The Health Benefits of Beetroot
The benefits of beetroot are rarely given as much credit as they should have. This wonderful root vegetable is well-known for its dark red color and the fact that it looks very much like a turnip that has been dunked in red dye. Many people enjoy sliced beets chilled and pickled in vinegar while others enjoy it boiled and sliced. It can be added to sandwiches, salads, and even soups. Although everyone can picture this tasty vegetable with ease, few are able to recall just what exactly this vegetable has to offer one’s health. Let’s take a look at just a few of the benefits of beetroot...
Beetroot is chock full of nutrients, and not just in the obvious root portion. The root part of beetroot, which is the most likely portion to be consumed, is rich in carbs but has zilch fat. It is also an excellent source of fiber which means that it can help keep one’s digestive process nice and regular. This portion of beetroot is also very high in calcium, folic acid, phosphorus, vitamin c, potassium, b vitamins, vitamin a, and protein. Not many other vegetables can match this kind of nutritional value in one go! But as mentioned earlier, the root is not the only part of the beetroot that is full of nutritional value. The leaves of the beetroot are an excellent source of iron and calcium, which are beneficial to everyone of course, but especially beneficial to women who need higher amounts of these nutrients than men.
High Blood Pressure or Anemia
High blood pressure can be a very dangerous condition. Anyone diagnosed with having high blood pressure is likely to have been advised to stick to a healthy diet. You can’t get any better than beetroot! It helps the body to produce nitrate, which after a chemical reaction in the body then turns to nitric oxide, which triggers the smooth muscles of the blood vessels and heart to relax. When these muscles relax, the veins and arteries within the body open to allow more blood through, thus reducing the amount of pressure that is put against the walls of the vessels. Studies have shown that drinking about 16 ounces of beetroot juice can cause one’s blood pressure to lower within a single hour after consumption. But not only that, it is likely to continue to drop in very noticeable degrees for the following 24 hours after consumption.
Those who suffer from anemia, or iron deficiency, can also benefit from the addition of beetroot to their diet. Because both the leaves and the beetroot itself contain large amounts of iron and the root itself contains magnesium, both can contribute to the production of blood cells. Beetroot could be just the thing to naturally boost one’s iron levels without the need for iron supplements which can cause nausea in weak-stomached individuals.
This vegetable is also loaded with antioxidants, which is just another one of the wonderful benefits of beetroot. You have probably heard a lot of talk about antioxidants in recent years, and for good reason. Although acai and blueberries have the reputation of having the highest concentration of antioxidants, beetroot should not be forgotten! Antioxidants are wonderful compounds which help to reduce the occurrence of free radicals. These are by-products of the body which can cause damage to cells or improper cell formation. They are normally destroyed by antioxidants, however when the body is low on antioxidants the number of free radicals is able to grow. Because of the connection between free radicals and cellular damage (which can lead to cancer), some say that antioxidants could be the answer to preventing cancer. The power of antioxidants doesn’t end there, however. They encourage healthy skin cell production and the development of collagen, both of which can actually fight some signs of aging, such as slight wrinkles. Antioxidants also reduce the occurrence of inflammatory problems, such as arthritis, as well as ulcers and strokes.
The benefits of beetroot are numerous and studies suggest that if we all added a bit of beetroot to our diets, we might just find ourselves in better overall health!