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.
7. Stabilizes Mood and Mental Health
Beets contain tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes a feeling of well-being and relaxation. Another compound, betaine, causes the metabolization of body chemical SAM-e (as the result of amino acid synthesis), which is a natural anti-depressant.
One study showed “… that some patients have a dramatic response to SAM-e even after failing on prescription antidepressants”. (3) If that’s not enough, by promoting better blood flow to the brain, beets can improve cognitive function and prevent dementia.