Did you know this about beetroots?

Beetroots varieties

Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been linked to many possibilities that help reduce many lifestyle-related health conditions. “Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like beetroots decrease the risk of obesity and overall mortality, diabetes, heart disease and promotes a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, overall lower weight.”(3)

Also known as beet, beetroot is a trendy root vegetable. It has been proven to have excellent sources of folate, manganese, potassium, dietary fiber, magnesium, vitamin C, iron and vitamin B6, and many more other vitamins and nutrients. It is no wonder that it is part of the superfoods. (3)

Recent studies have claimed that beets and beetroot juice can improve athletic performance, lower blood pressure and increase blood flow. One other health benefits of beetroots are for boosting stamina and making muscles work harder. It is no wonder that it is highly recommended for people with iron deficiencies.


Possible health benefits of consuming beetroot

Heart health and blood pressure: A 2008 study published in Hypertension examined the effects of ingesting 500mls of beetroot juice in healthy volunteers and found that their blood pressure was significantly lowered after ingestion. Researchers hypothesized this was likely due to the high nitrate levels contained in beet juice. The high nitrate vegetables could prove to be a low-cost and effective way to treat cardiovascular conditions and blood pressure.

Another study conducted in 2010 found similar results that drinking beetroot juice lowered blood pressure considerably on a dose-dependent basis. (3)

Dementia: Researchers at Wake Forest University have found that drinking juice from beetroot can improve oxygenation to the brain, slowing the progression of dementia in older adults. According to Daniel Kim-Shapiro, director of Wake Forest’s Translational Science Center, blood flow to some regions of the brain decrease with age and leads to a decline in cognition and possible dementia. Consuming beetroot juice as part of a high nitrate diet can improve the blood flow and oxygenation to these areas lacking.

Diabetes: Beets contain an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid, which has been shown to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and prevent oxidative stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes. Studies on alpha-lipoic acid have also shown decreases in peripheral neuropathy and autonomic neuropathy in people with diabetes.

Digestion and regularity: Because of its high fiber content, beetroot helps to prevent constipation and promotes regularity for a healthy digestive tract.

Inflammation: Choline is an essential and versatile nutrient in beetroot that helps sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. Choline also helps maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat, and reduces chronic inflammation.

Exercise and athletic performance: Beetroot juice supplementation has been shown to improve muscle oxygenation during exercise, suggesting that increased dietary nitrate intake has the potential to enhance exercise tolerance during long-term endurance exercise. Quality of life for those with cardiovascular, respiratory, or metabolic diseases, who find the activities of daily living physically difficult because of lack of oxygenation, could be improved.

Beetroot juice improved performance by 2.8% (11 seconds) in a 4-km bicycle time trial and by 2.7% (45 seconds) in a 16.1-km time trial. (3)


How to incorporate more beetroot into your diet

  • Beets can be roasted, steamed, boiled, pickled or eaten raw.
  • Add sliced pickled beets to your favorite salad and top with goat cheese.
  • Make your own beetroot juice by peeling beetroot and blending with a combination of fresh orange, mint and pineapple or apples, lemon and ginger. Blend and strain.
  • Grate raw beets and add them to coleslaw or your favorite salad.
  • Top roasted beets with goat cheese for a perfect pairing.
  • Add sliced pickled beets to your favorite salad and top with goat cheese.
  • Slice raw beets and serve them with lemon juice and a sprinkle of chili powder. 3

A personal note about beet juice and beetroot

Many of us were born and raised in the Caribbean. We’re accustomed to consuming fresh fruits and vegetables. I have learned to appreciate my lifestyle more because I have realized that my health depends on how I eat.

Although this is my personal opinion, I cannot forget how the industrialization revolution changed the world. We transitioned from hand production methods to machinery, and somehow along the way, we forgot how precious proper health and nutrition are for our longevity.

I am genuinely accustomed to the Caribbean lifestyle. It was not until adulthood that I realized that other cultures were consuming fruits and vegetables differently. I was always taught to eat my fruits and vegetables daily.

My opinion on Canning and processed foods

Canning and processed foods have taken us in a direction where many of us, including myself, have shifted from the healthy path. I am not perfect, and I am the first to admit it. I have become lazy. But I am determined and working my way through what I believed and still believe in daily fruits and vegetable consumption.

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables should be a priority for a healthy lifestyle and should not be hard work just because of doctor’s orders.

Eat fresh and stay healthy!


1) http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/25/beets-health-benefits.aspx

2) http://www.curejoy.com/content/beetroot/


Published August 25, 2015. Updated February 4, 2020

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