Beetroot, also known as beets, is an ancient bulbous vegetable that offers many health benefits and a wonderfully sweet flavor. They can be eaten raw, cooked, juiced or pickled, and their leaves are also edible. The rich purple flesh gives salads and side dishes a creative boost while giving your body exactly what it needs on the path to optimum wellbeing.
Here are 10 health benefits that you can reap from eating beetroot:
1. Encourages Weight Loss
Beets are high in fiber, low in calories and contain no fat, which makes them a great source of nutrition to encourage weight loss. One whole beet contains only 35 calories, as well as being relatively low in carbohydrates and protein, but high in filling fiber and nutrients.
2. Powerful Antioxidants
The deep purple color of beets is a sure sign that they are loaded with powerful antioxidants, the most significant ones being known as betalains. Studies have proven that betalains are able to impact the health of your entire body, improving heart, brain, blood and cell function. Antioxidants assist to fight free radical damage, which improves vitality and longevity, as well as offering a more youthful appearance to your skin.
3. Helps to Lower Blood Pressure
Beetroot contains phytochemicals and nitrates which assist in lowering blood pressure by opening up your blood vessels and improving the flow of oxygen. The most potent effect has been shown from drinking beetroot juice as cooking and pickling can lead to a loss in these potent compounds. Beetroot juice is a powerful ally in the battle against hypertension.
4. Powerful Aphrodisiac
For over a thousand years’ beets have been considered a powerful aphrodisiac which boost libido and promote the performance of sexual hormones. They contain a mineral known as boron, which has been shown to improve fertility, sperm mobility and libido, and they also contain antioxidants and nitrates which improve blood flow and performance.
5. Helps to Lower Cholesterol
One cup of beetroot contains up to 15% of your daily recommended amount of dietary fiber, which helps to support cholesterol lowering efforts. Soluble and insoluble fiber helps to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) by eliminating waste from the digestive tract and plaque from the walls of arteries.
6. Prevents and Manages Diabetes
The soluble fiber in beetroot combined with the dense source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals has been proven to assist in managing and balancing blood sugar levels, which reduces the risk and symptoms of developing diabetes. It also contains an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid, which has been proven to reduce insulin sensitivity.
7. Boosts Athletic Performance and Energy Levels
The nitrates in beets are known to improve oxygen flow by as much as 16%, which studies have shown in athletes who consume pre-workout doses of its crimson juice. Beets also contain a steady supply of carbohydrates, offering natural sugars which boost energy and performance while balancing blood sugar with its load of fiber.
Beta-carotene and Vitamin A, which are both found in beets, are known to improve vision and to prevent macular degeneration. The powerful antioxidants also aid in reducing free radical damage, which prevents cataracts, night blindness and age related eye diseases.
9. Natural Immunity Booster
Just one cup of beetroot gives you up to 11% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamin C, which is important in fighting bacteria, germs and disease, as well as promoting vitality. It also contains natural anti-inflammatory compounds such as betaine, which prevents diseases related to chronic inflammation.
10. Packed with Vitamins and Minerals
Every serving of beetroot offers you a decent dose of: folate, manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, Vitamins C and B6, as well as containing antioxidants, nitrates and phytonutrients. This makes beets a rich source of nutrition, offering your entire body a decent push towards health and vitality.