Looking for the health benefits of beetroot? Continue reading to see just how powerful this super-food is!
Beetroot has a most vibrant color from the pigment source betacynin. That is probably how the phrase ‘red as a beetroot’ came about. It is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and a good source of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, dietary fiber, folate, potassium and manganese. You may observe the harmless effect of reddish stools and pinkish urine in consuming beetroot.
The top 4 benefits you can get from beetroot are that it:
1. Reduces Blood Pressure
Beetroot has 20 times more nitrates (not to be confused with cancer causing nitrites in processed meats such as hot dogs) that other vegetables. Nitrates assist in the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide functions to widen and relax our blood vessels. As many as one-third of people who have high blood pressure are not aware of their condition. Those who are, are on various medications to lower their blood pressure. Some take a few medications at a time, such as one to thin the blood, and another to relax the blood vessels. Instead of taking pharmaceutical drugs (which usually cause side effects like gastritis and other gastrointestinal problems), why not take this powerful ‘medicine’ that nature has provided us. It is best to juice beetroot to get the maximum benefit of the phytonutrients. You should start off with a quarter of a cup beetroot juice and gradually increase the amount over time.
2. Protects against Cancer
Beetroot has amazing antioxidant properties that aids in protection from cancer. The active ingredient which gives beetroot its color, betacynin, has been found to reduce the growth of tumors by 12.5 percent. The study was conducted on patients who have prostate or breast cancer. The cytotoxic effect of beetroot extract slows the growth of cancerous cells. This allows more time for treatment of the disease without it getting to a fatal stage.
3. Cleanses the Liver, Kidney and Gallbladder
The betaine in beetroot eliminates toxins from the liver. It also helps defend the liver and bile ducts. Not only is it well-known as a liver cleansing food, it also cleanses the kidney and gallbaldder. Research has shown that natural antioxidants in beetroot, such as polyphenols and betalains, accelerate the healing of liver cells. For those who regularly indulge in drinking alcohol, taking this juice daily would help cleanse and heal your liver after a night out.
4. Prevents Spinal Cord Birth Defects (Source of Folic Acid)
It is a very good source of folic acid, essential for the proper growth of new cells. Women who are planning to conceive and expectant mothers are recommended by gynecologists to take folic acid supplements for protection against spinal cord birth defects such as spina bifida. Why not take beetroot as a natural way of fulfilling this requirement? You can take it in various forms daily – juice it, slice it to munch on, and tossed in salads. You can even cook it, although the amount of folic will be less than in a raw beet.