Sunday, 17 July 2016

10 healthy benefits of Beet Root

Image: Live Love Fruit

1 – Beetroot for Liver Health

Beetroot contains the nutrient known as betaine, which is a lipotrope, something that prevents or reduces accumulation of fat in the liver.

2 – Beetroot for Cholesterol

Beetroot is an excellent source of dietary fiber, which has been shown to have cholesterol lowering capabilities. The flavonoids and carotenoids in beetroot also help in preventing LDL cholesterol from being oxidised and deposited in the arteries.

3 – Beet Juice and Blood Pressure

According to a study, a cup of beet juice a day can help reduce blood pressure. Individuals with high blood pressure who drank about 8 ounces of beetroot juice experienced a decrease in blood pressure of about 10 mm Hg.

The nitrate content of beetroot juice is the underlying cause of its blood pressure lowering benefits.

The reason for the beneficial cardiovascular health effects was that the nitrate in beetroot juice increased the levels of the gas nitric oxide in the blood.

4 – Beetroot for Dementia

Researchers have shown that after drinking beetroot juice, older adults had increased blood flow to the white matter of the frontal lobes, the areas of the brain commonly associated with degeneration that leads to dementia and other cognitive conditions.

High concentrations of nitrates are found in beetroot. When high-nitrate foods are consumed, nitrate is turned into nitrite by the good bacteria in the mouth. Research has found that nitrites can assist with the opening up of the blood vessels, thus increasing blood flow and oxygen to areas which are lacking oxygen.

5 – Beetroot for Fatigue

Fatigue can be a result of anaemia and iron deficiency, and beetroot as well as beetroot leaves are rich in iron.

6 – Beetroot for Gastric Ulcers

Vegetables which are high in nitrates, like beetroot, provide the stomach protection from damage by converting nitrates into nitrites via the bacteria in the mouth and then transforming the nitrites into nitric oxide in the stomach. The protective mechanisms of the stomach’s mucous membranes are activated, thereby reducing the risk of gastric ulcers.

7 – Beetroot for Osteoporosis

The silica in beetroot helps in utilizing calcium, which is important for reducing osteoporosis risk.

8 – Beetroot for Fitness

Beetroot juice consumption boosts stamina and can help an individual exercise for as much as 16% longer. Research shows how the nitrate in beetroot juice leads to reduced oxygen uptake, which makes exercise less tiring.

The research shows that beetroot juice consumption reduces oxygen uptake to a degree which can’t be produced any other way.

Other research suggests the performance enhancing properties of beetroot could help people with lung or heart conditions or the elderly enjoy more active lives.

The study looked at the effects of beetroot consumption on low intensity exercise and discovered that individuals used less oxygen when walking, effort it took to walk was reduced by 12%.

The consumption of beetroot juice widens blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and enabling more blood flow. It also has an effect on muscle tissue, the amount of oxygen required by muscles during activity is reduced. This combination of effects has a significant impact on physical performance, whether it be high-intensity or low-intensity activity.

9 – Beetroot for Healthy Skin

The high folate content of beetroot plays a critical role in skin health by stimulating the production and repair of cells, and research has indicated the potential of folate in protecting sun exposed skin against skin cancer.

10 – Beetroot for Cancer

The phytonutrient betanin found in beetroot has been shown to have anti-cancer properties.

Nutrients in Beetroot

Beetroots are a superb source of folic acid as well as an excellent source of potassium, manganese and fiber. Beet roots as well as greens are a great source of iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Beet greens are higher in nutritional value compared to beetroots, as they’re richer in iron, calcium, and vitamins C and A.

Beetroot nutritional values per 100g:

How many calories in a beet – 43
How much protein in beetroot– 1.6g
How many carbs in beetroot – 10g
What is the fat content of beetroot – 0.2g

References: DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00722.2009, PMID: 20951824, ISBN: 978-91-554-7152-1, DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31821597b4, PMID: 22456940, PMID: 23828331, PMCID: PMC3795437