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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.