Beetroot (also known as beets) is a root vegetable known for its sweet, earthy flavour, pop of colour and highly nutritious health benefits. But is this "superfood" just another popular health food riding out its trend?
Here's a closer look at its potential health benefits:
Lowers blood pressure
Beetroot contains nitrates, which converted to nitric oxide by the body helps to relax and dilate blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure. Because high blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, experimental data reveal that nitrate-rich foods may reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other heart diseases.
Boosts exercise performance
Nitrates also enhances mitochondrial efficiency, the part of the cell that produces energy. With more oxygen flowing through the body and to its muscles, athletes are better equipped to endure longer and perform better. Nitrates also reduces muscle inflammation and helps the body recover more quickly after a workout.
Because beetroot is high in fiber, it helps regulate digestion and promote bowel regularity. This also helps with weight loss as the high fiber and water content helps one feel fuller longer.
Supports liver function
Beetroot contains plant compounds called betalains, which have been shown to support liver function and help to detoxify the body. Betalains also contain antioxidants that protect cells from damage and lowers the risk of cancer and other diseases.
Enhances brain function
Nitrates in beetroot can also improve cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain. This improved oxygen delivery is particularly important with aging and the decline of mental and cognitive functions. However, more research in this area is needed.
Supports immune function
Beetroot is a powerhouse of vitamin C and other antioxidants, which can help to support immune function and protect against oxidative stress.
Because chronic inflammation can damage healthy tissues and increase the risk of cancer, diabetes, and other diseases, beets help reduce inflammation and protect the body against potentially life-threatening diseases.
Fights fatigue and anaemia
Folate, the natural form of Vitamin B9, plays a part in the production and regeneration of healthy red blood cells. Thus the combination of folate and nitrates in beetroot can potentially have a positive effect on blood circulation and oxygenation, helping to increase one's energy and fight against anemia.
Beetroots pack quite the punch with its taste, nutrients and health benefits. Best of all, it is delicious, low in calories and loaded with phytonutrients. Its nitrates, folates, betalain pigments, vitamins and minerals work together to detoxify your body, improve blood circulation and maintain an overall healthy digestive system.
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