The Powerful Benefits of Beets, A Commonly Overlooked Superfood
Beet root, like Brussels sprouts, are a tough sell for many, especially kids. But beets are the hidden gem of root vegetables because they are packed with important nutrients that tout numerous benefits. Here’s what you need to know about beets and why you should incorporate them into your diet.
Beets contain vitamin C, minerals, and carotenoids but it is their nitric oxide content that makes them so special. Nitric oxide is natural to the body and is used to open up our blood vessels for good blood flow. This is helpful in maintaining normal blood pressure due to its relaxing and dilating effects on blood vessel walls.
In a small 2017 study published in the journal Hypertension, men and women with elevated systolic blood pressure ranging from 140 to 159 (the top number of your blood pressure reading), was lowered by 10mmHg after the test group consumed beets made into juice. The study was performed at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Read the study here.
Are you struggling with your workouts or seem to get fatigued easily? Looking for a new way to reach your fitness goals and maximize your results? Well, beetroot may be your solution!
Nitric oxide also enhances muscle function and improves physical performance. It benefits endurance, stamina, and muscle recovery. This is because the improved blood flow enhances the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to all of our muscles, including the heart, while clearing waste acids that could otherwise build up in muscle during physical activity. Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine have previously found that dietary nitrates improved muscle performance in elite athletes.
Muscle Soreness and Recovery
If you thought that was enough, we’re not done just yet! Drinking beetroot juice after exercise may reduce muscle soreness, and speeds the recovery process so you can get back without delay. This is primarily due to beetroot’s high betalain and carotenoid content, which are powerful antioxidants. Researchers also found that carotenoids have potential health-promoting effects in the exercise-induced fatigue. Betalains are plant derived dark, red-pigmented antioxidants and they have been shown to act as powerful anti-inflammatory agents by preserving muscle function and reducing oxidative damage. In addition, the betalain in beetroot helps to form Glutathione, which enables the body to neutralize toxins and make them water-soluble. This means the toxins can be easily excreted through urine and flushed out of the body, making beetroot one of the best methods to detoxify the body and boost all bodily functions. If there are too many toxins in the body, your body will not function optimally.
New research from Northumbria University reports that beetroot juice after exercise provided a boost in recovery in a fairly short amount of time. The research team observed 30 men who exercised twice a week with 100 drop jumps in order to induce muscle damage in the legs. Following the jumps, the men drank beetroot juice for three days. The results showed that those in the beetroot juice group jumped an average of 18% higher than those in the placebo group just two days after completing the workout.
Incorporating Beets into Your Lifestyle
While they tout these numerous benefits, it’s important to note that beet root has one of the highest sugar contents of any vegetable. Luckily, beet root powder is a great option due to its low sugar content, which does not hinder its powerful benefits. Beet root powder provides superior protection for the heart, nitrates, and antioxidants such as betains and carotenoids with fiber. With these circulatory health benefits and support for physical activity and protection for the muscles, beet root is definitely a powerhouse vegetable for your exercise and heart health needs.
Beet root powders that contain the addition of tart cherry can further support circulatory and heart health. Tart cheery may also help support healthy uric acid levels already within a normal range.