Beets, glorious beets. The root veggies are incredible, and in my opinion, under-appreciated. They are packed with health benefits and a ton of nutrients which, among other things, help your heart “beet.” Cheesy, but true. Here are four of the top health reasons why beets should play a bigger role in your diet!
Boost Athletic Ability
Beets have naturally occurring nitric oxide, which acts as a vasodilator in the body. That means that it dilates or opens up the blood vessels, allowing for increased blood flow, which can enhance your exercise tolerance by providing more oxygen to your blood. So, next time you’re getting ready to compete in a race, prime yourself with some beets to improve your overall performance.
Lower Blood Pressure
But let’s say running a race isn’t your thing. Who else could use some more oxygen in their blood, or a drop in blood pressure? Millions of Americans, that’s who.
With heart disease and high blood pressure afflicting a high percentage of Americans, beets can help get the symptoms of these conditions under control. Again, this is because they help deliver oxygen and open up arteries to lower blood pressure. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be completely off your meds, but it’s a big step in the right direction.
Nitrates in beets help provide your body with oxygen-rich blood, and also aid in bringing oxygen to your brain. That means that beets can help ward off diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s, which are largely caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain.
Beets are a good source of “betaine,” which is a nutrient that acts to protect the cells and proteins in the body against stressors. They in turn provide anti-inflammatory benefits that may even support cardiovascular health.
One of the downsides to stocking up on beets for their overall health benefits is that they may turn your urine pink. But fear not: the unusual hue doesn’t change the fact that beets are providing as much benefit for your digestive health as they do the rest of your body.
So now that you are wise to the beets, your next step is working them into your diet! Try a super easy Beetlicious Kale Salad, or a Beetlicious Raw Beet Spread, for dishes that will have you loving beets as much as you love their benefits.
About Shaina Simhaee
Shaina Simhaee is a certified holistic nutrition consultant and editor of FastBeets.com. She works one-on-one with clients to help them reach their health and wellness goals. Simhaee advises clients to be their healthiest without compromising any part of their decadent lives. FastBeets makes the healthy life attainable to busy people and makes it easy for everyone to be just a little bit healthier.