It is not easy to get all the necessary nutrients that your body craves for in your daily meals and that is why we have to turn to nutritional supplements like multivitamins. But if you are looking for a natural source, the fruit and vegetable kingdom is where you should be looking at. One such vegetable that comes to mind is beets and it is basically a root vegetable that remains rather divisive, some people either love them to ‘beets’ or hate them with a personal vengeance. But if beets float your boat, they might just be your new best friend at the end of this article. What shouldn’t be dismissed is their high sugar content (and to be fair, they rank the highest in sugar content among all other vegetables). However, that still doesn’t take away from the fact that beetroots can be eaten a few times a week since there are many nutrients that you can reap in addition to their delicate, sweet and earthy flavour.
What Are Beets?
Hear us out, beets have an amazing nutritional profile. This is such because of how little calories they contain, yet they are high in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and manganese. In addition, beets have been renowned for containing inorganic nitrates and pigments (these are plant compounds that benefit your body greatly).
Benefits of Beets
Beets are beneficial to our body because of how they are packed with so many essential vitamins, minerals and plant compounds that would ease away some of our most irritating health problems. Read on to discover more health benefits that beets can bring to us.
Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure Levels
Heart-related problems are no trivial matter of the heart. We say this because of how heart disease is rampant and is one of the leading causes of death in the world when you consider how it can manifest as heart attacks, stroke and even heart failure. A primary reason is high blood pressure since it is a leading risk factor that would lead to these heart problems. Besides taking medication to nursing your high blood pressure levels, why not go for something natural to take the heat off? When you consume beetroots, you can bring down your blood pressure naturally for around 4-10 mmHg for a few hours. You might be surprised to hear that it works and this is so because of the high concentration of nitrates that are found in beets. When nitrate is introduced into your body, it is subsequently converted into nitric oxide, a molecule that dilates your blood vessels and causes your blood pressure to dip. While the nitrate levels in your blood remain in your system for about six hours at a time, you would have to consume beets regularly to see long-term results to your blood pressure levels.
Help With Losing Weight
There are a number of reasons why beets are great for your weight loss journey. One of which is because of how beets are low in calories and high in water and when you increase the amount of low-calorie food in your diet, you are much more likely to experience some form of weight loss. Despite their low-calorie content, beets have a decent amount of protein and fibre that would help you in maintaining your weight. It has to be said that the fibre in beets are also another reason why beets are preferred in a weight loss diet. The amount of fibre in beets would help reduce your appetite while promoting feelings of fullness in your body and that would put a stop to your snacking and thereabout, reducing your overall caloric intake. With beets, you no longer would need to resort to drastic means to lose weight.
Improves One’s Athletic Performance
While you wouldn’t know of many athletes munching on these vegetables, beets are actually a big part of an athlete’s diet because of how they are believed to boost one’s athletic performance. The nitrate in beets are the ones responsible for this since they are found to improve the efficiency of mitochondria that help to produce energy in your cells. Studies to prove this thesis have been successful and when the test subjects consumed 500ml of beet juice each day over the course of six days, they discovered that they were less likely to be affected by exhaustion by around 15-25%. Likewise, the nitrate levels in your blood would only hang around in your body for about six hours so it is best to consume beets a few hours before you train for maximum weight loss benefits.
The lovely thing about beets is that they are just so easy to accommodate into your diet. Because of how versatile they are, beets can be found at the store in a number of variations. You can discover them as juice, roasted as a vegetable, pickled as an appetiser and steamed as a main dish. But if you are thinking of preparing beets in your home kitchen, you should avoid the cooking method of boiling since a few nutrients are water soluble and would be lost in the boiling process. How you can add them into your diet is by grating them raw into a salad, creating a dip with Greek yoghurt or consumed as a refreshing beverage as juice.