Wednesday 29 August 2018

18 Reasons to Eat More Beets

Beets are among the best superfoods in the world. They are packed with nutrition and healing properties. Not counting their delicious taste and incredible versatility, here are 18 reasons to love these delicious darlings of the vegetable kingdom.


1. Male Sexual Health

Both beets and beet greens are good sources of the mineral zinc. According to a study published in the Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences researchers found that moderate doses of zinc enhanced male sexual health, including a reduced likelihood of premature ejaculation, increased ability to maintain sexual activity for longer periods of time and improved testosterone levels.

2. May Help Prevent or Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

Beets truly are brain food according to research published in The Journals of Gerontology. Researchers found that a compound that gives beets their striking purple color, known as betanin, actually interacts with plaques in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease, interfering with some of the plaques’ harmful effects in the brain. The researchers found that raw beet juice yielded the impressive study results.

3. May Help to Alleviate Heart Palpitations

Both beets and beet greens are among the best food sources of the mineral potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral that helps to regulate heartbeat and nerve signals. Sadly, due to the high amount of sodium in most peoples’ diets and the fact that sodium displaces potassium, it is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in America, with some estimates around 98 percent of the population being deficient. Addressing this deficiency may help to reduce heart palpitations.

4. Immune Boosting

Because beets are a good source of zinc, they ensure a healthy immune system. Zinc is one of the primary nutrients needed to ensure a strong and healthy immune system capable of fighting of infections, superbugs or even just that nasty flu going around. 

5. May Lower High Blood Pressure

Before you panic about having high blood pressure, you may want to give beets a try. That’s because research published in the medical journal Nitric Oxide found that consuming more nitrates is helpful in the treatment of hypertension. And, beets just happen to be a good source of naturally-occurring nitrates, which are converted in your body to nitric oxide—compounds that improve blood pressure. Another study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension found that raw beet juice was more effective than cooked beets, although both are helpful.

6. Improves Exercise Capacity in Heart Failure patients 

Recent research out of Indiana University showed that beetroot juice supplements enhanced exercise capacity in patients with heart failure.

7. Boosts Prostate Health

The mineral zinc, found in beets, is essential to prostate health.

8. Binds to Heavy Metals

Beets contain the powerful antioxidant nutrients known as alpha lipoic acid, which has been shown to bind to heavy metals like lead and mercury to help eliminate them from the body.

9. Prevents Bone Loss

Alpha lipoic acid found in beets has also been found to help prevent bone loss linked to osteoporosis, particularly during and after menopause.

10. Battles Leukemia

In a study published in the Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, researchers compared the effects of drinking a combination of beet and carrot juice on its own or in combination with the anti-leukemia drug chlorambucil against leukemia. They concluded that “Beetroot-carrot juice can be used as an effective treatment for (leukemia) alone or in combination with chlorambucil when taken orally with regular diet on daily basis.”

11. Helps Prevent Cancer

In addition to leukemia, regular consumption of betalains found in beets, may help fight cancer, according to a study in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. Other research found that betanins found in beets may reduce tumor cell growth in colon, stomach, nerve, lung, breast, prostate and testicular tissue .

12. Increases Exercise Endurance

Research in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that beets increase oxygenation of the muscles and increases exercise endurance.

13. Boosts Gut Health

Beets are a rich source of prebiotics, the foods for healthy microbes or probiotics in your intestines.  By eating more beets you’ll feed the healthy bacteria and other beneficial microbes that give your gut health a boost.

14. Reduces the Risk of Birth Defects

Beets are rich in the B vitamin known as folate, which has been shown in many studies to reduce the risk of birth defects in fetuses.

15. Aids Diabetes

Beets are high in the nutrient known as alpha lipoic acid, which is one of the most potent antioxidants you can get. Not only does it fight disease-causing free radicals on its own, it recycles other antioxidant nutrients like vitamins A, C and E.  Alpha lipoic acid has been found to reduce the nerve damage often linked with diabetes.

16. Reduces Inflammation in the Body

Beets contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds known as betalains that can help reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is linked to dozens of chronic health conditions.

17. May Help with Eye Health

Beet greens contain over 275 micrograms of lutein, which is a critical nutrient to maintain eye health and vision, and in the prevention of eye conditions.

18. Alleviates Allergies

Beets are high in natural compounds known as anthocyanins, which is the group of natural pigments that give beets their characteristic purplish color.  Anthocyanins have been found to alleviate allergies.
You can enjoy raw beets grated on a salad or juiced, and cooked beets in soups and stews.  I love steamed beets tossed with a little flax oil (don’t cook the flax oil though) and sea salt.  And, of course, you can also add beets to your juicer or high-powered blender while making your favorite fresh juices or smoothies.

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