Health Benefits Of Beetroot
Beetroot, also known simply as the beet, has been gaining in popularity as a new super food due to recent studies claiming that beets and beetroot juice can improve athletic performance, lower blood pressure and increase blood flow.
New products incorporating this highly nutritious food are sprouting up everywhere, especially in juices and drinks.
Beetroot, or table beets, although from the same family as sugar beets (beta vulgaris), are genetically and nutritionally different. Sugar beets are white in color and commonly used for sugar extraction and sweetening manufactured foods. Sugar cannot be obtained from beetroot, which are most commonly found in red and gold varieties.
Lowers your blood pressure levels :-
- Beetroot is a great source of nitrates, which when consumed, is converted to nitrites and a gas called nitric oxides.
- Both these components help to widen the arteries and lower blood pressure.
- Researchers also found that having just about 500 grams of beetroot every day reduces a person’s blood pressure in about six hours.
- (1) Read simple tips to include beetroot in your diet.
Reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol and prevent plaque formation :-
- Beetroot is known to contain large amounts of soluble fibres, flavanoids and betacyanin.
- Betacyanin is the compound that gives beetroot its purplish-red colour and is also a powerful antioxidant.
- (1) It helps reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and does not allow it to deposit on the walls of the artery.
- This protects the heart from potential heart attacks and stroke reducing the need for medication.
Good for pregnant women and unborn child :-
- Another amazing quality of the root is that it has an abundant supply of folic acid.
- Folic acid is important for pregnant mums and unborn babies because it is an essential component for the proper formation of the unborn child’s spinal cord,
- And can protect the child from conditions such as spina bifida (is a congenital disorder where the child’s spinal cord does not form completely and in most cases looks like it has been divided into two at the base).
- Beetroot also gives mums-to-be that extra energy boost required during pregnancy. Read more about why women need folic acid during pregnancy.
Treats anaemia :-
- It is a common myth that because beetroot is reddish in colour, it replaces lost blood and is therefore good to treat anaemia.
- While this may sound a bit outrageous to many, there is a partial truth hidden in the myth.
- 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 colour that helps treat anaemia. Read about 5 foods you should avoid if you have anemia.
Protects you from cancer :-
- The betacyanin content in beetroot has another very important function.
- In a study done at the Howard University, Washington DC, it was found that betacyanin helped slow the growth of tumours by 12.5 percent in patients with breast and prostate cancer.
- (4) This effect not only helps in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers but it also helps cancer survivors remain cancer-free longer.
Prevents Respiratory Problems :-
- Beetroot is a source of vitamin C that helps to prevent asthma symptoms.
- The natural beta carotene in beetroot also helps to prevent lungs cancer.
- Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system in a number of ways.
- Besides acting as an antioxidant itself and defending against the effects of free radicals in the body, vitamin C also stimulates the activity of white blood cells, which is the body’s main line of defense against foreign bodies, as well as viral, bacterial, fungal, and protozoan toxins that can result in a multitude of infections and illnesses.
- Vitamin C’s range goes from fighting the sniffles to reducing the chances of cancer, and beets has plenty of vitamin C!
Good for Heart Health :-
- Beet fiber helps to reduce cholesteroland triglycerides by increasing the level of HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol).
- Having a high level of triglycerides increases the risk for heart related problems, so increased HDL is a good line of defense against that.
- The presence of the nutrient betaine lowers the levels of homocysteine in the body which can also be harmful to the blood vessels.
- Thus, consumption of beetroot helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases in multiple ways, so conditions like ahterosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes are less likely to develop.
- The fiber in beets also works to strip excess LDL cholesterol from the walls and help to eliminate it from the body quickly.
Exercise and athletic performance :-
Beetroot juice supplementation has been shown to improve muscle oxygenation during exercise, suggesting that increased dietary nitrate intake has the potential to enhance exercise tolerance during long-term endurance exercise. Quality of life for those with cardiovascular, respiratory, or metabolic diseases, who find the activities of daily living physically difficult because of lack of oxygenation, could be improved.
Beetroot juice improved performance by 2.8% (11 seconds) in a 4-km bicycle time trial and by 2.7% (45 seconds) in 16.1-km time trial.
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.
- Here’s how you can prevent osteoporosis.
Keeps diabetes under check :-
- People suffering from diabetes can fulfil their sweet craving by adding a little beetroot in their diet.
- Being a medium glycaemic index vegetable (means it releases sugars very slowly into the blood), it aids in maintaining your blood sugar levels low while satiating your sugar craving.
- (2) Also, this vegetable is low in calories and fat-free making it a perfect vegetable for diabetics.