As the fall leaves turn beautiful colors, you’ve probably noticed the plethora of rich root vegetables available at your local farmer’s market. So what about trying some beets? Delicious, healthy, and rich in vitamins and nutrients, here are a few reasons to consider putting beets on the menu:
1. Concentrated Antioxidants
That deep, rich purple-red of beets is a prime indicator of the beet’s ability to add to a healthy diet. Rich in a phytonutrient called betalain, beets offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detox support to your body for a myriad of health benefits.
2. Help for Blood Pressure
Beets are a natural source of nitrates, and once they enter the body, they convert into nitric oxide, which relaxes your blood vessels to lower your blood pressure and help to increase blood flow. Just one glass of beet juice can lower your blood pressure by 4-5 points in just a few hours.
3. Improve Stamina
The same nitrates that help your blood pressure can also help you get through an intense workout. Nitric oxide helps to reduce the amount of oxygen your body needs, so you can exercise longer or at a higher rate of intensity.
The high concentration of betalain in beets is a natural anti-inflammatory, which makes it a great addition to a healthy diet. Regular consumption of anti-inflammatory foods can help to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and heart disease, as well as type 2 diabetes.
5. Anti-Cancer and High Fiber
Any food high in anti-oxidants is going to be good for cancer prevention, so the same goes for beets. Studies have shown that beets, or beetroot extract may help in the treatment of pancreatic, breast, or prostate cancer. Meanwhile, the fiber in beets is great for digestive heath, as well as to help support your cardiovascular system.
6. Help with Detox
Again, betalain comes to the rescue by supporting your body with detoxification, by helping to remove toxins from the cells in your body and cleanse your liver and blood. So, if you’ve been feeling the fall “blahs” the last week or two, consider adding beets to the mix to help boost your energy and reduce toxins in the body.
Besides beet juice, you can eat beets raw, roasted as a side dish, in soup or borscht, pickled, in a salad, or even in a smoothie. Naturally sweet and healthy, pick up some fresh beets and enjoy!