Beets or beetroots, as they are most often called, belong to the Chenopodiaceous family. Although beets have a high sugar content than most vegetables, you can safely eat beet roots a few times a week and their greens in unlimited quantities. This way you can enjoy not only their earthy, sweet flavor, but also their power-pack nutrients that may help improve your health in the following ways.
Health Benefits of Beets:
1. Anti-Cancer Properties
Beets are deep crimson in color, this is because of the powerful phytonutrients it contain, that helps prevent cancer. Also studies have shown that beetroot extract can also be use for the treatment of breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers.
2. Boost Your Stamina
Drinking beet juice can help improve your stamina, especially when you are working out. Individuals who drank beet juice before exercising, were able to exercise for up to 16% longer.
This is due to the nitrates present in beets, which turned into nitric oxide, that help enhance tolerance to high-intensity exercise and reduce the oxygen cost of low-intensity exercise.
3. Detoxification Support
Beets are valuable in supporting the detoxification and purification of your liver and blood. This is due to the betalin pigments in beets that support your body’s Phase 2 detoxification process, when the toxins bound to other molecules, so they can be excreted from your body.
4. Low in Calories
Beets are very low in calories, as they provide approximately 45 kcal/100 gram, have a small amount of fat and contain zero cholesterol. Its nutrients come from vitamins, fiber, minerals and plant derived antioxidants.
5. Lower Blood Pressure
The nitrates in beets may help to lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that drinking one glass of beet juice help lowered the systolic blood. This is because the nitrates present in beets, are converted into nitric oxide in the body.
Nitric oxide can also help to dilate and relax the blood vessels, to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.
6. Fight Inflammation
Beets contain betaine, a nutrient that protects proteins, cells and enzymes from environmental stress. Also it helps fight inflammation, improve vascular risk factors, protect internal organs and prevents various chronic diseases.
7. Rich in Fiber and Nutrients
Beets are rich in fiber, minerals and immune-boosting vitamin C, manganese and potassium. Also it is high in folates, which are necessary for DNA synthesis within the cells, preventing the risk of birth defects.
How to Eat Them:
You can eat beets either fresh or raw and not from a jar. If you heat beets, it can actually decreases their antioxidant power.
You can also eat the leaves and stems, which are loaded with mnerals and vitamins and antioxidants. Simply cut-off the stems below the point where the leaves start and then wash it thoroughly.