10 Proven Health Benefits of Beetroot That You Need to Know About

Nutrients in Beetroot

Beetroots are a superb source of folic acid as well as an excellent source of potassium, manganese and fiber. Beet roots as well as greens are a great source of iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Beet greens are higher in nutritional value compared to beetroots, as they’re richer in iron, calcium, and vitamins C and A.

Beetroot nutritional values per 100g:

  • How many calories in beetroot – 43
  • How much protein in beetroot– 1.6g
  • How many carbs in beetroot – 10g
  • What is the fat content of beetroot – 0.2g

1 – Is beetroot good for blood pressure?

Researchers have has demonstrated the effectiveness of 1 daily cup of beet juice to lower blood pressure. Individuals having high blood pressure who drank about a cup of beetroot juice each day had a reduction in blood pressure of approximately 10 mm Hg.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.111.00933

Beetroot and nitric oxide

The beetroot juice’s nitrate content is the reason for its blood pressure reducing effects. The nitrate in beetroot juice increases the nitric oxide levels in the blood. There was about 0.2g of dietary nitrate in the beetroot juice, levels equivalent to approximately two beets.

The nitrate is first converted in the body to nitrite and then in the blood to nitric oxide, which is a gas that helps to widen the blood vessels and assist with the blood flow.

A reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure was experienced by the study participants after drinking the beet juice. This reduction persisted even when the nitrite circulating in the bloodstream had returned to the levels prior to beetroot juice consumption. The effect was most pronounced 3 to six 6 after drinking the beet juice and still present 24 hours later.

A meta-analysis of 16 previously conducted studies examining the effects of beetroot supplementation on blood pressure confirmed the association between beetroot juice and blood pressure reduction.2✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 23596162

Beetroot juice recipe

1 beetroot, 1 apple, 4 carrots, 1 teaspoon grated ginger. Extract juice from all ingredients with a juice extractor and chill in fridge for half an hour, or drink immediately.

2 – Is beetroot good for the liver?

One of the liver’s many functions is to filter and detoxify the blood and is largely responsible for the detoxification of the body. It works endlessly at detoxifying the blood, producing the bile needed for digesting fat, breaking down hormones and storing essential vitamins and minerals.

The liver is also the only organ in the body that’s capable of regenerating large sections of itself. It’s vital for the overall health of the body to keep the liver functioning optimally.

Beetroot acts as a natural blood cleaner and detoxifier by cleansing the blood of waste and toxins by means of compounds known as glutathiones.

The betalains found in beetroot help in forming the glutathione compound. Beetroot also contains the nutrient known as betaine, which is a lipotrope, something that prevents or reduces accumulation of fat in the liver.

Beet consumption will help to support the liver, bile ducts and gallbladder, influencing fat metabolism and helping to lower blood fat levels. A healthy functioning liver will help break down fats more efficiently.

Studies in rats have confirmed the liver protecting properties of beetroot juice.3✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.4103/atp.atp_34_17
PMID: 22465004

3 – Is beetroot good for cholesterol?

Beetroot is an excellent source of dietary fiber, which has been shown to have cholesterol lowering capabilities.

The flavonoids and carotenoids in beetroot also help in preventing LDL cholesterol from being oxidized and deposited in the arteries.

A study on rats revealed that total cholesterol and triglycerides were lowered with an extract of beetroot and HDL cholesterol was increased.5✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
CorpusID: 42209878

Another study showed improved vascular function in individuals with elevated cholesterol levels after 6 weeks of beetroot juice consumption. The 67 study participants were randomly assigned to drink 250 mL a day of nitrate-rich beetroot juice or a nitrate-free beetroot placebo juice for 6 weeks.

The 6 weeks of daily beetroot juice consumption produced a significant increase in flow mediated dilation (FMD), which is a blood flow and vascular health measurement.6✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 26607938

Beetroot smoothie

1 beetroot, 2 cups of red berries, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil, ½ cup filtered water. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Add more water if necessary for a smooth consistency.

4 – Is beetroot good for the brain?

Beetroot juice increases blood flow and oxygen to brain

Researchers have shown that after drinking beetroot juice, older adults had increased blood flow to the white matter of the frontal lobes, the areas of the brain commonly associated with degeneration that leads to dementia and other cognitive conditions.7✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 20951824

High concentrations of nitrates are found in beetroot. When high-nitrate foods are consumed, nitrate is turned into nitrite by the good bacteria in the mouth.

