Beetroots are known for its various health benefits. However, care should be taken when consuming beetroots for they contain high levels of sugar. They were even used as a sugar substitute for a while during the Crimean War. Beetroots are usually red in color and often used as a natural food coloring agent. However, beetroots are also found in other shades from pale white to golden yellow.
Aside from being one of the most well-known natural food coloring agents, it has also been used for health problems due to its medicinal properties. While the taproot portion is the main vegetable, beetroot leaves are also edible and are known to contain high levels of antioxidants that can strengthen your immune system, and at the same time, provide you with the required nutrients that your body needs to effectively combat cancer. It should also be noted that beetroot contains large amounts of sugar and patients with diabetes need to be careful when consuming the vegetable.
Whatever its color, beets offer the same health benefits. Incidentally, beets are often called as blood turnips and are known to contain large amounts of folate, manganese, iron, copper, and magnesium. Here are some of the key health benefits associated with consuming beets:
1. Regulates blood pressure
Beets are known to contain nitrates, which get converted into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide, in turn, ends up dilating the blood vessels and manages to bring down high blood pressure all the way down within a matter of a few hours. This is one of the reasons why most doctors advise you to eat beetroots if you happen to have high blood pressure. The effect of beets, especially beetroot juice on your body, can be felt immediately and should help bring down your high blood pressure.
However, the interesting thing is that the regular consumption of beetroot juice actually manages to bring down your systolic pressure down a lot faster. Its effect is remarkable since it is often the other way around with other forms of medication, where they end up losing their efficacy over time with regular usage.
2. Improves cardiac health
Eating beetroots or drinking beetroot juice should help prevent heart attacks including stroke. Beets are known for their high concentration of nitrates, which is then transformed into nitric oxide by the body and helps dilate the blood vessels. Various studies have found that such dilation can help prevent myocardial infarction as well as ischemic strokes.
Moreover, the dilation of the blood vessels should ensure that blood is supplied regularly to your skeletal muscles, or else it may lead to heart disease. But do remember that beetroots are also loaded with sugar, so make sure that you eat them in moderation.
3. Helps prevent cancer
Beetroots are also known for their ability to prevent cancer. Betanin is found in beetroots, particularly in red beetroots. This compound is quite effective in fighting and preventing cancer.
Moreover, beetroot extract taken along with carrot juice has been found to be quite effective in preventing the spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body. According to a recent study, it was found that betanin actually managed to prevent the growth of cancer cells, which is one of the reasons why most doctors suggest a diet of beets, especially if you happen to be diagnosed with cancer.
4. Protects the liver
Beetroots contain betaine, iron, calcium, and loads of antioxidants along with vitamins B and K. Beetroot extract is known to be very effective in thinning bile, which enhances your liver's health. Given its antioxidant properties, it also helps your liver to get rid of all the toxins in your body. So if you have liver issues, then perhaps it is time to include beetroots as part of your regular diet.
Apart from bile thinning, beetroot extract can also aid in protecting your liver from oxidative damage. In other words, if you happen to frequently drink alcohol, then chances are that your liver is inflamed, and is impaired from functioning normally due to oxidative damage. Eating beetroots can often help you protect your liver from any serious damage and ensures good liver health in the long run.
5. Boosts stamina
Beetroots have long been known to have a positive effect on one’s stamina. In one study, participants were asked to drink beetroot juice before taking part in a rigorous physical activity. It was discovered that their performance and stamina improved by nearly 16 percent. This is one of the key reasons as to why many professional athletes often drink beetroot extract before taking part in any major competition.
Beetroots are known to dilate the blood vessels, thereby enabling them to carry more oxygen to your heart and to other major organs of the body. This, in turn, increases your stamina and also regulates the supply of blood to your vessels enabling them to function better.
6. Fights diabetes
Beets also contain fiber, which can help lower blood sugar levels according to an Iceland study. Moreover, consuming beetroot juice can also reduce increased levels of blood sugar after meals according to another study.
