- Lower Blood Pressure
One study found that that people who consumed a glass of fresh beet juice had reduced blood pressure in less than 6 hours. Another study here also showed that the patients drinking the beet juice experienced a 20% improvement in blood vessel dilation capacity and their artery stiffness reduced by around 10%.The benefit comes from the naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are converted into nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide, helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure. Learn more about how to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
- Improved Physical Performance
Drinking beet juice before exercise showed to improve exercise and muscle performance, this effect was due to the nitric oxide which helps to reduce oxygen expense. The scientists believe the finding will be of interest not only to athletes but also to elderly people and those with metabolic, respiratory or cardiovascular diseases. The wonderful vegetable can simply help improve energy for everyone so drink up!
- Nutrient Powerhouse
One cup of raw beets contains 58 calories, 13g of carbohydrate, 9g of sugar, 4g of fiber and 2g of protein. It also provides daily, 11% of vitamin C, 6% of iron, 5% of vitamin B6, 13% potassium (442mg), 37% of folate(148mcg) and 22% of manganese.
- Fights Inflammation
Betaine found in beets has been associated with lower levels of several inflammatory markers, including C reactive protein, interleukin-6, cyclo-oxygenase enzymes (COX-1 and COX-2) and tumor necrosis factor. Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, they have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. Unfortunately these precious antioxidants are not very heat stable so enjoying fresh raw beets gives you better anti-inflammatory and detoxification support.
- Liver and Detoxification Support
The betalin pigments in beets support the Phase 2 detoxification process through the liver which is involved in converting fat soluble metabolic waste and toxins into water soluble by-products that can be easily eliminated via the skin, kidneys and bowels. Want to learn more about how to support your body’s fat burner? Here you go.
- Anti-Cancer Properties
Research has shown that beet extract reduced multi-organ tumor formations in animal studies. Beetroot extract is also being studied for use in treating human pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancers.
- Reduces the Risk of Dementia
Researchers at Wake Forest University have found that drinking juice from beetroot can improve oxygenation to the brain, slowing the progression of dementia in older adults. Possibly consuming beetroot juice as part of a high nitrate diet can improve the blood flow and oxygenation to the brain that commonly occurs with increased age.
- Eases Constipation
Due to beets’ high fiber content combined with their Phase 2 detoxification support through the liver, beets can certainly get things moving along. Here are more tips for constipation.
By: Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND