Should you add beetroot to your diet? In this blog post we explore all the health benefits of beets from nutritionist & registered dietitian, Molly Kimball.
Some people think they taste like dirt; others appreciate their earthiness. There's no doubt that beets are one of those love-it-or-hate-it kinds of vegetables.
If you're among the haters, it may be time to rethink your relationship with this root vegetable, especially if your only experience has been with the canned variety.
Rich in antioxidants, the beet has a vivid hue that signals the nutrients inside. Even if you're a dedicated daily greens eater, beets provide nutrients that you won't get from spinach, kale or broccoli.
A cup of beets has 60 cals, 13g of carbs, 4g of fiber & 9g of naturally occurring sugar. Some people choose to avoid beets due to their carb & sugar content, but read on & you'll see that the benefits far outweigh!
Unlike most types of purple or deep red fruits and vegetables that get their color from antioxidant-rich anthocyanins, the pigment of beets is primarily from the antioxidant betalain, which has different benefits. One benefit is that it can support the body's natural detoxification process by binding to toxins so that they can be excreted from our bodies.
Beets are rich in nitrates, which our bodies convert into nitric oxide, a compound that enhances vessel dilation and blood flow, strengthens muscle contraction and reduces the amount of oxygen that our muscles need.
Nitrate-rich beets may help to reduce blood pressure. A study found that blood pressure readings fell by an average of 7.7/2.4 points in the people who drank regular beet juice, compared with no blood pressure changes in those in the placebo group.
Beets contain a host of nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties that may help protect against inflammation-related diseases, like heart disease and diabetes.
A number of studies on the betalain antioxidants found in beets have been shown to reduce tumor cell growth by starving tumors and hindering cell division.
Supplementing with beet root juice or powder can improve athletic endurance by increasing exercise efficiency and oxygen utilization. Eight ounces of beet juice before an athletic event can improve speed and power, according to a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology and a series of U.K. studies.
The beet greens or leaves are edible and good for you, too. The greens must be cleaned thoroughly and can be prepared in a saute pan with a bit of oil, lemon and garlic, much the way you would any favorite green.
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