The color of a vegetable says a lot about its nutritional value. Pigments are where a great many of the beneficial phytonutrients and antioxidants live. Beetroots come in deep crimson and gold with lovely variations. Edible and delicious hot or cold, beets have been eaten for millennia for their versatility and positive effects on the body.
12 Amazing Beets Health Benefits
Here are just a few reasons to eat more beets.
1. Fights Cancer
Betanin, an antioxidant found in beets, has been shown to prevent the formation of cancerous tumors. In fact, the chemotherapy drug Adriamycin contains synthetic betanin. Get this powerful compound straight from the source by munching on some bortsch or pickled beets (1).
2. Heals Constipation
The dietary fiber content in beets is significant. Fiber is important to move food through the digestive system, cleaning the surfaces of your bowels and absorbing toxins on its way out.
Beet phytonutrients betaine, betalain, and pectin all support proper liver function. Betaine prevents fats from accumulating in the liver to prevent fatty liver disease and other diseases and damage. On the other hand, betalain is a potent anti-inflammatory antioxidant while pectin is a fiber, which aids in digestion.
4. Improves Blood Flow
Nitrates (a naturally-occurring salt) in vegetables like beetroot and other leafy vegetables are converted to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide relaxes and expands blood vessels, increasing blood flow. This, in turn, reduces blood pressure, improves physical performance, and works as a treatment for sickle cell anemia (2). The amino acid betaine also prevents the build-up of homocysteine (another amino acid) in the blood, which can lead to problems with the circulatory system.
5. Contains Iron
Many people don’t get enough iron in their diets, leading to fatigue at its mildest and anemia at its extreme. Iron deficiency can manifest in many ways and can leave your cells deprived of oxygen throughout your body. Beets are rich in iron and vitamin C, which helps your body absorb the mineral.
6. Eases Menstrual Pain and Menopause Symptoms
Menstruation and menopause are known to cause an influx of hormones. Phytochemicals found in beets help balance out hormone and increase estrogen production to minimize your monthly rollercoaster. Plus, the iron in beets helps maintain the important blood mineral when it’s needed most, reducing fatigue and irritability. Lastly, vitamin B9 (folate) helps to regulate menstrual periods.