Research has found that nitrites can assist with the opening up of the blood vessels, thus increasing blood flow and oxygen to areas which are lacking oxygen.

How much beetroot juice to boost brain health?

While there are no official guidelines, study participants were consuming about 2 cups of beetroot juice daily, enough to cause mild digestive distress. 1 cup of beet juice every day shouldn’t cause any digestive distress.

Betanin and Alzheimer’s

Beta-amyloid is a protein fragment associated with Alzheimer’s disease which accumulates in the brain and disrupts communication between neurons.

Metals like copper and iron can cause beta-amyloid peptides to misfold which result in them binding together in clumps and promoting inflammation and oxidation in surrounding neurons.

A study has found that the compound betanin that gives beetroot its red color could help in slowing the accumulation of these misfolded proteins.

Beetroot and exercise combination

Other research has shown that beetroot juice taken in combination with exercise boosts the neuroplastic effects that exercise has on the aging brain.8✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glw219

The beetroot juice helps to improve neuroplasticity by increasing blood flow and tissue oxygenation. The older study participants who consumed beetroot juice an hour prior to exercising had brain networks resembling those of younger individuals.

How to cook beetroot?

Cooking beetroot can reduce the available nitrates except for steaming lightly, which can actually enhance the availability of nutrients.9✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 23701122

5 – Is beetroot good for anemia?

Are beets high in iron?

Although beets are not exceptionally high in iron, beetroot as well as beetroot leaves are still a good source of iron and beetroot consumption can help in improving haemoglobin (red blood cell) levels.

Low levels of the iron-rich protein haemoglobin can result in anaemia, which is associated with fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness and headaches.

The iron in beetroot can play a part in reducing fatigue associated with iron-deficient anemia, and beetroot also increases the amount of nitrate in the bloodstream. This helps to boost stamina by reducing the amount of oxygen required by muscles.

Megaloblastic anemia

Beetroot is an excellent source of folate (vitamin B9), an essential nutrient for red blood cell production. Oxygen is carried by the red blood cells to all parts of the body and blood not enough oxygen is carried to all the organs and tissues when you have anemia.

A folic acid deficiency can lead to megaloblastic anemia, a result of having larger than normal red blood cells, and as a consequence too few of these cells.

Can you eat beetroot leaves?

The beetroot greens should not be discarded; they are incredibly nutrient-rich, and can be prepared and eaten in the same way as spinach.

6 – Is beetroot good for gastric ulcers?

Vegetables which are high in nitrates, like beetroot, provide the stomach protection from damage by converting nitrates into nitrites via the bacteria in the mouth and then transforming the nitrites into nitric oxide in the stomach.

The protective mechanisms of the stomach’s mucous membranes are activated by the consumption of nitrate-rich beetroot, thereby reducing the risk of gastric ulcers.

Beets increase nitric oxide levels in the gastrointestinal tract

After consuming nitrate-rich beetroot, the saliva contains a large amount of nitrates, which the oral bacteria partially converts into nitrites. When swallowing the nitrites they are converted into nitric oxide by the acid gastric juice.

This results in high nitric oxide levels in the stomach after consuming nitrate-rich beetroot. The blood vessels in the mucous membrane are widened by the nitric oxide, which increases the blood flow and regulates elimination of the mucus. This helps to develop a mucous membrane that’s more resistant.10✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1186/ar2465

Antibacterial mouthwashes and oral flora

The bacterial flora in the mouth is important to this process of nitrates from food protecting the mucous membrane of the stomach. This means that antibacterial mouthwashes can eliminate the oral flora and nitric oxide levels from foods that increase nitric oxide are greatly decreased.

Treating gastric ulcers

For treating gastric ulcers, add a beetroot to cabbage juice, which is a proven cure for gastric ulcers.

7 – Is beetroot good for the bones?

Silica for bones

Root vegetables such as beetroot are a good source of dietary silicon.11✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1080/10942910701584252

Silica is found in almost all body tissue, which includes the bones. Although silica levels are most important in our senior years as it prevents bone decalcification, levels of silica have a tendency to decrease as we get older.

The silica in beetroot helps in utilizing calcium, which is important for reducing osteoporosis risk. Silica also helps to prevents the deterioration of connective tissue such as collagen, vital for the tensile strength of bones.12✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 17435952

One study has confirmed a positive  association between dietary silicon intake and bone mineral density.13✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 14969400

Silica vs silicon

Although the terms silica and silicon are often made use of interchangeably, the difference is that silica is the oxide form of silicon, and is often called silicon dioxide (SiO2), which then gets shortened to silicon.

