The benefits of beets


Beets (roots and leaves) have been used for their therapeutic properties for centuries, especially in treating conditions related to women’s health (anemia and menstrual problems) and detoxification of the liver. Beets contain vitamins A, B6, C and minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, manganese, calcium, zinc and iron as well as fiber, all important nutrients that contribute to overall health.

More specifically, research has found that beets are beneficial in the following:

1. Reduce Inflammation

Beets are rich in a nutrient called betaine, which has been observed to lower different inflammatory markers (c-reactive protein, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor α, etc) and, therefore, reducing inflammation of the cells, protecting them from environmental stress and toxins.

2. Reduce Blood pressure

Beets have a beneficial effect on blood vessels, making them relax and allowing more blood circulation, and by doing so, helping lower blood pressure.

3. Increase Energy Levels and Stamina

Beet juice has been studied to increase stamina pre-workout, apparently by converting nitrates into nitric oxide, which help enhance oxygen to the cells.

4. Reduce Cancer Risk

The phytonutrients that give beets their characteristic color, are responsible to reduce tumor formation in animal studies. Beetroot extract has also been studied in humans in relation to several types of cancer.

5. Increase Detoxification

Beets have similar mechanisms as certain seaweeds (like spirulina and chlorella) to bind to heavy metal molecules so they can be excreted from the body. It is capable to bind to a diverse number of toxins so it is recommended in purifying blood and liver.

Suggestions of use:

Beets can be juiced (with centrifugal and masticating juicers), cooked, roasted or grated raw. The most effective way to get a fast absorption of nutrients is through juicing, but since it extracts only the liquid part and the fiber is discarded, the sugars in the beets will also be absorbed faster, so it is not recommended for diabetics. Also, in their raw state, beets are high in oxalates, which can be a problem for people with certain kidney disorders. Otherwise, enjoy them frequently and observe the many benefits they will bring to your health.

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© Updated 2020 by Personal Nutrition.