Like most fruit and vegetables, beetroot is packed full of essential nutrients to give your body a helping hand. However, there is so much more to this newly categorised superfood.
Beetroot contains protein, calcium, iron, Vitamin A and C, folate, manganese, zinc, copper, fibre, and more! You can pickle it like your grandma used to, steam, boil, and roast it, or even eat it raw. This versatile vegetable does not get nearly enough of the spotlight as it deserves – especially when you find out just how beneficial it is for the body.
WHAT DOES SCIENCE TELL US?
Scientists are discovering a lot of about this humble vegetable. Studies on hypertension in 2008 showed that beetroot could lower blood pressure due to its high nitrate levels. Two years later, another study reaffirmed this. Regarding dementia, scientists are making headway here too. Consuming a high nitrate diet, including beetroot, means that blood flow and brain oxygenation were improved in the aging population, potentially helping to slow down dementia. The study was carried out at the Wake Forest Translational Science Centre.
Beetroot even helps with digestion, inflammation, diabetes, and athletic performance. As it contains alphalipoic acid, it can lower glucose levels, and with high fibre content, it can promote healthy digestion. Beetroot’s powerful nutrient known as chlorine can also reduce chronic inflamation while also improving sleep, memory, learning and even muscle movement.
It can seem strange for a vegetable to improve athletic performance, but beetroot is creating waves in the fitness field for that reason as well. A juice supplementation improved muscle oxygenation, leading to better tolerance of long-term exercise. These were noted in time trials with performance improvements of as much as 2.7 and 2.8 percent.
If you are looking to make changes to your diet, then there’s every reason to give beetroot a try. However, be sure to consume it as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Beetroot juice may cause red urine and faeces, and improperly stored beetroot juice can be harmful due to high levels of nitrate. Consult a health professional if you have any concerns or questions about making dramatic changes to your diet.