Beets are among the best superfoods. They are packed with nutrition and healing properties. Not counting their delicious taste and incredible versatility, here are 10 reasons to love these delicious darlings of the vegetable kingdom.
Lowers High Blood Pressure: New research on June 30, 2016 in the medical journal Nitric Oxide found that drinking beet juice significantly reduced high blood pressure. That’s great news to the more than one billion global sufferers of hypertension. Another study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension found that raw beet juice was more effective than cooked beets, although both are helpful.
Improves Blood Flow in Heart Disease: Animal research published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise showed that the simple addition of beets to the diets of animals suffering from chronic heart failure resulted in significant improvement in oxygen transport and other blood markers for heart disease.
Boosts Prostate Health: The mineral zinc, found in beets, is essential to prostate health.
Battles Leukemia: In a study published in the Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, researchers compared the effects of drinking a combination of beet and carrot juice on its own or in combination with the anti-leukemia drug chlorambucil against leukemia. They concluded that “Beetroot-carrot juice can be used as an effective treatment for (leukemia) alone or in combination with chlorambucil when taken orally with regular diet on daily basis.”
Increases Exercise Endurance: Research in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that beets increase oxygenation of the muscles and increases exercise endurance.
Boosts Gut Health: Beets are a rich source of prebiotics, the foods for healthy microbes or probiotics in your intestines. By eating more beets you’ll feed the healthy bacteria and other beneficial microbes that give your gut health a boost.
Reduces the Risk of Birth Defects: Beets are rich in the B vitamin known as folate, which has been shown in many studies to reduce the risk of birth defects in fetuses.
Aids Diabetes: Beets are high in the nutrient known as alpha lipoic acid, which is one of the most potent antioxidants you can get. Not only does it fight disease-causing free radicals on its own, it recycles other antioxidant nutrients like vitamins A, C and E. Alpha lipoic acid has been found to reduce the nerve damage often linked with diabetes.
Reduces Inflammation in the Body: Beets contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds known as betalains.
Alleviates Allergies: Beets are high in natural compounds known as anthocyanins, which is the group of natural pigments that give beets their characteristic purplish color. Anthocyanins have been found to alleviate allergies.
You can enjoy raw beets grated on a salad or juiced, and cooked beets in soups and stews. I love steamed beets tossed with a little flax oil (don’t cook the flax oil though) and sea salt. And, of course, you can also add beets to your juicer or high-powered blender while making your favorite fresh juices or smoothies.
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim: Balance Your Body Chemistry to Burn Fat Fast! (Rodale).
James Achanyi-Fontem, is a Senior Health Journalist and Communication Consultant. He worked as a health journalist and broadcaster for 30 years with Radio Cameroon and later Cameroon Radio Television, CRTV before retiring in 2005 to engage fully with Cameroon Link (Human Assistance Programme). Cameroon Link is a registered charity, not-for-profit organisation involved in the promotion of community health, humanitarian assistance, promotion of women and child rights through involvement of communities in Cameroon for mother and child health care. Cameroon Link is a partner to Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Farm Radio International (FRI), International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN Africa), World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). As the intermediary of Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Cameroon Link is engaged to implement a Cameroon Rural Radio story design Programming through an investigative research, which aims to discover through interviewing beneficiaries of health programmes on their interests, documenting and disseminating new ideas about how radio stations produce and air Healthy Communities Radio Programs in Cameroon.