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Beets: The Powerful Superfood

Beets look ordinary. But, don’t be deceived. They are much more than they present themselves to be. Beetroot is a powerful superfood. A superfood is not just healthy food, but one with extra properties that go beyond its nutritional profile. Beetroot comes in yellow, white, pink, or dark purple (sometimes called red) colors. Let us discuss the major factors that make beetroot a superfood.

Benefits of Eating Beetroots

  1. Beets are rich in cancer-fighting anti-oxidants
    Anti-oxidants are the major compounds in plant-based food that discourage the replication of unhealthy or degenerated cells. They help in cell repair and the production of healthier cells. This is why they are important in our daily meals. Beets, especially the ‘red’ or ‘dark-purple’ types, are rich in antioxidants that help to prevent or fight cancerous cells.
  1. Beetroots may lower blood pressure
    Do you know what causes high blood pressure? Let’s understand it in layman’s terms. When the blood vessels are narrowed for one reason or the other, they restrict the free flow of blood in the body. The heart tries to match the resistance, thereby applying more pressure to push blood through the narrow vessels. This extra effort puts stress on the heart and cardiac muscles, leading to a variety of cardiovascular health issues. However, beets have the ability to widen blood vessels, thereby reducing the pressure required to pump blood around the body. This ability is attributed to the inorganic nitrates found in beets. Some studies claim that only the nitrates found in plants can achieve that. A study in 2019 showed that beets help reduce blood pressure in those who are not already taking blood pressure medication. They state that nitrates found in processed meat and other food are rather cancer-causing. Studies are still underway to further confirm these claims.
beets
Beetroot Juice. Credit: Unsplash
  1. They possess anti-inflammatory properties
    Betalain can be found in red beetroots. The compound helps to prevent and reduce inflammation in various parts o the human body.
  1. Beets can encourage improved athletic performance
    The nitrates in beets promote the flow of oxygen within muscles. This encourages the body to keep going for longer periods. After exercises, the nitrates also help muscles to recover faster.
  1. Promotes Healthy Liver
    The numerous healthy compounds in beetroots help to prevent liver diseases and liver cancer.

Side Effects of Beets

Due to the color of beets, consumption can give the urine a unique color: a condition known as beeturia. It is totally harmless and clears as soon as the beets are out of the system. Furthermore, some nitrates in beetroots can cause kidney stones. It is therefore important to take beets in little quantities if you are susceptible to any form of kidney disease.

Again, beets are just not some funny or colorful vegetables you see in the grocery store or at the vegetable market. Adding them to your diet will do you a world of good. You can take them raw or cooked.

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