Maybe you’ve never tried beets, maybe you have and don’t like them; either way, they’re full of nutritional value and we should all make beets a normal part of our diets because of it.
How often do you eat beets? Because I personally have never really been a fan of them. When I started working the salad bar at Whole Foods Market, I quickly became intrigued by them simply because of the stunning, vibrant magenta color liquid that they leaked when I cut them. Maybe you’ve never tried beets, maybe you have and don’t like them; either way, they’re full of nutritional value and we should all make beets a normal part of our diets because of it.
Here are five great health benefits we gain by eating beets!
Part of what makes beets so rich in color are the nitrates contained within. When we eat beets, our bodies convert these nitrates into nitric oxide, a compound known for relaxing blood vessels and increasing circulation in the process. If you struggle to maintain healthy blood pressure levels, beets might be the remedy!
Eating beets can drastically lower your risk for heart disease because they contain two things: a plant alkaloid known as betaine, and the valuable B-vitamin, folate. These two together help reduce homocysteine levels in our blood, a compound that can damage arteries and cause heart disease if left unchecked.
If you’ve ever seen an athlete pee and it’s a crimson or pink color, you can be sure that they eat beets regularly. Why? Because the nitrates found in beets help improve endurance, and they turn your pee pink. One study that had cyclists pedal to exhaustion over a certain period of time, found that cyclists who drank beet juice could pedal their hardest for 15 percent longer than the control group.
You’ll need anywhere from three to five beets to boost your performance, and you’ll want to eat them at least two to three hours before you need their enhancing effects.
As mentioned previously, the nitrates found in beets help dilate blood vessels, improving blood circulation. It’s been seen that the body’s ability to convert nitrates into nitric oxide slows down as we grow older. A 2010 study found that people who consumed diets high in nitrates for at least two days received more blood flow to their brain’s frontal lobe; an area of the brain associated with one’s attention to detail, and ability to focus and organize.
The liver is the organ in our bodies responsible for cleaning everything up. It filters our blood, and you can give it a helping hand by eating your beets every day. Betaine, the aforementioned healthy amino acid found in beets, has been seen to prevent and even decrease the amount of fat that ends up in the liver. Studies on animals have found that beet juice increases levels of healthy enzymes in the bloodstream. In people, it’s been seen to improve liver function, reduce cholesterol a tiny bit, and reduce the size of the liver itself.