How often do you include beetroot in your diet? Well, if you don't remember when you ate this purplish-red root the last time, you need to start consuming it due to its multiple health benefits. From keeping your blood sugar levels in control to improving your sexual stamina, this vegetable is a well know antidote for anaemia in many Indian households. In addition to acting as a natural food colour, it can be consumed in the form of salad, juice or halwa.
Sugar beets are a common raw material used for the production of sugar, but many people are missing out on including them in whole form in their regular diet. There's good reason to do so as beets contain a variety of unique health-boosting nutrients that you may not be getting elsewhere. Plus, they're delicious!
Beet root has always been included in my most recommended vegetables list, although it is in the "use sparingly" category because of its high carbohydrate levels. Although beet has the highest sugar content of all vegetables, most people can safely eat beet root a few times a week (and its greens in unlimited quantities), enjoying not only its sweet, earthy flavor but also its powerhouse nutrients that may improve your health in the following ways.
1. Boosts Your Stamina
If you need a boost to make it through your next workout, beet juice may again prove valuable. Those who drank beet juice prior to exercise were able to exercise for up to 16 percent longer. The benefit is thought to also be related to nitrates turning into nitric oxide, which may reduce the oxygen cost of low-intensity exercise as well as enhance tolerance to high-intensity exercise.
2. Fights Inflammation
Beets are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress. It's also known to help fight inflammation, protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, enhance performance, and likely help prevent numerous chronic diseases.
3. Lowers Your Blood Pressure
Drinking beet juice may help to lower blood pressure in a matter of hours. One study found that drinking one glass of beet juice lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of 4-5 points. The benefit likely comes from the naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are converted into nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide, in turn, helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
4. Anti-Cancer Properties
The powerful phytonutrients that give beets their deep crimson colour may help to ward off cancer. Research has shown that beetroot extract reduced multi-organ tumour formations in various animal models when administered in drinking water, for instance, while beetroot extract is also being studied for use in treating human pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancers.
5. Rich in Valuable Nutrients and Fibre
Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fibre, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.
6. Detoxification Support
The betalin pigments in beets support your body's Phase 2 detoxification process, which is when broken down toxins are bound to other molecules so they can be excreted from your body. Traditionally, beets are valued for their support in detoxification and helping to purify your blood and your liver.
7. Beats Constipation
Because of their high soluble fibre content, beetroot acts as a great laxative. It helps in regularizing your bowel movement by softening stools and also cleanses the colon and flushes out the harmful toxins from the stomach.
8. Treats Anaemia
It is a common myth that because beetroots are reddish in color, they replace lost blood and are therefore good to treat anaemia. While this may sound a bit outrageous to many, there is a partial truth hidden in the myth. A beetroot contains a lot of iron. Iron helps in the formation of haemagglutinin, which is a part of the blood that helps transport oxygen and nutrients to various parts of the body. It is the iron content and not the color that helps treat anaemia.
9. Beats Osteoporosis
Beetroot is packed with mineral silica, an important component for the body to use calcium efficiently. Since calcium makes up our bones and teeth, having a glass of beetroot juice a day could help keep conditions such as osteoporosis and brittle bone disease at bay.
10. Boosts Brain Power
Drinking beetroot juice could increase a person's stamina by 16 percent, because of its nitrate content. Beetroot helps in better transmission of neural impulses, making the brain work better.
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