Beetroot has been around for many years and yet has not gained the popularity it deserves due to the health benefits it possesses.
I would like to think that beetroot is available across diverse cultures, but very scares in most restaurants, but why? Is it because of its striking color, red? Or is it because it’s messy when it is prepared?
Well, it seems to be not on the top of the grocery list for most households, either. Nonetheless, beetroot is thought to be one of the healthiest food and/or root that should form part of a healthy diet.
Definitely not a “silver bullet” as no one food can provide us all the nutrients needed by the body including those referred to as superfoods.
Beetroot has been reported to have some health benefits as it is packed with some essential nutrients and the bioactive compounds which have antibiotics. antitoxic and anti-inflammatory effects.
Experts always recommend that we eat plenty of fruits and vegetables for the reason that they contain minerals and vitamins along with the plant compounds that have the potential to strengthen the immune system and reduce oxidative stress among other health benefits.
Diversity will go a long way in reaping the benefits of these plant food sources. Eating the right portions will also feed the body with the nutrients it needs as excess can cause some complications.
Beetroot is versatile. If you don’t find it appealing when cooked, you can use it for salads, or you can always blend or juice it and consume it in a juice form, that way you’ll get the most nutrients available in the food item since you eat it raw.
It is said that daily ingestion of beetroot juice can ” beet” high blood pressure, we’ll let’s find out, how.
Does Beetroot Really Boost Stamina and Enhance Athletes Performance?
Studies reveal that drinking beetroot juice supplements promotes endurance performance and improves muscle efficiency due to nitric oxide that is responsible for the widening of the blood vessels which promotes blood flow to exercised muscles.
It is thought that nitric oxide further improves muscle power and sprint exercise performance.
That said, research further indicates that there’s conflicting evidence regarding the ergogenic effects of beet juice on intermittent sports such as tennis.
“Low doses of nitric oxide precursors may not stimulate ergogenic effects on tennis physical performance”
According to Natural Medical Journal, Nitrate doesn’t have the ergogenic effects on the cardiorespiratory endurance that could benefit the athlete’s performance but attributes the benefits to betalain, a plant compound that is responsible for the red pigment in beets among other plants.
The Nutritional Value of Beetroot
As said above, beetroot has numerous health benefits as it is nutrient-dense. According to research, beetroot contains phytochemicals that are beneficial for overall health, such as betalains with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities, including nitrates.
Betalains are reddish and yellowish pigments found in plants and are responsible for the deep red color of beetroot, thanks to Wikipedia.
“Betalains have a wide range of biological activities with potential health benefits: they counter inflammation, protect the liver, and have anticancer and antioxidant activities”
Nitrate is a molecule found in beets and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, and lettuce and is thought to dilate the blood vessels and promote efficient blood flow.
Beetroots are rich in minerals and vitamins too.
Amount per 100 grams :
Total fat 0,2g (Saturated fat 0g)
Total carbohydrates: 10 g
Vitamin C ( 8% of daily value)
Vitamin B6 ( 5% of daily value)
Iron ( 4%of daily value)
Magnesium (5% of daily value)
Protein 1,6g (3%of daily value)
Calcium (1% of daily val
Potassium 325 my (9% of daily value)
Dietary fiber 2,8g ( 11% of daily value)
Sugar 7g and Sodium 78mg
There’s a popular belief that Beetroot Juice May Reduce Blood pressure, Is This a Fact Or Fad?
According to ScienceDaily, more than 25% of the world’s adult population is hypertensive and this figure is estimated to grow to 29% by 2025.
Hypertension and/or high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure.
“In the US more than 77 million adults have been diagnosed with high blood pressure a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Eating vegetable rich in dietary nitrate and other critical nutrients may be an accessible and inexpensive way to manage blood pressure, Ahluwalia said”
When plant-based foods rich in nitrate are ingested, the nitrate is converted to nitrite and eventually to nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide widens the blood vessels and promotes blood flow which ultimately lowers blood pressure, according to research.
A cup of beetroot juice a day reduces blood pressure, says American Heart Association journal Hypertension.
Conversely, people with low blood pressure or are taking medication for high blood pressure should seek the doctor’s advice before taking beetroot juice as it is thought to lower blood pressure.
According to Harvard Health Publishing “Study included 68 people with high blood pressure, randomly assigned to drink about a cup of regular beet juice or nitrate-free juice (the placebo) every day for about four weeks.
Blood pressure fell by about 7,7/2,4 points by people who drank beet juice compared to no blood pressure change in those in the placebo group”
What effects do Beetroot juice have on the kidneys
Beetroot is one of those plant-based foods that contain oxalate. Oxalate is a naturally occurring compound found in most plants.
As humans, we lack the enzyme that breaks down oxalate after ingesting the foods that contain them.
It, therefore, binds essential minerals like calcium for instance. Leading to the formation of calcium oxalate stones, a type of kidney stones.
People who are prone to developing kidney stones due to various factors should limit the intake of beetroot or beet juice.
Consulting their healthcare provider before making any diet changes will help. Click here to learn more about calcium oxalate stones.
Tips on How To Make Your own Beetroot Juice
It shouldn’t be a hassle to make your own juice especially when you have a juicer or a blender.
Take one beetroot and wash it thoroughly. Cut off or trim the top and bottom part of the beetroot.
If you are going to use a blender don’t peel the skin as it contains fiber and other plant compounds. Then chop it nicely into smaller pieces.
You can now put the chopped pieces of beetroot into a jar of the blender. Add a small amount of water or milk to make it smooth.
You can add other ingredients such as carrot, banana or any fruit that works for you, like orange for instance.
It all depends on the individual’s preference, really. Diversity is key, as you can increase the chances of getting more nutrients from other food sources.
Beetroot has sugar content and just be mindful of the ingredients you add on to avoid too much sugar as it’s common knowledge that too much sugar is not good for your health.
Ingesting beetroot or beet juice regularly may change the color of the urine or feces. Experts say it’s not a cause for concern. Click here for more information about blending versus juicing.
Beetroot may not have gained the popularity compared to those foods that are touted as superfoods.
Research suggests that it has numerous health benefits such as lowering blood pressure due to the nitrate content which dilates the blood vessels and enhances blood flow especially in those muscles of the athletes and boosts stamina and physical performance.
It is packed with essential nutrients including iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, fiber and protein among others.
Beetroot like many plant food sources has bio-active compounds such as betalain a compound responsible for the deep dark colors in most plant foods, including beetroot.
These compounds have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which are essential for immunity and reduce oxidative stress.
People with low blood pressure should seek advice from their doctor before drinking beetroot juice on a regular basis as research suggest that beetroot or beetroot juice lowers blood pressure.
I hope you found this article useful. Do leave a comment, opinion or question and I will surely get back to you as soon as I can.