Some people can’t stomach beets in any form, which includes everything from the fleshy purple body to the vein-striped leaves. There are an increasing number of beet-abstainers if worldwide consumption stats are accurate. The market currently stands at close to $675 billion, down marketing from its peak at just over $800 billion in 2017. What gives? Who knows, but it is a mistake to pass on sugar beets because they are power-packed with nutrients and other health-generating benefits. WellWell, of course, is here to lay down just some of the beet’s benefits. Read on.
The dietary nitrates found in beets may enhance athletic performance thanks to their ability to improve the efficiency of mitochondria. These cell organelles boost energy in cells. One study found that beetroot juice may increase endurance and boost cardiorespiratory performance and athletic efficiency.
The nitrates in beets may improve brain neuroplasticity by increasing oxygen in the somatomotor cortex. It is critically important to offset the early stages of dementia because as aging progresses, blood flow to the brain decreases, which leads to impaired cognition. The bottom line: beets can slow or prevent this process.
Beets contain high levels of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents that can reduce the risk of some cancers. Beets’ striking red color comes from betacyanin, a pigment that protects cells from harmful carcinogens. The high fiber levels in beets may also lower the risk of colon cancer.
Beets have a detoxifying component that supports liver health and decreases stress on the kidney. One caveat: beets are also rich in oxalates, which can generate kidney stones. Ultimately, moderate the consumption.
The phytonutrient betalain in beets can suppress the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme, which can cause inflammation. A 2016 study supported this contention by noting individuals suffering from high blood pressure reported systematic improvement after consuming cooked beets or raw beet juice over two weeks.
Another benefit of the nitrates in beets is that they support heart health by improving blood flow, relaxing the blood vessels, reducing arterial stiffness and promoting dilation that can lower blood pressure. These positive shifts all help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The combination of betaine and B-vitamin folate in beets significantly lowers blood levels of homocysteine, which is a chemical used to produce proteins. Unfortunately, elevated levels of homocysteine increase the risk of artery damage and heart disease.
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