Among the many vegetables that help us sustain a healthy living is one that has recently been named a super food: red beetroot. Many studies have been proving the great number of health benefits that beetroot has when it is consumed. Eating beetroot has been shown to promote a healthier heart as well as lower blood pressure. People who volunteered in a study where they consumed beetroot and then had their blood pressure measured were all shown to have decreases in blood pressure in a matter of only a few hours. This lowering of blood pressure is theorized to be because of the high amount of nitrates found in beetroot. When nitrates are consumed, they are converted into nitric oxide in the body which dilates blood vessels.
Nitrates found in red beetroot are also great for improving athletic performance and exercise. Nitrates improve the functioning of the mitochondria in many of our body’s cells. The mitochondria play a key role in the processes of respiration and energy production. Athletes who consumed beetroots in trials ended up having increased endurance and were able to better withstand high-intensity exercises. Oxygen use is also improved as a result of consuming red beetroot which further enhances physical endurance for exercises.
This easier access to oxygen has also been shown to improve brain functioning and can even slow the progression of dementia in older people. The nitrates found in beetroot improve the blood flow in the brain and increase the access to oxygen. Problems with blood flow in the brain lead to issues with cognition and in some cases dementia. Beetroot can help prevent these complications.
Another benefit that red beetroot has for our health is its help in fighting inflammation. One of the nutrients in beetroot, called choline, is very good for reducing chronic inflammation and can help reduce the chances for heart disease, obesity, liver disease, and cancer. Beetroot is especially great for a healthier liver. It is loaded with vitamins and nutrients such as betaine, vitamin B, antioxidants, and iron which keep the liver more active. High concentration of other vitamins and minerals are found in beetroot such as protein, fiber, magnesium, potassium, manganese, vitamin A, and more. While beetroot is full of all of these nutrients, it has a very low calorie count which is one of the reasons beetroot is considered a superfood.
Beetroot is also very a very helpful resource for healthier digestion. As mentioned earlier, beetroot contains quite a bit of fiber. Fiber passes directly through to the colon upon ingestion, where it then acts as a food source for the good bacteria in our gut. This facilitates digestion and can prevent issues related to digestion such as constipation and inflammatory bowel disease.
Fortunately, this superfood is a very tasty and versatile nutrition source. It can be eaten in many forms including cooked beetroot leaves, beetroot dip, beetroot salad, beetroot juice, and roasted beets. There are many ways to incorporate it into one’s diet and the amount health benefits are plentiful.
Coyle, APD, Daisy. “9 Impressive Health Benefits of Beets.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 26 May 2017.
Ware RDN LD, Megan. “Beetroot: Health Benefits and Nutritional Information.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 23 Feb. 2017.