by timrel

December 2, 2021

beetroot health benefits

Beetroot has seen a surge in popularity recently, thanks to its range of health benefits and bright, Instagrammable color. You can use beetroot to make juice, throw it into a salad, or even use it to give vegan burgers their color.

Beetroots contain a number of different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can benefit the immune system, sports performance, and overall health. In this guide, we'll be sharing some of the many health benefits of beetroot.

Digestion

Beetroot is incredibly high in fiber, holding three and a half grams of fiber per cup. Dietary fiber is important for digestive health, as it adds bulk to the stool and helps feed the good bacteria found in our gut. This is because fiber makes its way to the colon, where the good bacteria in the gut can feed on it.

There are two different forms of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber. Beets contain both fibers. making them a well-rounded source. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the gut, and can help lower glucose and bad cholesterol.

Insoluble fiber helps speed up the movement of stool and adds bulk. This prevents hemorrhoids from forming and eases the digestive process.

Blood Pressure

blood pressure apparatus

Beetroot and beetroot juice can both help reduce high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases your risk of having a stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and kidney disease.

Research has found that beetroot contains dietary nitrate, which converts into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide improves blood flow within the body by helping relax and dilate the blood vessels. This helps to improve blood flow in the body, lowering blood pressure.

More research needs to be done on the widespread effectiveness of natural nitrates for high blood pressure, but some studies have shown that the nitrates found in beet juice can help lower blood pressure, as well as your risk for heart disease.

In one study, participants drank beet juice for four weeks. By the end of the study, their blood pressure had dropped. Interestingly, when the participants stopped drinking beet juice, their blood pressure increased. Drinking one cup of beet juice a day may help lower blood pressure to a healthy range, but, as this study proves, it's important to be consistent with the dietary change.

Weight Loss

tape measure and weighing scale

Eating beets or drinking beet juice may be able to aid in weight loss. Beets have a high water content while also being low in calories. This means you can eat a big portion of beets without consuming too many calories in your diet. The fiber in beets may also help promote satiety, preventing you from snacking as frequently throughout the day, which supports weight loss.

Additionally, beets are high in magnesium. This helps control the blood sugar and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes, which is often linked to being overweight.

Exercise Performance

person exercising

Beet juice and beets may help improve athletic performance because of their nitrate content. Nitric oxide in the muscles can lower oxygen cost during exercise. Oxygen cost is the amount of oxygen our respiratory muscles use when we exercise. Higher cardio routines require more oxygen use than lower intensity exercises.

Beets and beet juice can also help with muscle contraction and recovery from exercise. Research shows that consuming beet juice may help reduce the pain felt in the muscles after exercise, also known as DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness. This is because beet juice has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation in the body after exercise.

Antioxidant Properties

Beetroot has a beneficial antioxidant content that can help fight the effects of aging, as well as reduce your risk of getting heart disease. Beets and beet juice contains the antioxidant betaine, which supports heart health, the absorption of minerals, and helps with cellular reproduction.

Betanin, which differs from betaine, is another antioxidant found in beets, and one of many free radical scavengers. These scavengers help protect the cells from damage done by free radicals. Free radicals are dangerous as they can trigger a number of different diseases and ailments, including cancer. Free radicals can also speed up the aging process.

Consuming foods high in antioxidants can help the skin maintain its elasticity, prevent wrinkles, and prevent sagging due to age. It also helps treat oxidative stress caused by smoking, high alcohol intake, pollution, and high blood sugar.

Both beets and beet juice contain a good source of antioxidants and can be consumed daily to help battle free radicals.

health benefits of beetroot and beetroot juice

Anti-inflammatory properties

Beets have anti-inflammatory effects that may help the body when it is fighting infection or recovering from muscular stress. Beets and beetroot juice contains betalain, which may help with osteoarthritis and kidney inflammation. Inflammation is associated with severe health risks such as liver disease, heart disease, and cancer, so reducing inflammation where possible is essential.

The anti-inflammatory properties of beets and beetroot juice can help people who are struggling with arthritis. The nitrates found in beets and beet juice remove harmful compounds from the bloodstream.

