9 Impressive Health Benefits of Beets
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Beetroots, which are more generally referred to as just beets, are a colourful and adaptable variety of vegetables. They are famous for the earthy flavour and scent that they exude.
Beets, in addition to adding a splash of colour to your meal, are an excellent source of nutrition. They are jam-packed with important vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds, and a good number of these plant compounds have therapeutic effects.
In addition, they are delectable and simple to incorporate into your diet in the form of foods such as balsamic roasted beets, hummus, fries, and salads, to name just a few of the numerous options available.
Here are nine benefits of beets that have been backed up by scientific research, as well as some delightful methods to enhance your intake.
1. An abundance of nutrients with relatively few calories
The nutritional profile of beets is particularly impressive.
They contain few calories but a significant amount of beneficial vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. In point of fact, they provide your body with a trace amount of practically all of the vitamins and minerals it requires.
The following is an overview of the nutrients that may be found in a serving of boiled beetroot that is 3.5 ounces (100 grammes) in size:
Protein: 1.7 grammes
Fat: 0.2 grammes
Carbs: 10 grammes
Fiber: 2 grammes
20 percent of the recommended daily intake of folate (DV)
14 percent of the daily value for manganese
8 percent of the total DV for copper
7 percent of the daily value for potassium
Magnesium makes up 6% of the daily value.
4 percent of the daily value for vitamin C
4 percent of the daily value for vitamin B6
Iron makes about 4% of the daily value
Folate is an essential vitamin for proper growth and development, as well as for maintaining a healthy heart, and beets are an excellent source of this nutrient.
They also include a good amount of the mineral manganese, which plays an important role in the creation of bones, the metabolism of nutrients, brain function, and many other processes.
In addition to this, they contain a significant amount of copper, which is an essential mineral that is necessary for the generation of energy as well as the synthesis of specific neurotransmitters.
However, despite their high nutrient content, beets are relatively low in both calories and fat. In addition to this, they are an excellent source of a number of essential minerals, including folate, manganese, and copper.
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2. May be able to assist in maintaining a healthy blood pressure
There has been a lot of research done on the beet’s potential to lower high blood pressure, which is a significant contributor to the development of heart disease.
In point of fact, a number of studies have demonstrated that drinking beetroot juice can dramatically reduce levels of blood pressure on both the systolic and diastolic sides of the heart.
It would appear that the effect is more pronounced for systolic blood pressure, which is the pressure that is present while your heart is actively contracting, as opposed to diastolic blood pressure, which is the pressure that is present when your heart is at rest. Additionally, eating raw beets rather than cooked ones may have a more potent effect.
It is possible that the high concentration of nitrates found in this root vegetable is responsible for the decrease in blood pressure that it causes. Nitrates in food are broken down into nitrates in the body, which are then transformed into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a chemical that relaxes blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure.
Additionally, beets are an excellent provider of folate. Although the findings of some studies have been contradictory, a growing body of evidence suggests that increasing one’s consumption of folate could dramatically bring blood pressure levels down.
Be aware, however, that the beneficial influence that beets have on blood pressure levels is only transient. As a result, you need to consume them frequently in order to experience the benefits associated with improved heart health over the course of time.
There is a significant concentration of nitrates in beets, which is one of the factors that contribute to their ability to decrease blood pressure. Because of this, one’s likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease and stroke may go down.
3. Has the potential to enhance athletic performance
There have been a number of studies that point to dietary nitrates, such as those found in beets, being able to improve athletic performance.
Nitrates appear to have an effect on physical performance by increasing the effectiveness of mitochondria, which are the cellular components responsible for the production of energy in your body.
According to the findings of one study, drinking beetroot juice may improve an athlete’s endurance by extending the amount of time before they become fatigued, enhancing their cardiorespiratory performance, and making them more effective overall.
It has also been demonstrated that beet juice can improve cycling performance and increase oxygen consumption by up to 20 per cent, which is very promising.
It is essential to take note that the highest levels of blood nitrate are reached within two to three hours after consuming beets or their juice. Therefore, in order to make the most of the benefits that they could potentially offer, it is recommended to drink them a couple of hours before engaging in physical activity or competing.
Consuming beets may improve aerobic performance by increasing oxygen utilisation and increasing endurance. Consume them two to three hours before your workout or competition to get the most out of their effects.
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4. Could be helpful in reducing inflammation
There are a number of anti-inflammatory qualities associated with a group of pigments found in beets called betalains.
This may be beneficial for various areas of one’s health, as chronic inflammation has been linked to illnesses such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and even cancer.
According to the findings of one study that involved 24 people who had high blood pressure, the consumption of 8.5 ounces (250 mL) of beet juice on a daily basis for two weeks significantly reduced several markers of inflammation. These markers included C-reactive protein (CRP) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a).
In addition, a study that was conducted in 2014 on persons who had osteoarthritis, which is a disorder that results in inflammation in the joints, found that betalain capsules created with beetroot extract reduced the amount of pain and discomfort they experienced.
Both the juice and the extract of beetroot have been demonstrated to lessen renal inflammation in rats that had harmful and injury-causing substances injected into their bodies.
Still, there is a need for additional research to be conducted on humans in order to understand whether or not consuming beets in the proportions often recommended for a balanced diet can deliver the same anti-inflammatory benefits.
Although additional research conducted on people is required, there is some evidence that beets can reduce inflammation in the body.
