Scientifically known as Beta vulgaris, the humble beetroot is a root vegetable and is also known as red beet, table beet, garden beet, or just beet, and comes in many varieties.
Beetroots and beetroot juice have been linked with various health benefits, such as increased blood flow, lower blood pressure, and improved exercise performance.
Beetroot leaves are also hugely nutritious, not only are they low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol they are also a good source of Protein, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus and Zinc, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. So save those greens and add them to your smoothies or meals!
1) It Lower’s Your Blood Pressure
Multiple studies have revealed that just one glass of beetroot juice lowered systolic pressure by 4 to 5 points within a 24 hour period. In fact, one study found that participants that consumed a glass of beet juice daily for a month had lower blood pressure, reduced arterial stiffness, and improvements in endothelial function.
This is most likely thanks to the naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which the body converts into nitric oxide when consumed. In turn, nitric oxide helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
2) Beets Fight Inflammation
Beets are a rich source of betaine, a nutrient known to help fight inflammation and possibly aide in preventing numerous chronic diseases. Betaine also helps defend proteins, cells, and enzymes from environmental strain as well as protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, and enhance performance.
According to the World’s Healthiest Foods:
“[Betaine’s]… presence in our diet has been associated with lower levels of several inflammatory markers, including C reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. As a group, the anti-inflammatory molecules found in beets may eventually be shown to provide cardiovascular benefits in large-scale human studies, as well as anti-inflammatory benefits for other body systems.”
3) High in Nutrients and Fiber
Beetroot are high in fiber and are packed full of vital nutrients like the B vitamin folate, which helps to reduce the risk of birth defects, and immune-boosting vitamin C. It’s also high in essential minerals like manganese, which is wonderful for the kidneys, liver, pancreas and bones, and potassium, which is vital for healthy muscle and nerve function.
As mentioned above, Beetroot contains high amounts of nitrates, which are converted into nitric oxide that help dilate (widen) blood vessels in the body, increasing blood flow and oxygen to places lacking in oxygen as well as the brain.
4) They Can Boost Your Stamina
Want to push yourself a little bit longer during your next workout? Maybe you should try drinking a glass of beetroot juice first!
One study found that people who had a glass just before working out were able to push themselves 16% longer. Thanks to the nitric oxide that is produced when those naturally occurring nitrates are converted in the body, the oxygen cost of low-intensity exercise is reduced while increasing the body’s tolerance to high-intensity exercise.
You may also find an increase in your libido after consuming more beets. In addition to the nitric oxide increasing blood flow to give your sex drive a kick start, research has shown that beets are a rich source of a mineral called boron. Boron is directly linked to the production of sex hormones. In fact, beets could be considered one of the earliest forms of Viagra, used by Ancient Romans as a form of medicine to boost libido.
5) Beets Provide Detoxification Support
Beetroot has long been valued for their support in detoxification and helping to purify the blood and liver.
Methionine and glycine betaine found in beetroot help the liver dump damaging toxins and stimulate liver cells, while also helping to stop fatty acids from building up in your liver.
So next time you’re feeling like a detox why not try some beetroot juice instead!
6) They Contain Anti-Cancer Properties
The deep crimson color of red beets contain powerful phytonutrients that may help fight cancer. Researchers found a significant reduction in multi-organ tumor formations in animals that consumed beetroot extract with drinking water and studies into its effect on cancers in humans are also being conducted with very positive results.
Beetroot is incredibly easy to include into your diet because it’s so sweet and versatile. Always be thinking – can I add some beet – to juices, soups, salads, stews, soups…anything!
Here are some recipes to get you started:
Alkaline Recipes Containing Beetroot from Ross:
Give these a try.
And until next time – let’s get ENERGIZED!
P.S. Take a look at the Alkaline Recipe System. With hundreds of easy-to-prepare Alkaline recipes PLUS 7 goal-based meal plans each with itemized shopping lists (for goals including weight loss, more energy, better digestion, clearer skin and more) – it makes reaching your health goals SO easy!
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