Cognitive Function

Another benefit of the nitrates in beets and beet juice relates to cognitive function. According to research, nitrates can help increase blood flow to the brain, providing cognitive benefits.

Some research has shown that beet juice can help with blood flow to the temporal lobe of the brain, which is responsible for critical thinking. This may be due to the fact that the nitric oxide produced helps dilate the blood vessels and improve blood flow, which can help blood reach the brain faster.

Good Source Of Nutrients

beet root and beet root juice

Beets and beet juice contain a good source of vitamins and minerals that may benefit overall health.

Some of the nutrients found in beets and beetroot juice include the following:

Folate

Beets contain folate, a B vitamin that's essential for the formation of RNA and DNA.


Folate in the body forms folic acid, which is responsible for many benefits, such as cell function, reducing early pregnancy risks, reducing the risk of birth defects, and improving symptoms of depression. Folate helps treat amenia and produce healthy red blood cells.

Potassium

Potassium helps with fluid levels in the body, as well as muscle contractions and blood pressure. The potassium found in beets and beetroot juice can help lower blood pressure and prevent water retention.


A potassium-rich diet may also help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. This is because potassium stops calcium from being lost in the body.


One thing to keep in mind is that beets are high in oxalates, which may cause kidney stones. While potassium typically helps with kidney stones, the potassium in beets will not be helpful.

Iron

Iron boosts hemoglobin in the body, which helps transport oxygen within the blood. This helps those with anemia.


Iron also helps reduce fatigue and improves muscle power and endurance. People with an iron deficiency may experience a loss of concentration. Beets provide a good source of iron, and can help fight this, as well as other iron deficiency-related issues.

Vitamin C

Beets contain vitamin C, which helps with the immune system as well as skin health. Vitamin C helps with the repair of tissues, absorption of iron, and formation of collagen. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can prevent damaging toxins from harming the body.


Vitamin C can help reduce the severity of common cold and flu symptoms and may lower your risk of cancer.

Manganese

Manganese can help regulate blood sugar levels in the body, making beets and beet juice a good option for people struggling with cravings. Manganese also helps with the absorption of vitamins, and helps with liver function.


Manganese may help with reducing PMS symptoms, like menstrual pain and mood swings, especially when combined with calcium. Manganese can also promote faster brain function as it binds to neurotransmitters. Additionally, manganese can promote good thyroid health, regulating your metabolism and appetite. This may help with weight loss.

Conclusion

person with cramps

You can enjoy a number of benefits from adding beets and beet juice to your diet, including increased oxygen supply, better cognitive thinking, lower blood pressure, and increased exercise performance. Regular consumption of beets and beet juice in place of unhealthier alternatives can also help you to improve your overall health.

You can eat beets in many ways. If you don't like the earthy taste of beets, you can try them in a blended juice. Roasting beets is also a great way to add these veggies to your diet.

By drinking beet juice daily, you can obtain their blood pressure-lowering qualities, and benefit from the naturally occurring nitrates found in the beets themselves. There is some debate as to whether eating beets raw is better than having them cooked; however, they can be prepared both ways as a part of a high nitrate diet.

Eating too many beets may cause some negative side effects that should resolve within a short period. Beets contain high levels of oxalates, which may form kidney stones. This can interfere with the absorption of some vital minerals. You may also notice that your stool and urine take on a pinkish color as a result of high beets consumption. This is nothing to worry about - it's simply because of the natural pigments found in beets. If you're concerned, remove beets from your diet for a few days or reduce the amount you're eating or drinking.

Additionally, beets may not be good for people with diabetes. They have a high glycemic index, and eating too many in a short time period may hinder their blood sugar-regulating effects.

When consuming beets, it's important to slowly introduce them to your diet, because of their high fiber content. A sudden increase of fiber in the diet may cause abdominal cramping, indigestion, and intestinal gas.

If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your doctor, who can provide medical advice about making changes to your diet.

About the author

timrel

I am passionate about health and wellbeing and have writing for over 10 years on the subject. I have a BSc Hons Degree and undertake vigorous research to help people improve their lives and live more a healthy and happy life.

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