Beet has found it’s placed in extensive research due to its wide nutritional profile with versatile health benefits. It has a powerful phytonutrient and rich source of vitamins and minerals. So, not wasting any more time, let’s dig it’s health benefits of beets to boost your health, stamina, and beauty.
Nutrition facts: (source USDA data)
|Nutrient||Unit||Value per 100 g|
|Proximates||Beetroot raw||Beet green raw|
|Total lipid (fat)||g||0.17||0.13|
|Carbohydrate, by the difference||g||9.56||4.33|
|Fiber, total dietary||g||2.8||3.7|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||mg||4.9||30|
|Vitamin A, RAE||µg||2||316|
|Vitamin A, IU||IU||33||6326|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||mg||0.04||1.5|
|Vitamin D (D2 + D3)||µg||0||0|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||µg||0.2||400|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||g||0.027||0.02|
|Fatty acids, total monounsaturated||g||0.032||0.026|
|Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated||g||0.06||0.046|
|Fatty acids, total trans||g||0||0|
µg: micro-grams, mg: milligram, g:grams, IU: international unit
Health benefits of beets to boost your health, stamina and beauty
Protect the cells of your body
Plant foods like fruits and vegetables have phytonutrients and each phytonutrient that a plant food has its own quality. In today phytonutrients of plant foods found great importance in research due to their wide health beneficial effects. Such phytonutrient that beet(Beta vulgaris L.) contains are betalains and it is responsible for the vibrant color of beets ranging from yellow to violet. Betalains have a powerful antioxidant profile and thus protect your cells/body from free radicals damage, oxidative stress, some degenerative disease, and premature aging. Betalains not only has significant antioxidant properties to protect your body but also shown a strong health-promoting potential including cancer-protecting activities in vitro.(1)
Beet green contains a significant amount of beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin which are a powerful antioxidant and plays a rule in protecting your body. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two predominant carotenoids that retina of the eye needed and they prevent age-related macular degeneration i.e. early damage of cells. (2)
Lower high blood pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is one leading risk factor worldwide for heart disease and stroke. Earlier also we have mentioned that beetroot contains a high amount of dietary nitrate (NO3). Bacteria in the mouth and intestine convert nitrates to nitrites and which further convert to nitric oxide. The release of nitric oxide in endothelium cells i.e. inner liner of blood vessels plays a very critical rule. It moistens the inner lining of the blood vessels, smoothens blood flow, and prevent plaque formation inside the blood vessel. And thus dietary nitrate or nitric oxide improves vascular function and lowers high blood pressure. (3)
Also having a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory profile, beetroot fight against free radicals, protect your cells, lower oxidative stress thus prevent premature aging, inflammation along reducing high blood pressure. (4)
Fight inflammation and chronic disease
There is no doubt that chronic inflammation is the key makers of most of the chronic diseases with a long long list. You can read more about chronic inflammation and prevention with this link. Having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that red beet helps to lower inflammation as well as vascular function-research found. And thus lower your risk of chronic diseases. (5)
Promote vascular health, lower risk of heart disease and stroke
The same way dietary nitrate, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property of beet improves vascular function, lower inflammation, lower high blood pressure as well as lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke. Beetroot phytonutrient betalain also plays a protective rule in oxidative damage and hemolysis of red blood cells. (6)
Poor blood flow to the areas of the brain commonly associated with cell degeneration and can be a risk factor to dementia and declining cognitive brain function. Dementia is a disease relating to memory loss and a problem in thinking ability. Research suggests that dietary nitrate may improve blood flow in critical brain areas which involves executive functioning in older adults. (7)
Beet contains dietary nitrate and thus drinking beetroot juice improves blood flow to the brain and helps to lower the risk of dementia and cognitive brain disorder.
Beetroot juice when combines with exercise had shown potentially enhanced neuroplasticity i.e. the ability of the brain to change throughout an individual’s life, in the aging brain. (8)
Increase stamina, performance
Beetroot juice contains high levels of dietary inorganic nitrate and which further converts to nitric oxide inside the body. Nitric oxide improves blood circulation and vascular function, prevents constriction of the blood vessels as well as has beneficial impacts on muscle contraction. Dietary nitrate improves mitochondrial efficiency in humans which is the power of cells to generate energy. Several studies reported drinking beetroot juice enhances muscle power and stamina. (9, 10, 11)
Glow your skin
Beet is a rich source of iron, folate, vitamins, and minerals as well as a detoxifying agent. Regular drinking of beet juice helps to improve your blood circulation, purify the blood, removes toxins, and glow your skin from inside out.
Beet improves blood circulation by stimulating nitric oxide and has properties like antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. It appears to support detoxification by increasing enzymes such as glutathione-S-transferase and glutathione peroxidize and as well as the number of special white blood cells responsible for detecting and eliminating abnormal cells in animal studies. (12)
Take home message:
Above are what I mentioned as the health benefits of beets to boost your health, stamina, and beauty. Foods have their own goodness but overeating is against the law of nature and may have a negative effect. So, enjoy food in the right way. Dietary fiber in beets helps better digestion and improve the health of friendly gut bacteria. Try to add beetroot as well as beet green has also a wide different range of nutrients than beetroots. Cooking losses nutrients so try to eat raw as far as possible, otherwise use slow low heat cooking. Steaming is better than other forms of cooking. Some people may experience pink or red color urine or stool, which is harmless.
