With its arsenal of nutrients and antioxidants, beetroots are a powerhouse of un-beet-able goodness! They can help protect you from the ravaging effects of free radicals, thus lowering your risk of chronic diseases like cancer, arthritis. Beets can also be a powerful ally when it comes to managing blood pressure and even boosting performance levels if you’re into sports.
The ancient Greeks and Romans also loved the almighty beet. This root veggie even doubled as an offering to the god Apollo at Delphi. And with its arsenal of amazing nutrients, it was certainly a worthy offering! Beets have minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and zinc. They also boast vitamins A, B, C, and folate.
Furthermore, they’re a rich source of nitrates and phytochemical compounds like carotenoids, ascorbic acid, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. Beets also contain highly beneficial compounds known as betalains. These substances, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, are responsible for the rich color of beets.
Here are the top benefits of beets:
Blood pressure improves
Beets are rich in nitrates, which the body converts to nitric oxide—a compound that relaxes and dilates blood vessels, turning them into superhighways for your nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood. That means better circulation, and possibly lower blood pressure.
Boost Your Stamina
If you need a boost to make it through your next workout, beet juice may again prove valuable. Those who drank beet juice prior to exercise were able to exercise for up to 16 percent longer. The benefit is thought to also be related to nitrates turning into nitric oxide, which may reduce the oxygen cost of low-intensity exercise as well as enhance tolerance to high-intensity exercise.
The powerful nutrients that give beets their deep crimson color may help to ward off cancer. Research has shown that beetroot extract reduced multi-organ tumor formations in various animal models when administered in drinking water, for instance, while beetroot extract is also being studied for use in treating human pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancers.
Brain and Energy Boost
Beets are high in natural nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide is known to expand the walls of blood vessels so you can enjoy more oxygen, more nutrients, and more energy.
Studies have shown nitric oxide to increase the efficiency of the mitochondria (your energy powerhouses). The results of these studies were impressive.
- A single small serving(70 ml) of beetroot juice reduced resting blood pressure by 2%.
- A single small serving increasedthe length of time professional divers could hold their breath by 11%.
- Cyclists who drank a single larger serving (500 ml) of beetroot juice were able to ride up to 20% longer.
Beets taste sweet, but a cup of cooked beet contains only 60 calories and is full of fiber. This is a perfect food for weight management. The sugars in beets are smart carbs, since they come in a natural whole food form. Unlike white sugar, the beet calories come with a lot of nutrients.