5. It May be beneficial to the digestive system
Beets are an excellent source of fibre due to the fact that one cup of beetroot contains 3.4 grammes of fibre.
The digestive process is skipped by fibre, which then makes its way to the colon, where it helps feed beneficial bacteria and adds weight to faeces.
This can improve the health of your digestive tract, help you maintain regular bowel movements, and protect you from digestive diseases such as diverticulitis, constipation, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBS).
In addition, there is evidence that fibre consumption is associated with a lower risk of developing chronic diseases such as colon cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
The consumption of beets can improve digestive health and lower the risk of developing a number of persistent diseases because they are an excellent source of fibre.
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6. It May be beneficial to the health of the brain
As people get older, they experience a normal loss in their mental and cognitive functions, which can lead to an increased risk of neurodegenerative illnesses such as dementia.
Beet nitrates may boost brain function by encouraging the dilatation of blood vessels and, as a result, increasing blood flow to the brain. This process may take place because beets contain a high concentration of nitrates.
It has been demonstrated that beets, in particular, increase the amount of blood that flows to the frontal lobe of the brain, which is the region of the brain linked with higher-level thinking, such as decision making and working memory.
In addition, participants in a study of people with type 2 diabetes who consumed 8.5 ounces (250 mL) of beetroot juice daily for two weeks outperformed a control group in terms of their reaction time during a cognitive function test. This was in comparison to participants in the study who received no treatment with beetroot juice.
However, additional research is required to evaluate whether or not beets could be utilised to improve brain function and lessen the risk of dementia among the general population.
The consumption of beets, which are rich in nitrates, has been shown to boost cognitive function and circulation to the brain. However, there is a need for additional research in this field.
7. Could possibly possess some anti-cancer effects
There are a number of cancer-fighting chemicals found in beetroot, some of which are betaine, ferulic acid, rutin, kaempferol, and caffeic acid.
Although there is a need for additional research, tests conducted in test tubes have revealed that extract from beetroot can inhibit the growth and division of cancer cells.
According to the findings of a number of other research, having higher levels of betaine in the blood may be connected with a decreased chance of developing cancer.
Be aware, however, that the vast majority of the research done on this subject has been conducted using isolated chemicals rather than beetroot. Therefore, there is a need for additional research on the use of beetroots as a component of a balanced diet and the risk of developing cancer.
According to the findings of several studies, certain chemicals that can be found in beets may have the ability to fight cancer. However, additional study is required in order to get a deeper understanding of this possible connection.
8. Could contribute to a more stable intake of energy
Because of their high fibre content, beets are often recommended as a complement to diets that strive for nutritional harmony.
To begin with, they are low in fat and calories but high in water, which can help you maintain a healthy energy balance because of the water content. Research has shown that increasing your consumption of foods that are low in calories, such as this root vegetable, is connected with weight loss as well.
In addition, although they have a low-calorie count, they still include a reasonable quantity of protein and fibre in their composition. Both of these nutrients may make it simpler to achieve and continue to keep one’s weight in the normal range.
Additionally, the fibre found in beets has been shown to improve digestive health, suppress appetite, and heighten sensations of fullness, all of which contribute to a lower caloric intake overall.
You may also simply boost the quality of your diet by increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables by putting them in smoothies and other dishes. This will allow you to consume more of these foods.
Beets have a high water content, a moderate amount of fibre and protein, and a calorie content that is very low. All of these characteristics can help you maintain a healthy balance in your energy consumption and increase the quality of your diet.
9. Delicious and simple to incorporate into your daily routine.
Beets are not only beneficial to your health, but they are also exceptionally tasty and simple to add to your diet.
You can also roast, steam, or pickle them in addition to juicing them. You have the option of purchasing them in a precooked and canned state for added convenience. You can also consume them in their raw state by slicing them very thinly or grating them.
If at all feasible, select beets that have a weight that is disproportionate to their size and that have their fresh, unwilted green leafy tops still attached.
If you want to get the most out of the beets in terms of their nitrate content, you should try to avoid boiling them. Nitrates found in food are water-soluble.
The following is a list of tasty and intriguing methods by which you can increase the number of beets in your diet:
Salad. The addition of grated beets to coleslaw or any other salad makes the dish tastier and visually appealing.
Dip. A delicious dip that is also vibrant and good for you may be made by blending beets, Greek yoghurt, and fresh garlic together.
Juice. Fresh beetroot juice is often superior to store-bought varieties, which may have a significant quantity of added sugar and only contain a trace amount of actual beets.
Leaves. Fresh beet leaves can be prepared and consumed in a manner that is analogous to that of spinach.
Roasted. Be sure to cut the beets into wedges, then toss them in some olive oil, along with some salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you like. After that, put them in an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius) for 15–20 minutes, or until they are soft.
Beetroot is a delectable food that can easily be incorporated into a variety of diets due to its adaptability. Pick beets that have a weight that is appropriate for their size and that still have their green tops intact.
Beets have a high nutrient density and a wealth of substances that are beneficial to one’s health.
They can increase athletic performance, assist alleviate inflammation, and possibly limit the growth of cancer cells. They can also promote the health of your brain, heart, and digestive system; they are a terrific supplement to a balanced diet, and they can help prevent cancer.
The best part is that beets are delicious and simple to incorporate into one’s diet. For instance, they are a wonderful component to use in salads, auxiliary dishes, smoothies, dips, and juices.