Remember the times you ran out, leaving the beet juice undrunk? The beautiful beets or beetroots, as they’re often called, have come a long way. Now, beets have gained their reputation as a superfood for the umpteen benefits they bring to our table.
Speaking of the nutrients present, beets are the store-house of vitamins A, C and B complex, minerals and phytonutrients like carotenoids, lutein or zeaxanthin, glycine, and betaine, dietary fiber, and folate. They get their characteristic color from betalain pigment which is also an anti-oxidant. In addition, minerals like magnesium, iron, copper, and phosphorus are also present. Not to mention, they are also low in fat, cholesterol, and calories.
Nutritional Profile: Raw Beet
A serving of 100-gram raw beet has,
- Calories: 43
- Carbohydrate: 9.6 g
- Protein: 1.6g
- Fat: 0.2 g
- Folate: 27% of RDI
- Vitamin C: 8% of RDI
- Vitamin B6: 3% of RDI
- Magnesium: 6% of RDI
- Potassium: 9% of RDI
- Manganese: 19% of RDI
- Iron: 4% of RDI
With a vast array of nutrients, it’s hard to beat the beets, indeed. Like we said earlier, the health benefits of beets are umpteen. If you aren’t a beet lover (yeah, we agree the earthy taste isn’t that welcoming!), here are 15+ reasons to incorporate beet and beet juice into your daily diet.
Note: Don’t take our word for it, read what science and nutritionists say.
1. Offers great relief from sore and tight muscles
Another good news for the gym rats out there! Beetroot juice helps alleviate sore, stressed and tight muscles, according to new research. The researchers found enhanced muscle recovery in the test group who consumed beetroot juice dose for three consecutive days. This means beetroot juice is a great post-workout drink!
2. Get Relief from Mountain Sickness
Love high altitude trips but hate the havoc mountain sickness creates? Beetroot Juice offers powerful relief from headaches, vomiting, and dizziness, as the nitrates in beet are hands-on in delivering plenty of oxygen. As a result, your body will quickly acclimatize when you climb up the mountain. Next time you pack your backpack, have some room for beet juice!
3. Beet juice is a great Liver detoxifier
Take constant efforts to include beet into your everyday life to lighten the workload of the liver – one of the hardest working organs in the human body. Animal studies show that beetroot juice may protect against liver damages.
An important phytonutrient that makes beetroot your BFF is betaine, an amino acid responsible for preventing and reducing the accumulation of fat in the liver. Research on diabetic patients shows that betaine slightly decreases cholesterol, improves liver functioning, and reduces liver size.
4. Beet juice promises glowing skin
Beet juice helps make the skin noticeably radiant, young, and firmer. The anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and blood purifying compounds present in beet work towards improving your health and well-being which ultimately reflects on your skin. Removing dead skin cells, dark spots, blemishes, irritation, and inflammation, hydrating, skin lightening – you name it, beet got it.
5. Blood Tonic
Besides stimulating red blood cell production, beet juice is excellent in removing toxins from the circulation. The veggie comes loaded with anti-oxidants and nitrates that increase the production of enzymes involved in removing the toxins.
6. Lowers the Blood pressure
Did you know that hypertension accounts for almost 13 percent of global deaths? Being rich in dietary inorganic nitrates, which our body converts to nitric oxide for various bodily functions – is found to have a profound influence on relaxing and dilating the blood vessels.
That means improved circulation, low blood pressure and probably fewer chances of hypertension. A 2012 study found that men who drank beet juice had a drop of systolic blood pressure by four to five points.
7. Beets are good for the beat
Just like many other superfoods, beets are heart-friendly. Aside from the blood pressure lowering nitrates, beet juice contains the antioxidant betaine and B-vitamin folate, which act together in lowering homocysteine in blood; high homocysteine is found to be associated with inflammatory arterial disease.
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology and Medicine shows that consuming beetroot juice protects the heart against post-I/R myocardial infarction and ventricular dysfunction.
8. Beets Boosts Stamina
Here’s another interesting fact: Regular consumption of beet juice is the reason behind the crimson drug test result in athletes. Yes, athletes consume beets and beet juice for better endurance. By dilating the blood vessels nitrate ensures more oxygen supply to the muscles.
