Pop culture is obsessed with super foods. You can’t go online without finding a new health benefit or recipe for kale, avocado, etc. But not all super foods get a lot of attention. One unsung example is beet juice. Beet juice shows an amazing potential to improve not only your physical health but also your fitness condition.
However, we should note that none of these health benefits are definitive. If you have a serious medical condition, you should seek the advice of your medical provider. That being said, below are 10 of the most important health benefits of beet juice and how you can incorporate it into your diet.
10 Key Health Benefits of Beet Juice
1. Improve Your Workouts
Beets contain nitrates, which when digested convert inside your body into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide facilitates the oxygenation of tired muscles and reduces the oxygen cost of exercise. This means you can work out harder for longer.
- Cooking beets can reduce some of the nitrates in the vegetable. So it’s best to juice it so that you get the benefits of the raw beet.
- Drink a glass a couple of hours before your workout to take full advantage of the energy-boosting benefits.
2. Fight Cancer
Beets’ rich dark color comes from the presence of antioxidants—betalains, to be exact. Betalains are particularly potent antioxidants that seek out and destroy potentially cancer-causing free radicals in the body. One study even suggests that you can use beet juice in conjunction with chemotherapy to treat certain types of cancer.
- Just drink one glass a day to get the cancer-fighting benefits of this root vegetable. You should drink at least 10 ounces a day to really see an effect.
3. Ease Digestion
Beet juice has also been shown to get your intestines moving and assist in the breakdown of food, making digestion easier. This is largely because beet juice is a good source of fiber.
- You can drink ½ cup (4 ounces) of beet juice before a meal to prevent indigestion.
- Otherwise, you can drink the same amount anytime you have an upset stomach to alleviate your symptoms.
4. Lower Blood Pressure
As mentioned before, beet juice is an excellent source of nitrates. But it is also a good source of potassium. Both of these nutrients have the effect of lowering your blood pressure. In fact, some studies show that the effect can last for up to 24 hours!
- Drinking one glass of beet juice a day can significantly lower your blood pressure after just one month. Some even report systolic (the bottom number) blood pressure dropping by as much as 5 points.
5. Reduce Inflammation
The betalain found in beets is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is the result of environmental triggers and can cause pain and discomfort Meanwhile, chronic inflammation can cause illness. Betalain protects your body from inflammation from the systemic all the way down to the cellular level.
- As with the cancer-fighting benefits, all you need to take advantage of the betalain in beet juice is one glass a day.
6. Lower Bad Cholesterol
Beets also contain flavonoids, another ingredient that gives them their color. Flavonoids, in particular, have a reputation for regulating cholesterol levels—they lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol.
- Once again, to get the full benefit, it is best to consume beets raw rather than cook them.
- Not much research has been done yet to confirm how much you need to consume to see an effect on your cholesterol. So start with a glass and monitor the effects from there.
7. Support a Healthy Liver
Beets also contain betaine, which helps keep fatty acids from accruing in your liver. This helps your liver do what it’s supposed to do, which is filter toxins from your body.
- Betaine is another powerful ingredient. So up to one glass a day can go a long way towards keeping your liver healthy.
8. Prevent Dementia
The same nitrates that increase blood flow to your muscles to help you exercise better also improve blood flow to the brain. This can potentially delay the onset of dementia and improve cognitive function.
- More research still needs to be done to find out how much beet juice you should drink to protect cognitive function. But initial findings are promising.
9. Keep You at a Healthy Weight
Beet juice is high in fiber and low in fat, sugar, and calories. These make it a great snack for those on a diet. It also contains a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which contribute to keeping you fit and healthy.
- Switch out your sugary morning orange juice for beet juice.
- Or incorporate it into a breakfast smoothie so you have a healthy start to your day.
10. Stabilize Blood Sugar
The fiber and low levels of sugar can also keep your blood sugar stable. This is possible by preventing extreme spikes or drops in glucose levels. Also, it makes beet juice a great option for diabetics and those who struggle with hypoglycemia.
- Stop drinking soda or artificial fruit juice which spike your blood sugar and inevitably lead to a crash in blood sugar.
- Opt for beet juice and avoid the fluctuations.
Planning the Boost
In short, beet juice is an incredible super food. It has amazing benefits for your physical health, fitness, and even cognitive function.
Have you tried beet juice? Do you have any tasty beet juice recipes you think others should know about? If so, we would love to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments!
The images are from depositphotos.com.