The most vibrant of vegetables are beets. Here are a few health benefits of beets that will inspire you to enjoy them in your diet more often. Their rich hue comes from a pigment called betalain that imparts a bright pinkish shade to anything. But that’s not all! Beets (called beetroot in English-speaking cultures outside the U.S.) have a deep earthy flavor that enhances salads and other dishes.
Beets have been touted as one of the healthiest veggies out there. Aside from classic red beets, there are also golden and striped beets to explore, which have similar benefits — and even sweeter flavors.
Apart from being used as food and colorants, beets are also used for medicinal purposes, being so rich in nutrients. They're rich in vitamins and minerals, and are a particularly good source of folate, manganese, potassium, and copper. Beets have been used to treat numerous health conditions since ancient times. For ways to use them, see How to Cook Beets (or Use them Raw) and our complete listing of beet recipes.
1. Fight Cancerous Cells
Beets are rich in antioxidants. The pigment that gives beet its rich color, betanin, is a potent antioxidant. It also contains betaines, which have chemopreventive properties and the ability to fight against cancerous cells. They are water-soluble antioxidants that help the body find and destroy any unstable cells. While there is never any guarantee that any food can prevent cancer, beets have substances shown to have preventative properties.
2. Reduce Cholesterol
Beets are known to lower cholesterol levels. You should consider adding beet juice to your diet if you have high cholesterol. The fiber present in it is capable of simultaneously improving HDL and lowering LDL concentrations in the body. High in fiber, beets are great for digestive function, which also has a positive impact on cholesterol levels.
Like most vegetables, beets are considered to be a great purifier. It cleanses the body by eliminating harmful toxins through the colon and flushes them out of the system. When the body is clean from within, it functions more efficiently. The juice of beets can be used to cleanse and restore the system. It helps purify the cells in the body and keep the liver healthy. It keeps you feeling hydrated and refreshed like never before.
4. Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease
These brightly colored vegetables contains nitrate, which significantly lowers blood pressure. Lower blood pressure, in turn, reduces the risk of heart disease or strokes. Beets contain chemical nitrate that cuts the risk of potential heart-related issues. These nitrates produce nitric oxide in the blood, which plays a key role in lowering blood pressure by widening the blood vessels and arteries. Hence, beets are very helpful to maintain a healthy heart.
5. Boost Stamina
Did you know that eating beets can boost your performance in athletics? Simply consuming beets could extend your endurance and improve your stamina. In other words, beets have the capability to make the muscles more fuel efficient. By improving the plasma nitrate levels, beets can boost the speed and quality of any exercise. Drinking beet juice is something that some athletes do for these purposes.
Beets are the complete package. They not only enable your body to function better, but also add flavor to many kinds of dishes. Start slowly by adding beet juice to your diet and slices to your salads, and gradually, you may start seeing a positive impact on your health. Now that you know how beets can make a difference, start adding them to your diet, and enjoy right away.
Vineetha Reddy is a regular practitioner and adviser of everything related to nutrition, fitness, health and wellness. She contributes to this knowledge ecosystem on sites like LifeHacker.co.in, StyleCraze.com and ElephantJournal.com. She strongly believes that the ingredients you find in your pantry provide the best benefits for good health. Follow her on Twitter for her best ideas.