Put beets in salads, sip them into your green smoothie, or turn them into hummus. You can do more than just roast this root vegetable, and you’ll want to get creative with it as you discover its many health-promoting properties.
“From helping lower blood pressure and increasing oxygen to providing a generous dose of antioxidants, there are quite a few reasons to include beets in your diet,” Gina Volpi, RDNHeadquartered in Austin, Texas.
according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)Raw beets contain a large amount of nutrients. They are a rich source of fiber, manganese, copper and folic acid. Beets even provide a surprising amount of protein while being naturally low in fat and free of cholesterol.
Beets are available year-round, but are best when they are in season during summer, fall, and winter in the United States, according to the US Department of Agriculture. You can keep them on hand at all times by buying frozen or canned beets – just be mindful of added sugar and salt. Between beet varieties, methods of buying and storing them and endless methods of preparation, you will never run out of ideas. And that’s a good thing considering the following seven health benefits, which will make you go to the grocery store or farmer’s market.
1. Beetroot juice lowers blood pressure
“Beets have an amazing ability to dilate blood vessels and promote blood flow, which helps lower blood pressure,” says beets. Samantha Cassetti, RD, who works in a private practice in New York City. She points out that high blood pressure is a major risk factor for two major causes of death – heart attack and stroke.
The substance responsible for the blood pressure lowering effect of beets is nitrate, which can lower blood pressure and significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to December 2018 review biomolecules. Nitrates are found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, including beets, but they are also sometimes used as a food additive in meat and cheese. While nitrates in plant foods are thought to be harmless, and are the primary source of nitrates in the typical diet, those in food additives may be linked to certain types of cancer, according to Research published in March 2020 in Antioxidants.
2. Beets are a good source of gut-friendly fiber
Dietary fiber is an important but often overlooked marker for gut and general health. On average, Americans eat 10 to 15 grams (g) of fiber per day — a small portion of the 21 to 38 recommended amount per day, according to the Harvard health publishing.
“Beets support a healthy gut microbiome — the group of bacteria in your gut that helps regulate inflammation, immune function, mood, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels,” Cassetti explains. The human digestive system is one of the most complex ecosystems, and dietary fiber can have a significant impact on the diversity and richness of the gut microbiome. Increasing the amount of fiber you eat allows gut bacteria to expand their numbers in the gut, every time Review published in May 2021 in Nutrients.
The US Department of Agriculture It measures about 3.8 grams of fiber per cup of beets. Try fermented beets for extra probiotics and beneficial gut bacteria. Fermented foods, such as pickled beets, contribute to the diversity of gut bacteria, and support gut health and digestion, according to Cleveland Clinic.
3. Beets may enhance endurance and athletic performance
You may want to replace your sports drink with beetroot juice before your next workout. Nitrate supplementation via beetroot juice can increase resistance exercise performance and increase exercise intensity, according to Review published in May 2021 in Frontiers in Nutrition.
“The nitrates in beetroot juice increase blood flow and allow more oxygen to reach your muscles, which may boost endurance and allow you to exercise for longer,” Cassetti says. “Beetroot juice can lead to athletic performance benefits such as reaching a certain distance faster and recovering in less time.”
4. Also thanks to nitrates, beets can enhance cognition
A diet rich in nitrates may offer some protection against neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia. in the small trial, published in Nutrients In July 2019Consumption of nitrate-rich beetroot juice has been linked to improved cognition in both younger and older adults, although more rigorous studies are needed.
“Beets enhance cognition by increasing levels of nitric oxide (the biologically active form of nitrate) in the blood,” Volpi says, noting that this improves oxygen flow to the brain. As you age, a sharp mind becomes more important.
5. The anti-inflammatory properties of beets may improve joint health
Betalains are the pigments that give beets their vibrant red colour. according to Cleveland ClinicThe high concentration of betalain in beets possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce inflammation throughout the body and soothe joint pain. Chronic inflammation is considered a silent killer, and has been linked to diseases such as heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes Harvard health publishing.
a review in Human Nutrition and Metabolism In September 2021 He noted that beetroot is the main source of betalain, which is involved in the pathways of the body’s inflammatory process. Researchers have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory activity of betalain in people with osteoporosis.
6. Beets may improve liver disease outcomes
The liver is one of your most important organs, but rates of liver disease are on the rise. The Estimates from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) That 24 percent of adults in the United States have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition caused by excess fat in the liver. Although people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease can lead normal lives, it can increase the risk of liver cancer and liver failure. A healthy lifestyle – that is, including eating beets – may help.
Beets contain the active compound betaine, which may be responsible for the plant’s antioxidant properties and positive effects on liver markers in people with nonalcoholic fatty liver. Article published in November 2019 in Current research in nutrition and food science.
7. The antioxidants in beets have anti-cancer properties
“The antioxidants in beets help prevent the development and growth of cancer at the cellular level,” Volpi explains. “It is one of the only plant sources of antioxidants rich betalain and anthocyanins, which protect cells from oxidation.” Oxidative damage results from an imbalance of oxidants and antioxidants, according to A Review published in December 2018 in Frontiers in Physiology. The resulting oxidative stress could be a major contributing factor to disease.
Beets are a rich source of the aforementioned dietary polyphenols, flavonoids, and nitrates, all of which support their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer capabilities, according to the Review in the 2021 issue of Cancer Prevention Journal. A diet rich in antioxidants, such as a diet containing beets, may protect cells from oxidative stress, which may contribute to cancer prevention. National Cancer Institute.
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