Potential Health Benefits of Beet Beet Nutritional Recipes

Contribution: Rachna Arya

What’s in a beat?

Beets are a popular bright-red root vegetable used in many cuisines around the world. Commonly known as beets, these are vibrant, colorful and powerful root vegetables – and they’re powerful supporters of your health. Beets are a nutritional powerhouse full of antioxidants, essential vitamins, minerals and plant compounds, some of which have medicinal properties.

What’s more, they are easy to include in your diet.

This article lists some incredible health benefits of beets.

Beets boast an impressive nutritional profile.

They are low in calories, yet rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and bioactive compounds. Even beets contain surprising amounts of inorganic nitrates and pigments, both plant compounds that have several health benefits.

Beets help lower blood pressure

Studies have shown that beets have the impressive ability to dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow, thereby lowering blood pressure in just a few hours. This can lead to a significantly reduced risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack, heart failure and stroke. These blood pressure-lowering effects of beets are likely due to their high concentration of the substance, nitrates, which dilate blood vessels and consequently improve blood flow and help lower blood pressure.

Beets can improve athletic performance

A review of scientific research suggests that adding beetroot juice to an athlete’s diet can increase athletic performance by 1-3 percent. This improved performance can be attributed to its high natural nitrate concentration. Nitrates appear to affect physical performance by increasing oxygen, glucose and other nutrients for better muscle fueling. Studies have shown that eating beets can improve sports performance and increase oxygen consumption by up to 20%.

Beets can help fight inflammation

Chronic inflammation is associated with the development and progression of various diseases such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, obesity, liver disease, and ulcerative colitis. Beets contain a pigment called betalain, which gives beetroot its rich red pigment. A compound is a group of potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agents that potentially possess several anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to betalains, beetroot contains a high concentration of nitrates, which act as an anti-inflammatory compound and help reduce inflammation by removing harmful compounds from the bloodstream. The presence of betalains and nitrates complement each other and aid in the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

Beets can improve digestive health

Some anecdotal evidence suggests that beets may improve digestive health. Beets are full of fiber, a carbohydrate important for digestive health. They also increase the abundance of healthy gut bacteria. Working beets into your diet is a great way to prevent digestive conditions like constipation, inflammatory bowel disease and diverticulitis.

Beets may support brain health

Mental and cognitive function naturally declines with age. This is due to reduced blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain. Studies have shown that the nitrates in beets can improve mental and cognitive function by helping to open blood vessels in the body and thus increase blood flow to the brain. Beets have been shown to improve blood flow specifically to the white matter of the brain’s frontal lobe, an area that controls executive function skills such as focus, decision-making and attention to detail.

Beets may have some anti-cancer properties

Numerous studies have confirmed the anti-cancer properties of beets. The antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory nature of beets provide a holistic way to prevent cancer and manage the unwanted effects associated with chemotherapy. However, current evidence is fairly limited. This can be attributed to the presence of betanin, a form of betalain, found in beetroot extract, which helps reduce the growth of prostate and breast cancer cells.

Beets can help you lose weight

When added to a healthy diet, beets are a good addition to your weight-loss and detoxification program. Beets are an ideal food choice for trying to lose weight because they are very low in calories and high in water. Despite being low in calories, beets contain enough fiber to keep you feeling full. Moreover, beets are rich in vitamin C, nitrates and folates which are essential to increase the metabolic rate and start the weight loss process.

Beets are a superfood rich in nutrients that provide a wide range of unique health bonuses. With so many reasons to indulge in this vegetable, you must make it a part of your diet. Regardless of whether you cook your beets or eat them raw, your body will reap the rewards of this superfood.

Also, frequent preventive health check-ups are recommended to monitor overall health, especially your cholesterol levels.

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