Beetroot (Beta vulgaris) is considered one of the healthiest vegetables in the monopodial family. This red vegetable is popularly known as beetroot, red beetroot, garden beet or table beet. This article will discuss the health benefits of beetroot. Beetroot is used as a medicinal plant for the treatment of many health problems such as lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of diabetes and improving memory, to name a few.
Beetroot is red because of a pigment called betalain, which is why it is mainly used as a food colouring. Beetroot contains a large number of beneficial nutrients and flavonoids called anthocyanins.
1. Lowers blood pressure
Beets contain nitrates, which increase blood flow to the body. Nitrates are converted into nitric oxide, a molecule that dilates blood vessels and in turn reduces blood pressure.
One study has shown that consumption of beet juice can help lower blood pressure.
2. Promoting heart health
Beets can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke due to nitrates. In addition, the fibre found in beets reduces cholesterol and triglycerides by increasing HDL (good cholesterol) in the body.
3. May aid in weight loss
Beetroot is low in calories and contains water and fibre, making it an ideal vegetable for losing weight. Fibre is known to accelerate weight loss by suppressing appetite and giving you a feeling of fullness for a longer period of time, which reduces your overall caloric intake.
4. Improves brain health
The presence of nitrates in beets can improve mental and cognitive functions. Nitrates in beets dilate blood vessels, increasing blood flow to the brain, improving brain function and reducing the risk of dementia in the elderly.
5. Fights inflammation
Beets contain bealaïnes, which are known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Eating this vegetable reduces the pain and discomfort associated with inflammation.
6. Prevents anaemia
Beets have a significant amount of iron, an essential mineral that increases the level of hemoglobin in the blood and prevents the development of anemia. The vegetable also contains vitamin C, which is known to better absorb iron.
7. May have chemopreventive properties
According to one study, bioactive beet compounds inhibit the mutation of cancer cells . The study was carried out on animals, further human studies are needed to support the claim.
8. Improves athletic performance
The nitrate content of beets can improve physical performance by increasing the supply of oxygen to different parts of the body’s cells. Studies have shown that beet consumption improves stroke performance in healthy adults.
9. Enhances digestive health
Beets are an excellent source of fibre, known to improve digestion, maintain a healthy intestine and add volume to stool. All these elements contribute to digestive health and prevent digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and constipation.
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