24 Jul The Many Benefits of Beets
Besides being loaded with vitamins and minerals, beets are also high in other health-promoting compounds like antioxidants, carotenoids and nitrates that increase the number of benefits even more.
- High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that help neutralize harmful free radicals, preventing oxidative stress and damage to your cells.
Beets are naturally high in health-promoting antioxidants, vitamins and trace minerals. They are an excellent source of a certain type of phytonutrient called betalains, that are responsible for providing beets with their unique color, which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and supply many of the health benefits of beets.
- Help Reduce Inflammation
A 2014 study showed that beetroot supplementation was able to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. A 2016 study also confirmed the anti-inflammatory properties of beets, showing that both beets and the juice extracted from beets were able to lower levels of inflammatory markers in people with high blood pressure.
- Promote Heart Health
One of the biggest benefits of beets or beet extract is its ability to promote heart health. Beets are a rich source of dietary nitrates, which promote vasodilation that aids in improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure.
A 2012 study published showed that beetroot juice helped significantly lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in participants after just 24 hours. Another small study in 2017 found that beet juice helped lower levels of LDL cholesterol.
- Improve Brain Function
As a result of their high level of dietary nitrates there is evidence that beets benefit brain health and may help protect against cognitive decline with age. A 2011 study showed that older adults consuming a diet high in nitrates helped increase blood flow to areas of the brain involved in higher functioning.
- May Enhance Athletic Performance
Beets have been shown to have a beneficial effect in improving athletic performance due to the beneficial effect that nitrates have on mitochondria, which are the body’s energy factories.
A study in 2011 involving cyclists found that consuming beetroot juice significantly improved power output during a time trial and exercise performance improved by 2.8 percent. An earlier human study showed that supplementation with dietary nitrates lengthened the time to exhaustion and increased tolerance to high-intensity exercise.