You don’t hear much about the power of red beets. But they are a remarkably potent source of nutrients that provide so many benefits that you might be hard pressed to think of something they don’t do.
Did you know that beets:
- Contain powerful phytonutrients called betalains that help to purify your blood and liver and eliminate toxins that can make you sick.
- May improve muscle performance in people ranging from athletes to those who want to maintain muscle strength as they age.
- Are high in:
- Vitamin C for a stronger immune system
- Fiber for good colon health
- Potassium for healthy nerve and muscle function
- Manganese for liver, pancreas, kidneys and your bones
- Betaine—helps to protect proteins, cells and enzymes from potentially dangerous environmental stress
- Are a good source of nitrates that are converted into nitric oxide which is well known to improve heart health. Lack of nitric oxide often leads to heart disease. Nitric oxide may also reduce the amount of oxygen needed for low intensity exercise.
- Are “also known to help fight inflammation, protect internal organs, improve vascular risk factors, enhance performance, and likely help prevent numerous chronic diseases,” according to best-selling author Dr. Joseph Mercola.
“I have compared the beet-juice effect to Popeye eating his spinach.”
In a recent study, participants suffering from heart failure drank beet juice with and without natural nitrates. Those who drank the juice with nitrates experienced a 13% boost in the power of muscles that are needed to extend the knee.
Andrew R. Coggan, PhD, assistant professor of Radiology at the highly respected Washington University School of Medicine, says: “I have compared the beet-juice effect to Popeye eating his spinach. The magnitude of this improvement is comparable to that seen in heart patients who have done 2 to 3 months of resistance training.” (Medical News Today)
Separate studies revealed these beet juice benefits:
- Those who drank beet juice before exercising were able to exercise as much as 16% longer than those who didn’t imbibe the juice.
- Healthy men and women experienced increased nitric oxygen production, muscle power and speed after consuming a concentrated beet juice supplement.
- Drinking one glass of beet juice lowered systolic blood pressure by 4 to 5 points on average.
- Drinking beet juice every day for four weeks had three positive results:
- lower blood pressure
- improved endothelial function—for healthier blood vessels
- reduced stiffness in the arteries—for better heart health
And, according to Dr. Oz, “Many of our patients have mentioned that juicing beets will give them more energy for their day.”
Beet juice may also be good for your brain.
That’s because nitric oxide increases blood flow to the brain. This is especially important for elderly people because, as we age, blood flow to certain areas of the brain diminishes. Another study showed that:
- When elderly people age 70 or older consumed a breakfast high in nitrates—including beet juice—they increased blood flow to the brain’s white matter, an area associated with dementia when blood flow is weak.
While beets are a remarkable source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, they are also high in sugar. The key here is moderation. You might want to add beets to salads, for example, a few times each week.
Beet juice has a higher concentration of sugar than the vegetable so Olin Idol, Vice President of Health for Hallelujah Diet, recommends “using beet juice or beet juice powder in combination with freshly extracted greens to reduce the impact of the sugar and broaden the spectrum of nutrients–a good ratio might be 50/50.”
Overall, beets and beetroot juice are among the best sources of nutrition, delivering a wealth of health benefits.