Health Benefits of Beets : Before we delve deep into the health benefits that beetroot has to offer, let’s do a little background check, shall we? With you lies the verdict of whether the Romans deserve any credit for cultivating beetroots back in the day or not. Why beets were important back then was because of the unusually high content of sugar that they possessed. Once the Romans stumbled upon this less known fact, sucrose was extracted from the beet plant commercially and ever since, there has been no turning back.
A common scenario would entail beets being pushed away to the sides of our plates, while our forks play tag with pretty much everything that surrounds the humble red ruby. Before you let your beets go to waste, and with them the health benefits that they have to offer, consider this post.
Top 11 Health Benefits of Beets
1. Promotes Optimal Health
The deep, dark, rich color that beetroots possess are attributed to the presence of pigments called betalains, of which there are two major ones. The first being betacyanins which are red in color and the second being betaxanthins which are yellowish in color. These betalain pigments are water soluble, containing nitrogen which makes their composition rather unusual when compared to other pigments. What’s more is that they also function as antioxidants and agents of anti-inflammation.
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2. Helps Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can be lowered with the help of beetroot juice. It is believed that a single glass of the juice can keep your blood pressure lowered for up to twenty four hours and can also lower systolic pressure by about four or five points. This is due to the presence of nitrates found in this root. While all vegetables do contain nitrates to some extent, beets contain 20 times more dietary nitrates than any other. Drink a glass of beet juice everyday for a month, and your endothelial function will improve as your arterial stiffness reduces.
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3. As an Antioxidant
The unusual mix of antioxidants present in beetroot makes it quite the unique vegetable. For starters, betalain antioxidant pigments give them their color as opposed to anthocyanins which are pigments from which most other vegetables get their color from. Follow the aforementioned statement up with the fact that beets are a good source of antioxidant manganese and Vitamin C, which are essential for eye health and nerve tissue health and you’ll start to see how they stand out from the other vegetables.
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4. Improves Sexual Health and Stamina
Cited to be nature’s Viagra, beetroot has been used for ages in ancient customs to boost one’s sexual health. The rich source of nitrates present in beets releases nitric oxide into the body which widens blood vessels increasing the flow of blood to the genitals. This is essentially what medicines such as Viagra do for you, so why opt for them when you can go Au Naturale? Another benefit one can obtain is by the presence of boron in beets which is an important compound required for the production of the human sex hormone.
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5. Boosts Brain Power
Drinking beetroot juice everyday can boost your stamina by 16 percent. This again is attributed to the content of nitrate present in beets which aids in proper functioning of the brain, beating the onset of dementia in some cases. Nitrates, when converted to nitrites, transmit neural impulses which makes your brain work faster.
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6. Relief from Fatigue
The next health benefit that can be extracted from beetroot is its ability to boost your energy, once again attributed to their content of nitrates. These nitrates help to dilate the arteries which is responsible for the proper transportation of oxygen to various parts of the body. This in turn boosts your energy levels. Also present in high percentages is iron which is directly tied to a person’s stamina. If you need a quick little energy booster, then turn to beetroot juice as opposed to processed energy drinks.
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7. Can Prevent Cancer
Raw beetroot juice has been used as a remedy to cure cancer according to a study conducted in 1950 by physician Alexander Ferenczi. The therapy was so potent that the nutrients from the beet also helped to enrich the patients’ livers. Beets help to fight against cancerous tumors and leukemia in the process. Beet juice when consumed everyday for a period of three or four months shows drastic improvement in overall health.
8. Treats Anaemia
Iron aids in the formation of haemagglutinin which is essentially an element of blood that helps to transport oxygen and nutrients to various parts of the body. The iron present in beets is abundant, thus can treat anaemia. What is often misconstrued to be effective in healing anemic patients is the fact that beetroot is red in color. This is purely a myth as its the iron content that works to replace lost blood cells.
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9. Lowers Chances of Diabetes
Add some beetroot in your diet to fulfill that sweet tooth craving of yours! It is a medium glycaemic index veggie, which means that it releases sugar into your blood very slowly. This maintains blood sugar levels and simultaneously satisfies your sugar craving. Since it is low in calories and is essentially fat free, it is the perfect vegetable for people suffering from diabetes.
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10. Good for Pregnant Women
Another health benefit of beetroot is that it is rich in folic acid which is very important to expectant mothers and the unborn baby. It is an essential component for the proper formation of the unborn’s spinal cord and protects against conditions such as spina bifida, which is a congenital disorder wherein the spinal cord does not form completely and is generally divided into two at the base. Beetroot also provides energy to expectant mums which is quintessential during pregnancy.
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11. Anti Inflammatory in Nature
When we are stressed or suffer from a bacterial infection or injury, the inflammatory response of our bodies kicks in. This inflammation can become chronic due to constant stress due to lack of exercise or the fast paced lives that most of us seem to live.
Inflammation can cause the onset of the following:
- Susceptibility to infections
- High Blood Pressure.
- Chronic Pain
- Heart Disease
Beetroot is an anti inflammatory agent and therefore keeps the aforementioned symptoms at bay.
Go all in and give beets a shot! Whether you eat it whole, blend it into a soup or drink its juice, beetroot is low in fat, packed with vitamins and minerals. Definitely a food titan whose benefits should not be missed out on at any cost.