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Top 10 Things You Should Know About What Beets Can Do For You
You may look at beets and think they are an old-fashioned vegetable. Mostly available on salad bars as a pickled product, beets are making a comeback. Foodies who are always looking for new ways to prepare healthy foods have started roasting beets, which just might make you a fan.
With all the health benefits you could experience from adding beets to your menu, you just might want to head to the market and pick up some of these deep red gems. Originally a source of sugar in the 19th century, beets have evolved into a nutrient-rich vegetable that can affect many aspects of your healthy lifestyle. While they still contain a high sugar content, you would be wise to enjoy them a couple of times a week to reap the benefits they offer.
1. Lower your blood pressure
If you are taking the blood pressure medication hydrochlorothiazide, you may want to check with your doctor about adjusting your dose. It was found that people who consumed about a cup of beet juice every day lowered the systolic number on their blood pressure reading by 8 points. Beets contain nitrates and potassium, which are able to drop blood pressure levels naturally.
2. Raises your energy level
Because athletes rely on carbohydrates to give them the energy to perform, beets have been found to be a good source of extra energy. They are low in calories, and the publication Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise recognized beet juice as being the sports drink preferred by cyclists.
3. Detoxifies your liver
Beets contain glycine betaine and methionine, which work to reduce the build-up of fatty acids. This cuts down the chances of developing a fatty liver. The juice from beets has been found to help stimulate the cells of the liver and help in eliminating the buildup of damaging toxins.
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4. Promotes a healthy brain
When the nitric oxide from beets helps to relax the blood vessels, bringing down blood pressure levels, it also helps increase the flow of blood that goes to the brain. It was found that people who consumed beet juice for just two days enjoyed increased blood flow to the area of their brains known as the frontal lobe. This part of the brain is responsible for organizational skills, focus, and attention to detail.
5. Helps to prevent cancer
Beets have antioxidants that have been known to reduce the growth of certain tumors. The pigments that give beets their deep color, betacyanins, have been found to prevent certain cancers from forming, including colon, lung and skin cancers. Studies were performed where patients suffering from inoperable cancer in advanced stages showed remarkable improvements after consuming the juice of beets for up to four months.
6. Fights inflammation
Another valuable component of beets is betaine. This valuable nutrient helps to fight inflammation by protecting the enzymes, cells, and proteins from routine stress from the environment. Betaine also helps cut down on the risk of contracting a variety of chronic diseases, provides protection for many internal organs, and improves the risk factors associated with vascular issues.
7. Works to create a healthy heart
Beets are rich in potassium and can help keep your heart in good condition. A lack of potassium contributes to the chances of having a stroke or other problems associate with the heart.
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8. Resolves constipation issues
If you have problems with constipation on a regular basis, you may want to add beets to your regular regimen. Beets are packed with fiber, and each cup has around 4 grams. This type of fiber is insoluble, which works best for digestive issues. There is one side effect: the betaine that is contained in beets could turn your urine and your stool pink or red. Don’t be alarmed; it is not dangerous.
9. Improves eyesight
Beets can help reduce the progression of macular degeneration, as well as prevent the occurrence of cataracts, as they are rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A. They have even been found to improve overall vision.
10. Helps your sex life
It may seem funny to hear beets referred to as “nature’s Viagra,” but the crimson vegetable has high levels of boron, which works in conjunction with our sex hormones. The ancient Romans were the first to discover the correlation between eating beets and their increased libido. They consumed beets whole, as well as drinking their juice, in order to enhance their sex life.
If you are interested in applying some of the benefits of eating beets to your life, you can try adding them roasted as a side dish. Borscht is a soup made of beets, and you can find recipes for it online. If you prefer, you can use a juicer to gain the benefits from this versatile vegetable. And don’t forget, you can eat the greens as well.
There is no doubt that beets and beet juice have health benefits that can make a difference in most people’s lives. But there are some people who should not consume them at all. Because beets are high in oxalates, anyone who suffers from kidney stones could cause damage to their system, as oxalates are what create kidney stones. Anyone suffering from issues with their gallbladder should also refrain from eating beets or drinking beet juice.