In fact, nitrate level spikes up within two to three hours after eating raw beet or drinking beet juice – according to Andy Jones, Ph.D., dean of research in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter.
9. Beets and Brainpower
Alongside boosting the stamina, nitrates in beets are responsible for keeping your brain young and active, says the studies. Beet juice is a boon especially for elderly people because as we age, the body’s capacity to make nitric oxide starts to decrease.
In a 2014 study, researchers found that older men and women served high-nitrate diet (of course, including beet juice), showed more blood flow in the frontal lobe – the center of motor function, memory, judgment, impulse control etc. Have a habit of drinking more beet juices or smoothies!
10. Beet is a cancer-fighter
One of the acclaimed benefits of beet juice is its cancer-fighting ability. Researches show that Betanin, the phyto compound that gives beet its characteristic color, can defend against potent carcinogens; though further extensive studies are needed, one cytotoxic study of beetroot found that they may be effective against breast cancer cells.
Also, beta-carotene present in beet juice is found to be preventative in lung cancer. Few other researchers suggest the veggie’s potential in reducing the risk of colon and liver cancer due to its fiber content and detoxifying benefits.
11. Good for Digestion
With loads of fiber, consuming beet juice might regulate digestive functions and relieve constipation. Another agent that improves digestion is betanin; it increases the acidic environment in the stomach and triggers the intestine to break down the food. In fact, half a glass of beetroot juice is still a home remedy for an irritated stomach.
12. Combat Anemia
Deficiency of red blood cells or of hemoglobin in the blood results in anemia. Filled with iron and folate beet juice enhance the production of red blood cells. It also contains a good amount of phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium, sulfur, copper, and several B vitamins that promote circulation. Furthermore, vitamin C present mediates iron absorption.
13. Protect from Free Radicals
Beet juice is an all-rounder in protecting the body from the free radical scavengers. With vitamin C, betanin, vulgaxanthin, polyphenols and other potent anti-oxidant compounds, it does help the skin get rid of damaging toxins and environmental stressors. Lycopene in beet juice is another multi-functional compound that enhances skin elasticity while protecting against the damaging UV rays.
14. Beet juice is an Aphrodisiac
Because of its boron content, beets were considered a sexual booster for centuries. Research indicated that boron has a distinctive impact on estrogen and testosterone – the sexual hormones. In addition, the nitric oxide produced from the metabolism of dietary nitrate in beet increases blood flow and improves sexual life.
15. Beet Reduces Birth Defects
Folic acid or folate is important for pregnant women; a deficiency of which causes giving birth to infants with neural tube defect such as spina bifida. It can also lead to developmental and neurological disorders in such infants or children. Hence consuming either raw beet or beet juice in the second trimester onward ensures the folate requirement is met.
16. Helps prevent dementia
A critical issue an aging brain encounter is the lack of blood flow to its nook and corners. This leads to loss of cognitive thinking, decline in memory, and dementia. The nitrates present in beet juice are found to increase blood flow to the somatomotor cortex, the cortex area that gets affected in dementia. Thus beet juice delays dementia.
Is there a warning?
Upping the beet juice intake can change the color of urine and bowel movement; you don’t have to fret as it is harmless. The major flipside of beet in the diet is that excessive consumption may develop kidney stones and gout due to the presence of oxalates.
People on blood pressure medication should have a check on the intake, as beet juice itself is blood pressure lowering. High fiber content is good for the tummy, but again excess intake can cause flatulence, upset stomach, loose stools etc. Though there is no strong evidence of beet causing skin allergies, some people do develop them for various other reasons.
Remember, just like any other food, the key is ‘MODERATION’.
Nutritionists and scientists say betanin is not-so-heat-stable, so consuming beet juice or raw beet is imperative. Since the earthy beet blends nicely with other fruits and veggies, just go all out to put your juicing skills. For example, a beet-carrot-celery-lettuce smoothie is great if you are on a weight loss journey whereas beet-pineapple delight is a killer immune booster recipe.