Health benefits of beetroot

Beetroot has been becoming increasingly popular as a superfood. Recent research indicates that beets and beetroot juice can boost athletic performance, decrease blood pressure, and increase blood flow.

So much so that this nutritious food is now being used in a growing amount of juices and beverages.

Beetroot comes from the same family as beetroot sugar. It is genetically and nutritionally different, however. Sugar beets are white, and producers prefer to use them for sugar extraction and refined food sweetening. Sugar from beetroot, which is mainly red or gold, can not be extracted.

We look at the important health advantages of beetroot and its rich nutritional value in this article.

Health benefits

A wide variety of potential health benefits are offered by Beetroot, such as decreasing blood pressure, enhancing digestion, and lowering the risk of diabetes.

These possible advantages are addressed in more detail in the sections below.

Heart health and blood pressure

Beetroot drink
Beetroot can be effective in reducing blood pressure.

The effects of drinking 250 milliliters of beetroot juice per day were investigated in a 2015 study of 68 individuals with high blood pressure.

The researchers found that blood pressure after ingestion was substantially decreased by doing so.

They suggest that because of the high levels of nitrate in the beet juice, this antihypertensive effect was due. As an efficient, low-cost way to help treat high blood pressure, they suggest eating high-nitrate vegetables.

However, without first talking to a doctor, people can never quit taking a prescription blood pressure drug.

High blood pressure is a primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Decreasing it by making dietary changes and through other means can help to prevent heart failure, stroke, heart attacks, and other life threatening complications of CVD.

Diabetes

An antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid is found in beets. This compound can help lower levels of glucose and increase the sensitivity of insulin.

A 2019 research review investigated the effects of alpha-lipoic acid on diabetic neuropathy symptoms. The researchers observed that in people with diabetes, oral and intravenous administration of alpha-lipoic acid supplements contributed to a decrease in peripheral and autonomic neuropathy symptoms.

Most of the doses in these trials, however, were much higher than those available for beetroot. From the available study, the effects of smaller dietary doses are not yet clear.

Read more about diabetes here.

Digestion and regularity

One cup of beetroot does provide 3.81 grams (g) of fiber. For smooth digestion and gut health, consuming enough fiber is important.

A single cup of beets, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), can provide more than 8.81 percent of the daily fiber requirement of a person, depending on their age and sex.

One way that a person can boost their fiber intake is to include beetroot in the diet.

Exercise and athletic performance

Some studies have shown that supplementation of beetroot juice can increase the amount of oxygen that is absorbed by muscles during exercise. One research from 2019 showed that high doses of beetroot juice improved the performance of seasoned cyclists in time trials.

12 recreationally engaged female participants were studied in a separate study from the same year. The researchers did not find, however, that beetroot juice supplementation increased the athletic efficiency of the participants.

Further research is therefore required to confirm the advantages of beetroot for exercise efficiency.

Preventive of Cancer

A 2019 study analysis showed that the cancerous mutations of cells can be disrupted by some compounds in beets. Betalains, which are pigments that give beets their red and yellow color, contain certain compounds.

While more research is required before beets can be recommended by health professionals as a substitute for other conventional methods of reducing cancer risk, they may have some role in reducing the risk of this condition.

Nutrition

One cup of raw beets provides:

Beetroot may also add the following minerals and vitamins to the diet of a person. The figures are from the 2015–2020 Dietary Recommendations of the USDA.

NutrientPercentage of an adult’s daily requirement
Vitamin C7.4%
Vitamin A0.3% for males, and 0.39% for females
Folate37%
Magnesium7.83% for males, and 10.97% for females
Phosphorus7.77%

Beets also contain small amounts of:

  • calcium
  • iron
  • thiamine
  • riboflavin
  • vitamin B-6
  • copper
  • selenium

Increased dietary nitrate levels are provided by green, leafy vegetables like beet tops. A great source of iron, vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, potassium, and folate is Cooked Beet Tops.

Diet

People can roast beets, steam them, boil them, or pickle them. They can eat them raw as well.

The following tips will enable individuals to obtain the nutritional benefits of beets in delicious ways:

  • Make beetroot juice by peeling beetroot and blending it with a mixture of fresh orange, mint, pineapple or apples, lemon, and ginger. For a smoother texture, people will strain it afterward. Keep in mind that adding other juices or fruits could increase the juice’s sugar content.
  • Grate the raw beets or slice them and add them to the coleslaw or salad.
  • For a tasteful pairing, top roasted beets with goat’s cheese.
  • Slice the raw beets and serve with a sprinkle of lemon juice and chili powder.

Make sure that it is heavy for its size when selecting a beetroot and does not have signs of surface damage. They should look fresh and not wilted if a beet still has its green tops. These are edible as well and have essential nutritional value.

Refrigerate them in a tightly sealed bag in order to store the beets for many days.

Risks

Drinking beetroot juice can lead to urine or stools that are red, purple, or pink. It should not be a cause for medical concern, although this might seem concerning. This is referred to by physicians as ‘beeturia.’

Individuals vulnerable to kidney stones of the oxalate type should be cautious not to eat too much of the beet tops.

Those with gastrointestinal conditions or irritable bowel syndrome can also experience an upset stomach after beetroot juice is consumed.

Beets are very nutritious. However, when looking at the impact of their diet on health, individuals should consider their overall eating pattern. For good health, eating a diet that contains a wide variety of food and nutrients is healthier.

Sources

  • Appendix 7. Nutritional goals for age-sex groups based on dietary reference intakes and Dietary Guidelines recommendations. (n.d.).
    (LINK)
  • Beets, raw. (2019).
    (LINK)
  • What are the benefits of beetroot? (LINK)
  • Choline: Fact sheet for health professionals. (2019).
    (LINK)
  • Diabetes and dietary supplements. (2018).
    (LINK)
  • Golbidi, S., et al. (2011). Diabetes and alpha lipoic acid.
    (LINK)
  • Kapil, V., et al. (2015). Dietary nitrate provides sustained blood pressure lowering in hypertensive patients: A randomized, phase 2, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
    (LINK)
  • Lechner, J. F., & Stoner, G. D. (2019). Red beetroot and betalains as cancer chemopreventative agents.
    (LINK)
  • Listen to your heart: Learn about heart disease. (n.d.).
    (LINK)
  • Rokkedal-Lausch, T., et al. (2019). Chronic high-dose beetroot juice supplementation improves time trial performance of well-trained cyclists in normoxia and hypoxia [Abstract].
    (LINK)
  • Salehi, B., et al. (2019). Insights on the use of α-lipoic acid for therapeutic purposes.
    (LINK)
  • Wickham, K. A., et al. (2019). No effect of beetroot juice supplementation on exercise economy and performance in recreationally active females despite increased torque production [Abstract].
    (LINK)

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