If beets are not organically grown, soak them with water. You may use vegetable cleaner also to reduce chemical used during cultivation. Beet juice can be mixed with others such as apple, carrot.
Beet contains betaine to a significant amount. Research showed that betaine reduces the accumulation of fat in the liver and can prevent and cure liver cirrhosis. However, research done on animal studies. (13) Due to wide health beneficial properties, beets have found its importance in the research table and more are coming in the near future.
A line of caution:
Beet greens and beetroots both contain a considerable oxalate to a more or lesser extent. Although there are other types of kidney stones in the study most of the kidney stones contain calcium oxalate. Due to better solubility, your body absorbs soluble oxalate better than insoluble sources. And after absorption, it circulates in the blood to form calcium oxalate. From their most kidney stones are formed when absorbed oxalate binds to calcium while urine is produced by the kidneys.
All most all plants contain oxalate with varying amounts. And most of those foods are also very healthy.
Individuals with a history of oxalate containing kidney stones have a higher tendency to form calcium oxalate kidney stones than normal. Therefore both beetroots and beet greens should be consumed in a controlled manner.
Also, read how to reduce oxalates from foods.
Disclaimer: Information provided here are generalized information for educational purpose only, not intended to provide one to one health consultation or replace practice of a qualified practitioner. Different people may have different health condition and may have different reaction to the same food. Hence it has been advised to consult with health care provider before application of any of above guidelines. Source and references: 1.Biological Activities of Plant Pigments Betalains, Gandía-Herrero F, Escribano J, García-Carmona F, Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016;56(6):937-45 2.Lutein and Zeaxanthin—Food Sources, Bioavailability and Dietary Variety in Age-Related Macular Degeneration Protection, Bronwyn Eisenhauer, Sharon Natoli, Gerald Liew, and Victoria M. Flood, Nutrients. 2017 Feb; 9(2): 120 3.Food sources of nitrates and nitrites: the physiologic context for potential health benefits, Norman G Hord, Yaoping Tang, Nathan S Bryan, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 90, Issue 1, 1 July 2009, Pages 1–10 4.&12.The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease, Tom Clifford, Glyn Howatson,Daniel J. West,and Emma J. Stevenson, Nutrients. 2015 Apr; 7(4): 2801–2822 5.Improvement of hypertension, endothelial function and systemic inflammation following short-term supplementation with red beet (Beta vulgaris L.) juice: a randomized crossover pilot study, Asgary S, Afshani MR, Sahebkar A, Keshvari M, Taheri M, Jahanian E, Rafieian-Kopaei M, Malekian F, Sarrafzadegan N. 6.Distribution of betalain pigments in red blood cells after consumption of cactus pear fruits and increased resistance of the cells to ex vivo induced oxidative hemolysis in humans, Tesoriere L, Butera D, Allegra M, Fazzari M, Livrea MA.,J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Feb 23;53(4):1266-70 7.Acute effect of a high nitrate diet on brain perfusion in older adults,Tennille D.Presley, Ashley R.Morgan, Erika Bechtold,William Clodfelter,Robin W.Dove, Janine M.Jennings,Robert A.Kraft, S.Bruce King,Paul J.Laurienti, W.Jack Rejeski, Jonathan H.Burdette,Daniel B.Kim- Shapiro,Gary D.Miller, Nitric Oxide,Volume 24, Issue 1, 1 January 2011, Pages 34-42 8.Beet Root Juice: An Ergogenic Aid for Exercise and the Aging Brain,Meredith Petrie,W.Jack Rejeski, Swati Basu,Paul J Laurienti,Anthony P Marsh,James L Norris,Daniel B Kim-Shapiro,Jonathan H Burdette, The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, Volume 72, Issue 9, 1 September 2017, Pages 1284– 1289 9.Dietary inorganic nitrate improves mitochondrial efficiency in humans,Larsen FJ, Schiffer TA, Borniquel S, Sahlin K, Ekblom B, Lundberg JO, Weitzberg E,Cell Metab. 2011 Feb 2;13(2):149-59. 10.Effects of beetroot juice supplementation on intermittent high-intensity exercise efforts,Raúl Domínguez, José Luis Maté Muñoz,Eduardo Cuenca,Pablo García-Fernández,Fernando Mata-Ordoñez,María Carmen Lozano-Estevan, Pablo Veiga-Herreros,Sandro Fernandes da Silva and Manuel Vicente Garnacho- Castaño,Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition2018 15:2 11.A single dose of beetroot juice enhances cycling performance in simulated altitude, Muggeridge DJ, Howe CC, Spendiff O, Pedlar C, James PE, Easton C.,Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Jan;46(1):143-50 13.Betaine in human nutrition,Stuart AS Craig,The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 80, Issue 3, 1 September 2004, Pages 539–549