Incredible Benefits of Beets: 5 Reasons to Include the Root Vegetable in Your Diet

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Common beet is a record holder in terms of boron and manganese concentration, as well as one of the leaders in iron content.

Beets are one of my favorite vegetables. It makes very tasty and healthy borscht, but few people know that this root vegetable has a lot of useful properties.

It turns out that ordinary beets are a record holder for the concentration of boron and manganese, as well as one of the leaders in iron content. Substances in beets improve metabolism, activate hematopoiesis, and strengthen the immune system.

Improves blood pressure

Beets are rich in nitrates, which the body converts into nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes and dilates blood vessels, turning them into superhighways for nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood. This means better circulation and possibly lower blood pressure.

A study published in Nutrients in August 2019 found that drinking red root juice can improve blood pressure. But due to the high sugar content of many juices, medical experts advise eating bits rather than drinking them.

The risk of heart disease may decrease

Beets not only have a potentially positive effect on your blood pressure. They are also rich in a plant alkaloid called betaine, as well as vitamin B folic acid.

According to an article published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine in March 2013, betaine and folic acid work together to lower blood levels of homocysteine, a chemical the body uses to make proteins.

High levels of homocysteine increase the risk of arterial damage and heart disease.

Improves endurance

When elite athletes pee in a cup for a drug test, the color may be crimson. Why: Because many athletes eat Beets – Beets have pigments that color urine pink.

Studies, such as this article in the August 2018 Annual Nutrition Review, have shown that the nitrates found in beets increase endurance.

It takes three to five beets (depending on their size, which varies widely) to get a performance boost, said study author Andy Jones, Ph.D., professor of applied physiology in sport and health sciences at the University of Exeter.

Improves brain function

Nitric oxide, which your body produces from the nitrates in beets, relaxes and dilates your blood vessels, which in turn increases blood flow to the brain, which can improve brain function. This is especially important as we age.

Our ability to produce nitric oxide decreases as we get older, along with our brain’s energy metabolism and neuronal activity. So keep your brain going with beets.

In one small study published in The Journals of Gerontology in September 2017, 26 older men (average age 65.4 years) who drank beet juice and exercised had brain networks that more closely resembled those of younger people.

In other words, with a little exercise and beetroot juice, we can help our brains stay flexible and sharp as we age.

Benefits to the liver

Your liver does the hard work of cleaning your blood and “detoxifying” your body. You can lighten its load with a daily serving of beets.

Studies, such as this article published in Current Research in Nutrition and Food Science in November 2019, show that betaine, an amino acid found in beets (as well as spinach and quinoa), has a protective effect on the liver in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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