7. Helps prevent dementia
Dementia affects millions of people worldwide. Although there is no cure for dementia, various studies have found that the regular consumption of beetroot extract can actually help improve the neuroplasticity of the brain, which can help your brain to communicate better. Beetroots contain large amounts of nitrates, which are then converted into nitric oxide by the body.
Studies have also found that the regular consumption of beetroots can help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and even considerably improve the cognitive functioning of dementia patients. For this reason, most doctors recommend a healthy diet of beetroots for people diagnosed with dementia.
8. Aids in digestion
Beetroots are a rich source of fiber, which aids in a healthy digestion. Moreover, white beetroots are known for its effectiveness in clearing blockages in the digestive system and spleen, and should provide you with effective relief. Beetroots have long been known for its effectiveness in treating digestive disorders, and their extract has been utilized for the same purpose for a long time. Since beetroots are rich in fiber, they should aid in good bowel movements and help flush out the toxins from your body.
9. Lowers bad cholesterol
Beets are rich in soluble fiber, which actually happens to reduce the triglyceride levels in your body. The regular consumption of beetroots or beetroot extract can help lower bad cholesterol levels in your body, which should help improve your cardiovascular health in the long run. But remember, just eating beets is not going to bring down your bad cholesterol levels, you would still need to opt for a better diet or consult a dietitian for healthy meal plans.
10. Helps pregnant women
Most women undergo several changes in their body during the course of their pregnancy, and with increased hormones, it is important that expectant mothers are able to get the required vitamins and nutrients they need. Beetroots happen to be rich in folic acid, which is necessary for ensuring the normal development of the fetus.
11. Prevents anemia
Anemia is often caused by a deficiency of iron in the blood. Since beetroots are a rich source of iron, they can be extremely effective in preventing iron deficiency anemia. Moreover, with beetroots, your body is able to increase its nutrient absorption rate, which helps your body get the required iron it needs. So if you happen to suffer from anemia, then make it a point to include some beetroots in your diet.
12. Acts as an aphrodisiac
It has long been determined that the regular consumption of beetroots actually improves your sexual health. Beetroots contain betaine and tryptophan; the former induces relaxation while the latter increases your happiness. Together, they are known to increase your sexual prowess, which is why beetroots are often prescribed to people who have sexual health issues.
13. Promotes good eye health
Beetroots are known to prevent the formation of cataracts. They are also known to be quite effective in preventing macular degeneration.
14. Aids in weight loss
Both the leaves and taproot part of beets happen to be rich in fiber, which actually helps you with weight loss. For this reason, it is important that you include beetroots as part of your regular diet, especially if you are planning to lose weight. Moreover, regularly consuming beetroots should help control your appetite better and help you lose that extra weight.
15. Improves cognition
Beetroots have long been known for its effectiveness in improving overall cognition. Beetroots are rich in both polyphenols and betalains, which are high in antioxidants. Moreover, they promote good mental health and improve your cognitive functioning.
16. Prevents aging
Beetroots have long been known to contain both vitamin A and carotenoids, which are both effective in enabling you to look younger. Carotenoids such as lutein are effective in fighting the effects of aging such as wrinkles and crow’s feet.
17. Improves skin health
Beetroots can help improve your skin health and prevent various skin problems including eczema. The vitamin A present in beetroots is responsible for improving skin health.
18. Prevents bone loss
Beetroots are rich in calcium and are quite effective in improving the health of your bones. Beetroots contain nitrates that are converted into nitric acid, which aids in preventing bone degradation.
These are some of the key health benefits associated with beets. You can sauté beetroots when cooking, and you can also eat beets in raw form, which can help you improve your overall health. From improving your liver health to aiding in weight loss, beets are certainly fast in turning out to be one of the superfoods.
In addition, the versatility of beets makes it one of the most effective food items to date. It is important that you get all the nourishment you can to ensure that your health remains in good condition. By consuming beets, you can count on getting all the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs.
Although beets come in various colors, one of the most effective ones happens to be the red beets. Make sure that you wash the beetroot thoroughly before cooking it. You can always prepare a salad of beetroot for lunch or dinner to create a healthy meal.