5 health benefits of beetroot you need to know about
Incredibly nutritious, delicious and versatile, beetroot is used in a number of dishes around the globe. From salad and beetroot crisps to vitamin-packed beetroot juice or even houmous – there are a variety of delicious ways to incorporate this root vegetable into your diet. Aside from being incredibly tasty, beetroot boasts an array of health benefits, some of which may surprise you!
But are there any beetroot benefits and side effects? Stay tuned!
1) Beetroot could keep your blood pressure low
If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart disease.
However, as beetroot is a good source of potassium - which may help to control the balance of fluids in the body and helps the heart muscle work properly - it could actually help to lower blood pressure. When addressing the benefits of nitrates, beetroot may be better consumed in its raw form, rather than cooked – which is thought to be because of the nitrate content in raw beetroot.
This is because nitrates are converted into nitric oxide in the body, which helps to dilate blood vessels and reduce blood pressure. However, it is important to note that this is a temporary effect, which lasts for just a few hours after, so it’s important to regularly consume beetroot, such as a daily beetroot shot, in order to reap the beetroot extract benefits.
2) Beetroot may support exercise performance
If you’re a sports lover, you’re sure to be on the constant lookout for ways to improve your physical performance – but did you know that beetroot could be the exact thing you’re looking for?
Thought to improve time to exhaustion, velocity and endurance – it’s no wonder beetroot is often a staple in an athlete’s diet. In fact, gold medal-winning Paralympic athlete, David Weir swears by beetroot juice!
But why is beetroot thought to improve athletic performance? It’s all down to the dietary nitrate content.
As we’ve already mentioned, beetroot is packed with high levels of dietary nitrates, which are converted into nitric oxide in the body, dilating the blood vessels. Aside from lowering blood pressure, this can also increase oxygen capacity, as well as increasing blood flow to the muscle tissues, providing them with more oxygen to improve function during exercise. This is especially prevalent in endurance activities, such as running, cycling and swimming.
If you’re wondering when to take beetroot before exercise, aim to consume a form of it around 2-3 hours before training, as this is thought to maximise the benefits. A Raw Turmeric and Beetroot shot is a handy way to ensure you’ve always got a source of beetroot on hand before you train. As it’s in liquid form it is thought to be more bioavailable – meaning you’re more likely to reap the benefits! Drink up!
3) Beetroot is full of nutrients
Whether you’re a health-conscious foodie looking for beetroot nitrate benefits, or you’re simply trying to improve your health and wellbeing – beetroot should certainly be an addition to your diet!
Beetroot is full of a number of different vitamins and minerals, including:
- Folate (vitamin B9), which is important for normal tissue growth and cell function.
- Manganese, a trace element that may help the body form connective tissues and bones.
- Iron, that helps to make red blood cells.
- Vitamin C, which contributes immune function and skin health.
- Potassium, a mineral that helps to balance fluids in the body and helps the heart to work properly.
- Vitamin A, which aids vision in dim light, and can keep the immune system and skin health working properly.
So, whether you add it to a healthy salad, enjoy it in a warming soup, or even get adventurous with a vegetarian beetroot burger – there are so many ways to incorporate this nutritious root into your eating habits. Your digestive system will thank you, we promise.
4) Beetroot may even support brain function
Another impressive health benefit of beetroot is that it’s thought to support the normal function of the brain. Unfortunately, brain function naturally declines with age, which is thought to be caused by a reduction in blood flow.
However, studies have shown that the nitrates in beetroot may actually contribute to the normal function of the brain by promoting oxygen flow – particularly to the frontal lobe, which is associated with decision making and memory.
So, whether you incorporate a handy Raw Turmeric and Beetroot shot into your daily routine, or you experiment with beetroot in your kitchen – these health benefits of beetroot are hard to ignore!
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