheaper method that will help decrease heart-related diseases.
3. Improve brain health
Beet juice has been shown to boost blood flow in the brain, especially in older people. It has positive neuroplastic (when the brain is altered to function another way than previously used to work) in older people as they grow older. An increase in blood flow helps in fighting dementia (memory loss). It improves the cognitive function of the brain.
4. Fight inflammation
Betalains is a pigment that is available in beets. It has anti-inflammatory properties. Results of a study done on 24 people with high blood pressure were subjected to consuming 250 millimeters of beet juice. After two weeks, the level of inflammation had reduced.
Beet extracts and capsules made with beet extracts showed to lower the level of kidney inflammation.
5. Cancer prevention
Results of a study showed that beets are effective at stopping carcinogenesis. When drunk with water, compounds such as betanin pigment have shown cancer prevention properties. These compounds are antioxidants and can be used as drugs to treat or lower cancer cell growth.
A study has shown that beets and beet leaves extract can be a natural treatment for cancer such as prostate cancer. The main components betanin and apigenin have essential anti-cancer effects against prostate cancer.
6. Promote gut health
Beets are rich in fiber. Fiber is not digested by the human body but promotes bacteria that are found in the stomach, known as microbiota.
These fibers promote digestive health and also help in preventing diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, colon cancer, and constipation.
7. Improve sexual health
Beets contain a chemical compound used in the production of human sex hormones called boron. Nitric oxide contained in beets help carry oxygen around the body. This helps in blood flow in genital areas and increases your libido. Drinking one glass of beet juice at night will increase your sexual performance.
Beets contain compounds like betaine and methionine. These compounds are very effective in detoxification of the liver. It also prevents the deposition of fats in the liver that is caused by protein deficiency and alcohol abuse.
9. Skincare and prevention of premature aging
Beets have high quantities of antioxidants and phenolic compounds. The compound helps remove free radicals in your system that damage cells and DNA. When free radicals have been removed, you will be protected from premature aging. Also, the inflammatory compounds help in the protection of age-related diseases.
As stated earlier, beets have a high level of fiber and calories. Consuming beets or a glass of beet juice will keep your stomach full, controlling your food intake. They are also low on calories, making them good for a weight loss diet.
11. Promote eye health
Beets contain a high level of lutein. Lutein is an excellent antioxidant that helps improve your eye health by protecting them from cataracts and macular degeneration (a disease that affects eye vision) and improves nerve tissue.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
biomolecules: "Dietary Nitrate from Beetroot Juice for Hypertension: A Systematic Review."
BioMed Research International: "A Review on Plants Used for Improvement of Sexual Performance and Virility."
ClinMed International Library: "Red Beetroot: Composition and Health Effects - A Review."
FoodDataCentral: "Beets, Cooked, Boiled, drained."
Health and Social Services: "What are Beets?"
Mediator of inflammation: "Beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) Extract Ameliorates Gentamicin-Induced Nephrotoxicity Associated Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Apoptosis in the Rodent Model."
molecules: "Red Beetroot and Betalains as Cancer Chemopreventive Agents."
National Library of Medicine: "Manganese: Its Role in Disease and Health.", "Improvement of hypertension, endothelial function and systemic inflammation following short-term supplementation with red beet (Beta vulgaris L.) juice: a randomized crossover pilot study.", "Beetroot and leaf extracts present protective effects against prostate cancer cells, inhibiting cell proliferation, migration, and growth signaling pathways.", "Health effects of dietary fiber."
nutrients: "Effects of Beetroot Juice Supplementation on Cardiorespiratory Endurance in Athletes. A Systematic Review.", "Dietary Fiber, Gut Microbiota, and Metabolic Regulation—Current Status in Human Randomized Trials."
Nutrition and Metabolism: "Beta Glucan: Health Benefits in Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome."
Phytotherapy Research: "Evaluation of the effect of beetroot juice on DMBA-induced damage in liver and mammary gland of female Sprague-Dawley rats."
Push Doctor: "12 health benefits of beetroot."
ReadersDigest: "Impressive Health Benefits of Beets (and a Few Potential Risks)."
The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences: "Beet Root Juice: An Ergogenic Aid for Exercise and the Aging Brain."
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