Health benefits of beets Credits: Getty Images
Beets may help you ward off cancer, enhance your brain and even help you become a better athlete.Could a beet a day keep the doctor away? This antioxidant-rich root vegetable is a great diet staple year round. It contains potassium, vitamin B, soluble fibre, folic acid and iron. Read on for ways eating and drinking beets can benefit your overall health.
1. Beets may help prevent cancer and other diseases.
Eating red beets on the regular could help provide your body with some protection against future disease. Research has show that antioxidant nutrients in this root can help prevent oxidative processes associated with degenerative diseases. Beets contain nitrates, which are beneficial to your brain and body, as well as betaine, an essential nutrient for preventing chronic diseases like cancers. Beets may also inhibit the growth of some tumours, meaning they're a great veggie to add to your cancer-fighting arsenal.
2. Beets can promote brain health.
Researchers have found that drinking beet juice can have benefits on the blood flow to the brain, especially for older people. The high concentration of nitrates in beets helps increase the blood flow to the areas of the brain connected to dementia so scientists think it could ultimately lead to new discoveries in this area.
3. Beets can amp up your workout.
Studies show that people who regularly consume beet juice may have better endurance during cardio exercise. The study suggested that the root's juice helps enhance the oxygen that gets to the muscles and thus reduces the work the heart needs to do during exercise. Add some beets to your morning smoothie for a workout boost.
4. Beets can help lower your blood pressure.
Beets contain a high level of nitrates as well as phytochemical compounds which can help your overall heart health and lower your blood pressure.
A few things to remember:
- Eating or drinking beets can discolour your stool or urine so don't be alarmed.
- Don't overcook your beets or they lose valuable antioxidant content.
- If you suffer from kidney stones, speak to your doctor before you up your intake of this root veggie as it is high in oxalates.
- Try candy cane beets or golden beets—they contain many of the same health benefits but you don't need to worry about stains.
- You can also eat the beet leaves and stems sautéed or in smoothies.
Not sure how to cook beets? Click here for a cooking lesson.
Try these 4 delicious beet recipes:
Roasted beets recipe
Beet, Orange and Watercress Salad recipe
Roasted Beets and Pearl Onions with Pistachio Vinaigrette recipe
Beet Borscht recipe