Beet or beetroot is very healthy food that offers amazing benefits in numerous medical issues.
Beetroot is rich in essential nutrients, vitamins such as iodine, zinc, magnesium, flavonoids, saponins, chlorine, calcium, betaine, sodium and natural nitrites. Additionally, it is rich in folic acid, carotenoids, lutein, potassium, zeaxanthin, and glycine.
The hypoallergenic properties of chlorine enable the functions of the organs and clean the kidneys, gallbladder, and lymph.
Due to this rich nutrient density, this vegetable effectively treats diseases and conditions like diabetes, sleeping issues, weak immune system, anemia, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and thyroid issues. However, it has only one side effect, it gives the urine a red color.
Here are some great (and surprising) things that happen to your body when you eat beets.
1. Improves blood flow
Nitrates (a naturally-occurring salt) in beetroot are converted to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide relaxes and expands blood vessels, increasing blood flow. This, in turn, decreases blood pressure, improves physical performance, and works as a treatment for sickle cell anemia. The amino acid betaine also prevents the buildup of homocysteine (another amino acid) in the blood, which can lead to problems with the circulatory system.
2. Stabilizes mood and mental health
Beets contain tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes a feeling of well-being and relaxation. Another compound, betaine, causes the metabolization of body chemical SAM-e, which is a natural anti-depressant. If that’s not enough, by promoting better blood flow to the brain, beets can improve cognitive function and prevent dementia.
3. Treatment and prevention of cancer
Beets get their rich color from betalaines. Betalaines are water-soluble antioxidants. According to a 2014 study, betalaines have chemo-preventive abilities against some cancer cell lines. Betalaines are thought to be free radical scavengers that help find and destroy unstable cells in the body.
4. Improves exercise stamina
According to a small 2012 study, drinking beetroot juice increases plasma nitrate levels and boosts physical performance. During the study, trained cyclists who drank 2 cups of beetroot juice daily improved their 10-kilometer time trial by approximately 12 seconds, while also reducing their maximum oxygen output.
5. You become regular
One way to beat irregularity and constipation is by eating fiber-rich foods like beets. One cup of beets delivers about 4 grams of dietary fiber, particularly insoluble fiber, which helps reduce the risk of constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulitis. The betaine found in beets has also been shown to improve digestion.
6. Healthy skin
Folate is one of the B vitamins critical for skin health. Plus, it can prevent skin cancer and stimulate repigmentation of white skin patches of vitiligo.
7. Cures anemia and iron deficiency
Numerous people don’t get enough iron in their diets, leading to fatigue at its mildest and anemia at its extreme. Iron deficiency can manifest in many ways and can leave your cells deprived of oxygen throughout your body. Beets are rich in iron and vitamin C, which helps your body absorb the mineral.
8. Treats high blood pressure
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. A very small study from 2012 found that 13 men who drank just one glass of beet juice temporarily lowered their systolic blood pressure by an average of 4 to 5 points.
9. Detoxifies liver
Your liver does the heavy work of cleaning your blood and detoxing your body. You can lighten its load with a daily serving of beets. Research shows that betaine, an amino acid found in beets can help prevent and reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver. Animal studies show that rats given beet juice have higher levels of detoxifying enzymes in their bloodstream.
10. No birth defects
Beets contain folate, which is necessary for healthy fetal development. In particular, the mineral ensures proper development of the fetal spinal cord to prevents the risk of defects such as spina bifida. Also, beets ease the stress of carrying a child on the mother by improving digestion and immunity as well as preventing pregnancy-induced osteoporosis and joint pain.
11. Fights inflammation
This colorful root contains powerful antioxidants that fight cell damage and anti-inflammatory agents that lower your risk of disease and cancer.
12. Eases menstrual pain and menopause symptoms
Menstruation and menopause are known to cause an influx of hormones. Phytochemicals found in beets help balance out hormone and increase estrogen production to minimize your monthly roller coaster. Also, the iron in beets helps maintain the important blood mineral when it’s needed most, reducing fatigue and irritability. Lastly, vitamin B9 (folate) helps to regulate menstrual periods.
13. May slow the progression of dementia
According to a 2011 study, nitrates may help increase blood flow to the brain in older people and help slow cognitive decline. After participants consumed a high-nitrate diet which included beetroot juice, their brain MRIs showed increased blood flow in the frontal lobes. The frontal lobes are associated with cognitive thinking and behavior. More studies are needed. But the potential of a high-nitrate diet to help prevent or slow dementia is promising.
Beets are healthy no matter how you prepare them. But juicing beets is a superior way to enjoy them because cooking beets reduce their nutritional profile. If you don’t like beetroot juice straight up, try adding some apple slices, mint, citrus, or a carrot to cut through the earthy taste.
If you decide to add beetroot juice to your diet, take it easy at first. Start by juicing half a small beetroot and see how your body responds. As your body adjusts, you can drink more.