Beets or beetroots, as they are often called, belong to the Chenopodiaceae family. Beetroots are one of the varieties of the Beta vulgaris species. They are frequently added as an ingredient to salads, soups, and pickles and are also used as a natural coloring agent. Even though they are available throughout the year and can be eaten every day, they are still considered seasonal vegetables. Beet lovers think of the taste as earthy; however, several people avoid these root vegetables as they think beets taste like dirt. Beets are a valuable source of sucrose, which makes them a viable replacement for tropical sugar cane. They are frequently used to make refined sugar. The history of beets stretches back to ancient times, and the earliest signs of their cultivation were approximately 4,000 years ago in the Mediterranean region. They have long been associated with sexuality, and have been known and used as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years.
Blood pressure improves
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 possibly lower blood pressure. A very small study from 2012 found that 13 men who drank just one glass of beet juice temporarily lowered their systolic blood pressure by an average of 4 to 5 points. (Note: the study was funded by a beet juice manufacturer.) Another study published in Hypertension in 2008 (which didn’t receive funding from beet-juice makers) found that folks who drank the red root juice had a 10 mm Hg drop in blood pressure and less blood clotting three hours later, compared to those who drank water.
Improve Skin Health
If you are wondering what are beetroot benefits for the skin, here’s your answer. Beetroot ingestion has been found to prevent skin cancer. Also, beets contain vitamin A that maintains healthy mucous membranes and improves skin health. Vitamin A also supports the daily replacement of skin cells.
Some believe that beetroot may also help purify the blood. This may promote skin health.
Beets are also good sources of vitamin C. Studies show that skin fibroblasts need vitamin C to synthesize collagen. Vitamin C also protects the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. Adequate vitamin C levels also minimize the formation of raised scars.
Promote Brain Health
Beets are known to improve brain neuroplasticity by improving the oxygenation of the somatomotor cortex – the brain area that is usually affected in the early stages of dementia. When older hypertensive adults were given a beet juice supplement (in addition to exercise), their brain connectivity began to resemble that of younger adults. The nitrates in beets are converted into nitric oxide within our bodies. This nitric oxide allows the brain cells to communicate with each other, thereby enhancing brain health. Nitrates also improve blood flow to the brain. Beetroot juice has also been found to prevent Alzheimer’s. As per certain studies, those who drank beetroot juice had healthier brains and improved cognitive functioning. According to another UK study, dietary nitrate can improve cerebral blood flow, thereby enhancing brain functioning.
detoxifies the liver
Beetroots contain betaine which boosts the functionality of the liver in a great way. Considering it’s the main filtration system in the body, the liver can be weighed down by toxins resulting in liver disease. As such, taking beetroot juice will go a long way in preventing against such a scenario since beets are packed with antioxidants, B vitamins, calcium, iron and betaine.
Promote Heart Health
One of the biggest benefits of beet juice is its ability to promote heart health. Beets are a rich source of dietary nitrates, which act as vasodilators to aid in improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure. A human study showed that beetroot juice helped significantly lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in participants after just 24 hours. Another small human study in 2017 found that beetroot juice helped lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol in people with uncontrolled blood pressure.
Boost your sports performance
The same plant-based nitrates that lower blood pressure also give your workout a shot in the arm. The body’s natural conversion of nitrates into nitric oxide is the key. Many athletes boost their abilities with nitric oxide supplementation – a good thing, but they are missing out on many other healthy beet benefits by getting their supply of nitrites from a supplement tablet or powder.
Beets’ nitrates and resulting nitric oxide helps your body recuperate from intense physical activity. Even during performance, the nitric oxide generation bolsters sports stamina and endurance, as shown in this England study, which showed big improvement in high-intensity training when tested on sports rowing crew athletes. This 1985 study backs up these results, testing beetroot juice during exercise, showing that beet root boosted cardiovascular health and exercise performance in its young adult test subjects.
Vitamins and Minerals
Beets are a very good source of folate and manganese and a good source of potassium and fiber. Folate is important for DNA synthesis and preventing neural tube defects in pregnancy, while manganese is a component of antioxidant enzymes and helps break down glucose and proteins. Potassium may help to reduce blood pressure and fiber is important in digestive health. Beetroot leaves (beet greens) are rich in vitamin B6, vitamin K, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, and antioxidants.