(WellnessNova.com) - Thomas Jefferson planted them in Charlottesville. President Barack Obama and his wife refuse to plant them in their garden at the White House. The colorful root vegetable, commonly known as the beet, is either adored by people for its sweet and earthy flavor or hated for its unsightly appearance.
Beetroots belong to the Chenopodiaceae family alongside the spinach and chard. Like a lot of modern vegetables, the cultivation of beetroots stretches back to ancient Roman times. Beets are a dark red color, however they come in other shades from yellow to white to a candy cane white. Chioggia beets have a light red shade.
During the 18th century beets were a profitable commodity when it was discovered they could be redeveloped into sugar. Today, around 20 percent of the world’s sugar comes from sugar beets.
Beets are one of the most unrepresented and unappreciated vegetables on Earth. Yet they are packed with just as much nutrients as your typical vegetable. Usually the deep purple roots of beetroot are eaten boiled, roasted or raw, either alone or mixed with any salad vegetable. Even the greens of the beetroot are edible.
Many people don’t like beets or consider them only a special occasion dish, but this power food should be on your plate or juiced in your cup every single day.
Here are 11 benefits of adding beets to your daily diet:
1. Boosts Your Energy Levels
If you find yourself slacking midafternoon, struggling to stay observant throughout the day, feeling exhausted, or struggling with adrenal fatigue, then beetroot juice might just be the cure you need!
Beetroots are rich with natural nitrates, which turns to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide expands the walls of your blood vessels allowing them to deliver more revitalizing oxygen, nutrients, and energy all over your body. The root is also rich with iron, which improves your stamina.
This makes beet juice a perfect pre-workout drink and for an end of the day pick-me-up.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure and Keeps Your Heart Healthy
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure. The longer its left untreated, the more serious any developing complications can become.
Nitric oxide from beets not only boosts your energy and stamina, but also helps lower your blood pressure. Since it relaxes and dilates your blood vessels, it improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure. Adding beets to your diet can help you manage your blood pressure and keep your heart healthy.
3. Prevents Birth Defects
Spina bifida is a birth defect where a baby’s spinal cord fails to develop properly. This birth defect occurs in 1,500 newborns per year. Pregnant women can lower their baby’s risk for spina bifida by getting their daily recommended dose of folic acid.
Folic acid is important in pregnancies because it helps prevents birth defects of the brain and spine, which can be unfortunately chronic into adulthood.
Luckily, beets are among the highest vegetable contributors of folic acid. Consuming beets during your pregnancy is the perfect way to fight the battle against spina bifida.
4. Improves Sexual Health
Most associate aphrodisiacs with foods of certain sexual colors or shapes. While most of these aren’t supported by scientific evidence, there are certain foods that stimulate pleasure centers in your brain.
One of the first known benefits of beets was discovered by the ancient Romans, who used it medicinally as a natural aphrodisiac. Beets are a natural source of tryptophan and betaine, which both promote a feeling of wellbeing. They also contain high amounts of boron, a mineral that increases the level of sex hormones in the body.
Eating beets can again dilate your blood vessels, which can increase blood flow to the genital areas (one of the ways sexual performance pharmaceuticals create their effects).
If eating beets puts you in a good mood, excites your hormones, and stirs up a party “down there” then it definitely qualifies as an aphrodisiac. Share some beets with your partner and your sex life will get the perfect push in the right direction.
5. Promotes Bone Health
When you hear about diseases in the world, the usual ones that come to mind are cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Bone health is a huge concern all around the world because many people aren’t getting the calcium they need for strong teeth and bones.
Beets are rich with silica, which is an important component for calcium complexes in your body that helps strengthen bones and keeps your teeth, nails, and hair healthy. They’re also rich in manganese, copper, vitamin C, and magnesium, all of which are fundamental for strong bones and teeth.
A glass of beetroot juice a day could help prevent conditions like brittle bone disease and osteoporosis. Better start drinking!
6. Treats Anemia and Fatigue
Beetroot juice is possibly the best natural remedy for fatigue and anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is when the number of red blood cells in the blood are low because your body doesn’t have enough iron to make red blood cells. Beets are a valuable source of iron. Drinking beetroot juice daily can prevent and treat iron deficiency anemia.
7. Helps Constipation and Digestion
You’ve probably had at least one upset stomach or been constipated at least once in your lifetime.
Beets’ betaine content promotes digestive health. Beets are high in soluble fiber, which has a great laxative effect. Eating beets also regularizes your bowel movements by softening stools and cleanses the colon by flushing out the harmful toxins from the stomach.
8. Promotes Healthy Skin and Hair
It’s no secret we all want to look beautiful and stay that way for a very long time. Introducing beets to your diet is an extremely easy way to maintain gorgeous hair and skin.
Another fabulous benefit of beets is that they’re filled with antioxidants, which protect your DNA and cells from damage. The silica in beets also enhance skin texture and strength your hair.
9. Reduces Bad Cholesterol and Heart Attacks
If you have heart disease or you just want to keep your ticker healthy, you’ve probably heard this phrase already: “Watch your cholesterol!” The type of cholesterol that puts your heart at risk is LDL cholesterol. It collects in the walls of your blood vessels where it can cause blockages, increasing your risk of blood clots and heart attacks.
Beets are full of soluble fibers, betacyanin and flavanoids. They also contain carotenoids and flavonoids, which prevent LDL cholesterol from sticking to your arteries and other tissues.
10. Good for Your Mental Health
Betaine is a substance that’s used to treat depression. Tryptophan relaxes your mind and body. Since beets are rich in both of these, drink beetroot juice if you need to lift your spirits!
11. Prevents Cancer
The betacyanin content in beet juice helps prevent the forming of cancerous tumors and helps detoxify the body of harmful toxins. Research shows that beets help treat colon, lung, skin, leukemia, liver, spleen, breast, and testicular cancer.
There’s no end to the incredible benefits of beets. Add beets to your daily food intake and experience the benefits of preventing cancer, an extra kick of energy, and keeping your bones strong. Have them as a juice mixed with your favorite fruits and vegetables or pair them with your salad to boost their health benefits!