If you ever just get up off the toilet and think that you just crapped blood, chances are that you just ate or drank something with beets in them. If you didn’t, please visit your doctor. Apart from causing panic attacks in the bathroom, these sweet red earthy vegetables are also an incredibly great source of nutrition.
How Are Beets Beneficial?
Good for heart health
Beets are rich in fiber, which binds to cholesterol, thus improving the good (HDL) to bad (LDL) cholesterol ratio within the body. This helps to prevent dangerous conditions like strokes, heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.
They lower blood pressure
Consuming beets, especially in fresh juice form has been shown to greatly reduce blood pressure within a matter of hours. Beets are rich in nitrates, which convert into nitric oxide in the body, this nitric oxide has a dilating effect on the blood vessels, which promotes better blood flow, resulting in lowered blood pressure. Oh, and speaking of nitric oxide…
Improves muscle pumps and stamina
This benefit makes beets a great food for weightlifters and other athletes. Since the nitric oxide produced by the consumption of beetroots causes improved blood flow, this, in turn, causes much better muscle pumps in the gym. It also ensures that more water and nutrients are pushed into the muscle faster and much more efficiently.
Along with the nitrates, the natural sugars in the beets helps to improve stamina. Various studies have shown that those who consumed beet juice before their workouts could exercise longer than those that didn’t.
High in antioxidants
Antioxidants, our greatest tool in the fight against free radicals. Turns out that the same thing that gives beets their rich red color, Betalains, also help us to fight those pesky free radicals that cause harmful inflammation within our body. Beets are also high in many other antioxidants such as Manganese and Vitamin C, which help to improve the immune system and fight inflammation.
Nutrition and How to Add Into Your Diet
1 beet contains 35 calories with 0.1 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbs, 2.5grams of fiber and 1.3 grams of protein. It also contains vitamins and minerals such as: Iron, potassium, manganese, vitamin C, and in small amounts, Calcium.
I would suggest having beets in the raw state as cooking them can cause some loss in minerals. You can add sliced beets to your salads but I believe the best way to have them is in juice form. You can either juice the beets or better yet, blend them in a green juice or a shake. This way you get the whole raw beet in an easy to drink shake.
Caution: If you are on any heart medication, I would suggest you consult your doctor before consuming too many beets as the combination can cause a drastic decrease in blood pressure. One a day would be fine but you know, better safe than sorry.