Health Benefits of Beetroot or Beets
Beetroot or Beets
Beetroot (or Beets,for the Americans) - you either love them or hate them. But have you ever wondered if it's actually any good for your health? The good news is - YES, it is!
Beetroot has a number of health benefits, including boosting stamina and reducing blood pressure, as well as containing potassium, magnesium, iron and Vitamins A, B6, C and Folic Acid. Combine this with it's share of carbohydrates, protein and soluble fibre - and you have a "Superfood".
Let's look at some of those health benefits:
Blood Pressure and Risk of Disease
The high content of nitrates found in beetroot widen blood vessels, therefore lowering blood pressure (BP). They do this by producing a gas called Nitric Oxide in the blood, once eaten. Research has shown that beetroot may contain almost 20 times more nirate than other vegetables.
Several studies showed that a daily intake of beetroot juice provided a significant BP drop - and the higher the starting BP, the more significant the drop.
Lowering your BP to healthy levels (130/80 or less) as well as your cholesterol (discussed later) also reduces your risk of a stroke or heart attack.
Your Thoughts on Beetroot Juice
Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Beetroot contains many of your daily essential vitamins and minerals. Just 100g will give you a great start to your daily intake.
One of these is Folic Acid. Folic Acid is essential for normal tissue growth, but is especially important for the development of a baby's spinal cord in the first three months of pregnancy, preventing spina bifida. 100g of beetroot, whether it be juice or through eating beetroot, will give you 75% of your recommended daily intake of this essential mineral/vitamins.
Beetroot is also a great source of Iron and Vitamin C. With the addition of Vitamin C, Iron absorption is increased, therefore having both in the one vegetable makes for a great source of iron. With 7% of your recommended daily intake in 100g, it can give a well deserved pick-me-up to those pregnant women who are suffering with fatigue, at the same time as boosting their folic acid intake.
Other vitamins such as B6, Magnesium, Potassium, and soluble fibre.
Beetroot's Many Postives
- Decreases BP, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk
- Folic Acid - great for pregnant women
- Decreases the risk of osteoporosis
- Slows the progression of dementia
- And MANY MANY more!
Two completely different conditions, but the humble beetroot can help prevent or slow progress of both of these conditions.
Due to the mineral silica contained within it, beetroot helps the body to utilise calcium. This is an important component for bone growth, and bone health, also reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Dementia is a different kettle of fish. It is thought that the high concentration of nitrates within beetroot, and the subsequent conversion to nitric oxide, help with slowly the progression of dementia. It is thought to do this by the nitric oxide acting on the blood vessels in the brain, widening them and increasing blood flow to the brain - this is never a bad thing! (Unless it's a haemorrhage of course!). Folic acid in the beetroot is also thought to help protect against dementia and Alzheimers.
of which Sugar
of which starch
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Equivalent as salt
Folic Acid (Folate)
Many Other Benefits
Beetroot has so many good qualities - too many to go into depth on in just the one hub.
Aside from the decreasing of BP, Cardiovascular disease risk, risk of osteoporosis, and preventing spina bifida in the developing baby, Beetroot has many other positive effects on your health.
Beetroot also has powerful antioxidant properties, lowers cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, detoxifies the liver, gives protection against Cancer, boosts digestive health, and improves stamina.
Cancer protection comes in the form of betacyanin - this has been found to slow the growth of tumours by 12.5% in prostate and breast cancers. However the study that concluded this only studied betacynin on it's own, and it is assumed that other properties of the beetroot won't interfere with it's action.
Fresh, Cooked, Juiced!
How to Add Beets Into Your Diet
There are many different ways you can increase your intake of beetroot, other than just popping a few slices in a burger.
Beetroot is able to be used in a juice - with other juiced vegetables and fruit, or on it's own. It is not recommended that you drink 100% beet juice - this can cause bloating and indigestion. It is suggested that you dilute it at least 1:2 with water or other juices. To treat anemia and fatigue, you should mix it 1:1 with honey. For women who are trying to normalize their periods - beetroot juice and pomegranate or carrot juice in a 1;3 ratio.
For gastric benefits - adding boiled beets to the diet may be helpful.
Beet is also available in a powdered form from natural health stores, and on Ebay.
Things to Do With Beets and Beet Powder
Who Shouldn't Use Beets? And any Side Effects?
However, don't go out and start guzzling beet juice. It is recommended that you start slowly, a teaspoon with other juices, and increase as taste allows.
Just like with any medication or health supplement - there are side effects:
- Beetroot juice is a laxative and a diuretic - it may cause intestinal upset
- 1-2 cups of undiluted juice drops BP - may cause weakness and dizzness
- If you suffer from urolithiasis or hypertension (high BP) - limit consumption
- Due to it's liver cleansing effects - if you have bile duct stones, beetroot juice may cause complications.
- Your urine may turn pink - this happens to about 14% of the population - not harmful, just colourful!
Allergic side effects include:
- burning sensation or itching
If you suffer from any of these after drinking beetroot juice- please seek medical assistance immediately.
Otherwise - ENJOY Beetroot and it's Health Benefits!
Other Health Pages by jlpark
- Health Benefits of Chia Seeds - The Superfood
Chia seeds have many many health benefits and are so simple to add into your diet
- Green Tea - Nutritional and Health Benefits
Green Tea - A Tea with Many Nutritional and Health Benefits
- Health Benefits of Linseed, Sunflower and Almond (LSA) Mix
A simple way to help lower your cholesterol and cleanse your liver - all by adding a sprinkle of this nutritious and tasty mix
© 2013 Jacqui