8 Best Beet Health Benefits
Chinese New Year and Valentine’s day have their temptations with those beautifully red color sweets. Instead of artificial colors, consider using beets for color and for natural sweetness in treats such as beet red velvet cupcakes, beet cookies, beet cashew cake, beet sour cream popsicles, beet ice cream, or beet icing! You get the idea.
The Versatility of Beets
Beets are a great source of nutrients that are low in calories and high in flavor. Because of their natural sweetness, they are quite versatile vegetable in both savory dishes and in desserts. Their fiber, folate, vitamin C, and naturally occurring nitrates and pigments also have a number of wonderful health benefits.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, beets are considered to be cleansing to the liver, improve blood circulation, and calm the mind and spirit. Just remember that since beets are one of the vegetables with the highest sugar content, keep daily portions to about a cup to avoid a negative effect on blood sugar. Dr. Wang can help you discover what factors will help you reach your optimal health goals and live a life of vitality.
Best 8 Benefits of Beets
1. Promote Heart Health
Beets are a rich source of naturally occurring dietary nitrates, which act as vasodilators (medications that open blood vessels) to aid in improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure. Beets also lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol in people with uncontrolled blood pressure.
2. Boost Brain Function
Because of beets’ naturally high dietary nitrate content, they may also help protect against age-related cognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. One study found that giving older adults a diet high in nitrates helped increase blood flow to certain areas of the brain involved in executive functioning.
3. Enhance Athletic Performance
The naturally high amounts of nitrates (again!) in beets have shown to have a powerful effect on boosting athletic performance, whether a competitive athlete or casual gym-goer. This is because nitrates improve the efficiency of the mitochondria, which is the power house of your cells generating energy.
4. Relieve Inflammation
Inflammation is a normal response by the immune system to protect the body. When there is chronic inflammation, that becomes the root of most disease. Ultra-processed foods – high in sugar and low in nutritional value -are a major contributor to inflammation. Beets are a whole food and shown to decrease inflammatory markers and reduce oxidative stress, which contributes to aging.
5. High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants help neutralize harmful free radicals, prevent oxidative stress and damage to cells. Beets are naturally high in betalains and phytonutrients, which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also responsible for giving beets their brilliant color. The beet greens contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
6. Aid in Detoxification
Your skin, lungs, kidneys, intestines and liver are your detoxification system. Research shows that beetroot juice helped increase the levels of specific enzymes involved in detoxification.
7. Support Digestive Health
A high fiber diet aids in increasing stool frequency for constipation and is protective against diverticulitis (infection of small pouches that form in the intestinal walls). Guess what? Beets are rich in fiber!
8. Increase Weight Loss
This time it is fiber again. Fiber helps in weight loss by moving very slowly through the digestive tract to help you feel satiated. Research has shown that increasing fiber to 14 grams per day can cause a 10 percent decrease in daily caloric intake and an increase weight loss of four pounds over 4 months. Beets may be 15 percent of your total daily fiber requirements and have only 59 calories in a cup.
Beet Benefits without Beets
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