Beetroot is one of the healthiest vegetables on the Planet, as it provides powerful medicinal properties and relieves many health conditions and ailments.
Its red color comes from the anthocyanins – special compounds that have strong anticancer properties.
Beets are also loaded with betaine, which is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that supports heart health, as well as essential vitamins and minerals including vitamins B1, B2, B12 and C, copper, magnesium, potassium, iron, phosphorus, and iodine.
Here are some great and surprising things that happen to your body when you eat beets:
1. Lower your blood pressure
Beets are rich in nitrates, which the body converts to nitric oxide – a compound that relaxes and dilates blood vessels, turning them into superhighways for your nutrient – and oxygen-rich blood. That means better circulation and lower blood pressure.
According to a 2012 study, men who drank just one glass of beet juice temporarily lowered their blood pressure by an average of 4 to 5 points.
2. Boost 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.
3. Fight inflammation
Beets are also rich in betalains, a class of potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that combat free radicals and inflammation-related chronic diseases like heart disease, obesity, and even cancer. It’s also known to help protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, enhance performance, and other chronic diseases.
4. Anti-cancer properties
Research suggests that betacyanin, the pigment that gives beets its purple color may help protect against common carcinogens. It has also shown promise against laboratory-grown breast cancer cells and is currently being investigated as a cancer-fighter. Beets extract is also being studied for use in treating human pancreatic and prostate cancers.
5. Your liver will be lighter
Your liver does the heavy work of cleaning your blood and detoxing your body. You can lighten its load with a daily serving of beets.
Research shows that betaine, an amino acid found in beets (as well as spinach and quinoa) can help prevent and reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver. Moreover, research on people with diabetes shows that betaine improves liver function, slightly decreases cholesterol, and reduces liver size.
6. Your brain will work better
Nitric oxide relaxes and dilates your blood vessels, which in turn increases blood flow to the brain, which could bring on better brain function.
That’s particularly important as we age, as research finds that our capacity to generate nitric oxide decreases as we get older, along with our brain’s energy metabolism and neuron activity.
7. Improves blood flow
Nitrates (a naturally-occurring salt) in beetroot are converted to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide relaxes and expands blood vessels, increasing blood flow. This, in turn, decreases blood pressure, improves physical performance, and works as a treatment for sickle cell anemia.
The amino acid betaine also prevents the buildup of homocysteine (another amino acid) in the blood, which can lead to problems with the circulatory system.
8. Eases menstrual pain and menopause symptoms
Menstruation and menopause are known to cause an influx of hormones. Phytochemicals found in beets help balance out hormone and increase estrogen production to minimize your monthly roller coaster.
Also, the iron in beets helps maintain the important blood mineral when it’s needed most, reducing fatigue and irritability. Lastly, vitamin B9 (folate) helps to regulate menstrual periods.
9. Prevents birth defects
Beets contain folate, which is necessary for healthy fetal development. In particular, the mineral ensures proper development of the fetal spinal cord to prevents the risk of defects such as spina bifida.
Also, beets ease the stress of carrying a child on the mother by improving digestion and immunity as well as preventing pregnancy-induced osteoporosis and joint pain.
10.Improves muscle strength, endurance, and performance
Beets feed your muscles with increased iron-rich blood flow, nitrites, and magnesium. A study at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri showed a significant increase in muscle strength almost immediately after drinking beet juice.