Beetroot has been gaining in popularity as a superfood; and quite rightly so! This beautiful pee-colour changing veggie is top of our list this time of the year. Hereare 6 reasons why we love them so much. and why you should too!
1. Heart health and blood pressure
Beetroot may help reduce blood pressure.
A 2015 study of 68 people with high blood pressure examined the effects of drinking 250 milliliters of beetroot juice every day. The researchers found that doing so significantly lowered blood pressure after ingestion.
They suggest that this antihypertensive effect was due to the high levels of nitrate in the beet juice. They recommend consuming high nitrate vegetables as an effective, low cost way to help treat high blood pressure.
Beets contain an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid. This compound may help lower glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
A 2019 review of studies looked at the effects of alpha-lipoic acid on the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. The researchers found that oral and intravenous administration of alpha-lipoic acid supplements led to a decrease in symptoms of peripheral and autonomic neuropathy in people with diabetes.
However, most of the doses in these studies were far higher than those that are available in beetroot. The effects of smaller dietary doses are not yet clear from the available research.
3. Digestion and regularity
One cup of beetroot provides 3.81 grams (g) of fiber. Consuming enough fiber is essential for smooth digestion and gut health.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a single cup of beets can provide more than 8.81% of a person’s daily requirement of fiber, depending on their age and sex.
Including beetroot in the diet is one way that a person can increase their fiber intake.
4. Exercise and athletic performance
Some studies have found that beetroot juice supplementation can improve the amount of oxygen that muscles absorb during exercise. One 2019 study found that high doses of beetroot juice improved the time trial results of experienced cyclists.
A different study from the same year examined 12 recreationally active female volunteers. However, the researchers did not find that beetroot juice supplementation improved the participants’ athletic performance.
Therefore, further research is necessary to confirm the benefits of beetroot on exercise performance.
5. Cancer prevention
A 2019 review of studies found that certain compounds in beets can disrupt the cancerous mutations of cells. Such compounds include betalains, which are pigments that give beets their red and yellow color.
Although further research is necessary before health professionals can recommend beets as a replacement for other standard cancer risk reduction methods, they may have some function in reducing the risk of this condition.
6. Help prevent anaemia
Beetroots are rich in iron, an essential component of red blood cells. Without iron, red blood cells cannot transport oxygen around the body.
People who have low iron levels can sometimes develop a condition called iron deficiency called anaemia. Adding sources of iron to the diet can reduce the risk of this condition.