Manganese for bones

Beetroot also is also high in the trace mineral manganese, which is necessary for bone and cartilage connective tissue synthesis, and helps prevent bone density loss.

Manganese is needed for the production of chondroitin sulfate, an important structural component of cartilage. Together with the enzyme osteocalcin, chondroitin sulfate forms the connective tissue necessary for healthy bones and joints.

Some studies have shown an association between chondroitin and pain relief in osteoarthritis patients.14✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005614.pub2

A combination of manganese and other minerals, which include calcium, can help in reducing bone loss, particularly in postmenopausal women who are more susceptible to weak bones and fractures.15✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 15658548

8 – Is beetroot good for exercise performance?

Nitrate in beetroot juice

Beetroot juice has become a big story in sports science recently after it was found that it can enable individuals to exercise for as much as 16% longer.

These findings have resulted in numerous athletes, from professional cyclists to Premiership footballers, exploring its potential uses. Research shows how the nitrate in beetroot juice leads to reduced oxygen uptake, which makes exercise less tiring.16✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31821597b4

One study of beetroot juice’s health benefits suggests the elderly or individuals having lung or heart conditions can benefit from its performance enhancing properties.17✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01070.2010

The study looked at the effects of beetroot consumption on low intensity exercise and discovered that individuals used less oxygen when walking; effort it took to walk was reduced by 12%.

The consumption of beetroot juice widens blood vessels, lowering blood pressure and enabling more blood flow. It also has an effect on muscle tissue; the amount of oxygen required by muscles during activity is reduced.

This combination of effects has a significant impact on physical performance, whether it be high-intensity or low-intensity activity.

How much beetroot juice to boost exercise performance?

One of the studies used about 2 cups of beetroot juice, which is enough to cause some digestive distress. Other research has suggested that about 1 cup of beetroot is effective for increasing exercise performance.18✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 23640589

9 – Is beetroot good for the skin?

Beets are rich in folate (folic acid). The high folate content of beetroot plays a critical role in skin health by stimulating the production and repair of cells.

Folic acid has concentrations of antioxidants which help in reducing oxidative stress levels in the skin and also in neutralizing environmental harmful free-radicals.19✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 11390184

A study has shown that a 30-day treatment with a topical cream containing folic acid improves the moisturisation of the skin. Elasticity of the skin was also almost 2 times greater after making use of the cream and skin roughness was decreased.

Research has also indicated the potential of folate in protecting sun exposed skin against skin cancer.20✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-2199-9_10

10 – Is beetroot good for cancer?

The phytonutrients in beetroot that give them the deep red color also have potent anti-cancer properties. Beetroot seems to be effective in inhibiting carcinogen formation and increasing the production of immune cells and enzymes which help in fighting cancer development.

Beetroot for lung and skin cancer

Animals studies have identified the phytonutrient betanin found in beetroot to have potent cancer chemopreventive properties in lung and skin cancer. The studies have shown that an extract of beetroot administered in drinking water reduces lung and skin tumor formations in animal models.21✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 12543062
PMID: 22456940

Beetroot for pancreatic, breast and prostate cancer

Other studies have identified beetroot extract to be effective in the treatment of human pancreatic, breast and prostate cancers.23✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 23828331
PMID: 21434853

Beetroot for chronic lymphocytic leukemia

According to researchers, daily consumption of beetroot-carrot juice can be made use of as an effective chronic lymphocytic leukemia treatment on its own or in combination with conventional leukemic treatment (chlorambucil).

Beetroot-carrot juice is made use of in conjunction with chlorambucil, which is known to have severe and unwanted side-effects. In addition, beetroot-carrot juice therapy used after an initial chlorambucil treatment resulted in a substantial leukocyte and lymphocyte count reduction in peripheral blood.25✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.3889/oamjms.2015.056

Where do Beets Come From?

The wild beet came from North Africa and grew along European and Asian seashores. Just like a lot of modern vegetables, beets were first grown by the Romans. The tribes invading Rome were the reason that beets spread throughout the north of Europe.

The commercial value of beets increased in the 1900s, after it was found that they could be converted into sugar. When the British restricted access to sugarcane, Napoleon decreed that the beet be made use of as the main sugar source.

Nowadays France, the United States, Poland, Germany and the Russian Federation are the main commercial producing nations of beets.

10 Proven Health Benefits Of Beetroot That You Need To Know About

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