The Surprising Health Benefits of Beets

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Beetroot – known simply as beet – is a type of root vegetable with a pronounced deep violet color. Although consumed as a vegetable, some varieties are used to make sweeteners. In today’s post, we are listing down the health benefits of beets:

Incredibly Heart-Friendly

Beets are high in dietary fiber. This nutrient absorbs cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Studies show that a high level of triglycerides in the blood increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke. The fiber in beets eliminates the excess fatty buildup on the arterial wall.

Apart from dietary fiber, beets are also packed with a special chemical called betaine. Betaine lowers the level of homocysteine in the body. Homocysteine affects the blood vessels, making the body vulnerable to heart diseases.

Reduces Birth Defects

Yes, beets also reduce birth defects on developing fetus because they are packed with vitamin B complex and folate. Folate is an important nutrient that assists in a developing fetus’ spinal column. Folate deficiency could lead to a rare congenital disorder called neural tube defects. That’s why expecting mothers are encouraged to boost their consumption of beets.

Cuts the Risk of Cancer

Studies show that beets contain an antioxidant called betacyaninis. Betacyaninis is a pigment that gives beets its distinct deep aubergine color. The betacyaninis in beets may help cut the risk of skin, lung and colon cancer. This compound neutralizes cell mutation caused by nitrates. Nitrates are preservatives often used to cure meat products. Unfortunately, nitrates are linked to cancer.

A study by Hungarian researchers found that beet juice has the uncanny ability to slow down the development of cancerous tumors.

Reduces Internal Inflammation

The same chemical in beets that keeps the heart healthy also neutralizes internal inflammation. Health experts agree, internal inflammation is one of the most common causes of chronic diseases, including heart disease. The betaine in beets protects the cells and organs from inflammation and environmental stress. This chemical also improves vascular risk factors and enhances performance.

Protects from Respiratory Problems

Apart from its impressive antioxidant content, beets are incredibly high in vitamin C too. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. It protects the cells from cellular damage caused by free radicals. This nutrient stimulates the activity of white blood cells, enhancing immunity. Beets are known to reduce the risk of asthma and bronchial problems. The beta-carotene in beets protects from lung cancer.

Energizes the Body

Forget about store-bought energy drinks or sports drinks. Just a serving of beets is enough to restore energy and nourish the muscles. Beets are naturally high in carbohydrates, which are converted into fuel by the body. However, the carbs in beets are different from the carbs you get from refined foods. The complex carbs in beets are slow burning. They will fill you up nicely without causing you to gain weight!

Apart from energizing the body with complex carbs, beets are also packed with nitrate. Nitrate helps increase the oxygen uptake in the body by up to 16%! The nitrates in beets energize the muscles, boost performance, and improve mental alertness.

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