Beets are known for being brilliantly colored and highly versatile vegetables. However, did you know that they also offer a variety of health benefits?
Including more beetroots in your diet can help you increase your vitamin and mineral intake, support heart health, and even improve exercise performance!
Do you need more reasons to eat more beets? Are you unsure of how to incorporate them into your routine? Learn about the benefits of beetroots and how to use them below.
The beetroot is, as the name suggests, a root vegetable. It’s also known as table beet, garden beet, red beet, or just plain old beet.
These vegetables are easily recognizable because of their dark red color. They also have a distinct, earthy smell and flavor.
Beets are primarily composed of water, but they’re also a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. One hundred grams of raw beets contain 43 calories, 1.6 grams of protein, 9.6 grams of carbohydrates, 2.8 grams of fiber, and just 0.2 grams of fat.
Beets also contain several essential micronutrients, including the following:
- Folate: Also known as vitamin B9, folate supports normal tissue growth and cell function.
- Manganese: A trace element that supports the formation of connective tissues, bone, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones.
- Potassium: A mineral and electrolyte that promotes healthy blood pressure levels and overall heart health.
- Iron: An essential mineral that plays a crucial role in transporting oxygen in red blood cells.
- Vitamin C: An antioxidant that supports a healthy immune system.
Benefits of Beetroot
Beetroots offer various health benefits, which is why they’re a staple in so many people’s diets. Here are some of the most significant reasons to eat more beets:
Lower Blood Pressure
Beetroots are rich in nitrates, nitrites, and nitric oxide.
Foods that contain these compounds increase nitric oxide formation in the body. Nitric oxide causes the blood vessels to relax and dilate, allowing for reduced blood pressure.
Research shows that beetroots and beetroot juice could reduce blood pressure by 3-10 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) in just a few hours. If you’re looking for a vegetable that supports healthy blood pressure levels, beetroots are an excellent option.
Enhanced Exercise Capacity
The nitrates in beetroots can also improve physical performance.
Nitrates influence the efficiency of mitochondria (cell organs that produce energy) and reduce oxygen use during exercise. As a result of these effects, they have been shown to improve stamina and enhance oxygen use in running, cycling, and other endurance sports.
Beets get their rich red color from pigments called betalains. Betalains possess numerous anti-inflammatory properties.
Reducing chronic inflammation may improve symptoms for various health conditions, including heart disease, liver disease, and certain types of cancer.
One study also showed that people with osteoarthritis improved their joint pain and inflammation when they consumed capsules containing betalains.
Improved Digestive Health
Because they contain fiber, beetroots are also good for the digestive system.
Fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate that passes through the colon, feeds beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract, and adds bulk to the stool, allowing for more regular bowel movements. If you struggle with digestive issues like constipation or bloating, consuming more fiber in the form of beetroots could help.
The fiber in beetroots can also reduce your risk of developing chronic illnesses like colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Improved Brain Health
In addition to supporting your heart and digestive system, beetroots are also good for your brain.
The nitrates in beetroots promote blood vessel dilation, which allows blood to flow to the brain more easily. Beetroots especially encourage blood flow to the frontal lobe, which plays a critical role in decision-making and working memory.
Reduced Cancer Risk
Beetroots contain several compounds known for their cancer-fighting properties, including the following:
- Betaine: A substance involved in liver function and cellular reproduction
- Ferulic acid: An antioxidant that combats free radical damage to the cells
- Rutin: A plant pigment with antioxidant properties
- Kaempferol: A polyphenol antioxidant
- Caffeic acid: A polyphenol and potent antioxidant
Some early studies suggest that these compounds can slow down cancer cell division and growth.
Ways to Include Beetroot in Your Diet
If you want to enjoy the health benefits of beets but aren’t sure how to incorporate them into your routine, here are some ideas:
Beets are often roasted, shredded, or steamed and then added to salads for extra flavor and texture.
You can also use beets as a natural food dye in baked goods. When beets are shredded or pureed, they add moisture and additional nutrients to bread dough or cake batter.
If you prefer a salty snack, slice beets thinly, toss them with salt and olive oil, and make a batch of healthy, oven-baked chips.
Beets will give your morning smoothie a beautiful red color and enhance the flavor of other ingredients like apples and carrots. Because beets have performance-enhancing properties, a beet-infused smoothie could be an excellent pre-workout snack!
If you don’t like the taste of beets or don’t have a lot of time to cook with them, consider taking a beetroot supplement instead. Beetroot supplements allow you to easily enjoy the benefits of beets by simply swallowing a few capsules.
When shopping for beetroot supplements, look for products that are plant-based, sustainably made, and don’t contain any fillers or additives. The supplements should only contain beetroot — and maybe some additional vitamins like vitamin C, magnesium, and manganese for extra health benefits.
Enjoy the Benefits of Beetroot Today
Are you ready to experience the benefits of beets?
Whether you prefer to chop them up and toss them in a salad or mix them in a smoothie, beetroots are packed with vitamins, minerals, and other compounds your body needs to function correctly and help you feel your best.
If you’re looking for an easy way to include more beets in your diet, Substance can help with plant-based, sustainable, and vegan-friendly supplements. Try our Beetroot Boost capsules today!