Beets are a bulbous, sweet root vegetable with a leafy top poking out above the soil. The leaves, known as beet greens, can also be eaten but have a bitter taste. In the ancient times, beet greens were used for food, while the roots had medicinal uses.
Although beets come in a rainbow of colors, the most common variety of beets is red in color which is known to stain everything it touches. Hence, the saying "red as a beet.” They get their rich, deep red color from betalain (red violet - betacyanin) pigments which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Whether roasted, juiced, pickled or steamed, beets are not just a delicious addition to your diet but also a healthy one.
One of the healthiest veggies, beets are good sources of vitamins and minerals, such as folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C.
A hundred (100) grams of beets is packed with:
Beetroots and beetroot juice have many health benefits, especially for heart health and exercise performance.
Beets are abundant in inorganic nitrates which are associated with reduced blood pressure.
High blood pressure is one of the top-leading causes of cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that consuming fruits and vegetables that are rich in inorganic nitrates may cut your risk of heart failure, heart attacks, and stroke.
Human bodies convert dietary nitrates into nitric oxide which signals the cells around the arteries to loosen up so the blood flows properly and the pressure goes down.
Aside from reducing blood pressure, beets are also known for improving athletic performance due to its high nitrate content.
When nitrates enter the human body, they are converted into nitric oxide. This substance opens the blood vessels to allow increase in blood flow,supplying more oxygen to the muscles.
When blood flows, not only does it go to the muscles but to the brain as well. The more oxygen is supplied to the brain, the more it improves the cognitive functioning.
Antioxidants remove free radicals from the human, preventing diseases such as cancer. Betacyanin, which gives beets its deep red color, has antioxidant properties.
Beets, classified as one of the ten plants with the highest antioxidant activity, is thought to suppress the development of cancerous cells as it starves tumors and hinders cell division.
Furthermore, high levels of a unique fiber found in beets are also believed to lower colon cancer risk.
Beets provide 4 grams of fiber per 1 cup serving, making the vegetable an exceptional fiber source which in turn promotes a healthy digestive system.
In addition, fiber is particularly useful for those who are undergoing cancer treatments as they have difficulty in eating nutrients-packed foods.
The betalains in beet does not only contain antioxidants but it also has anti-inflammatory properties. It is believed to help reduce the intensity of chronic inflammation because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
The beets are loaded with antioxidants, thanks to its betacyanin content. These antioxidants fight against free radicals which cause cellular damage and are partly responsible for visible signs of aging.
Beets are low in calories and high in water which can help in making you feel full. Even though it is low in calories, it contains a decent amount of protein which makes beets a healthy choice for anyone trying to lose weight and for anyone who has diabetes.
For some people, eating beetroot may cause beeturia - a red or pink colour in the urine or stool. It is totally harmless!
Beets are high in oxalates, which can lead to kidney stones. If you’ve had kidney stones, avoid over-consuming beets.
Beets or beetroots have many health benefits. Beets contain a plethora or nutrients in very few calories. This miracle veggie helps keep blood pressure in check and fight inflammation in the body. There is also the benefit of digestive and brain health. Beets are a true miracle food as they also contain anti-cancer properties.
But like everything else, too much is not good. Consuming too many beets can be dangerous, especially for those with a history of kidney stones.
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