Beetroot is the red-colored taproot section of the beet plant and known for its many health benefits and culinary uses. Also known simply as a beet, this plant has been cultivated since the time of ancient Rome. The plant had rapidly gained in popularity when it was discovered that this could be turned into sugar.
Beetroot is often called a superfood as it’s a good source of folate, iron, magnesium, and many antioxidants. Beetroot juice is an easy way to enjoy this healthy root vegetable, whether you drink it as it is, bake it or add it to a smoothie. Here are several important beetroot juice benefits to consider as well as how to make or buy beetroot juice.
#1. Beetroot Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
29% of adults in the U.S. have high blood pressure. This is a potentially serious condition that increases the risk for stroke and heart disease. According to researchers, the humble beet may be the solution to beating hypertension and supporting heart health.
Beets are high in nitrates, a naturally-occurring chemical that gets turned into nitric oxide to improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure. Nitric oxide relaxes blood vessels to improve blood flow to the heart and organs.
When nitric oxide levels are low, you can experience fatigue, shortness of breath, and other signs of a stiff heart. A single glass of beet juice has even been found to reduce systolic blood pressure better than hypertension medication. This effect peaked within 3-4 hours after drinking beet juice with effects that lasted up to 24 hours.
#2. Beetroot Juice May Fight Dementia Progression
Every year, there are 10 million new cases of dementia reported in the world. While it mostly affects seniors, younger adults can also develop dementia. Research indicates that symptoms can also start decades before full-blown dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and accounts for nearly 70% of all cases.
Researchers believe that beetroot juice may contribute to cognitive function and help stave off dementia, one of the most important beetroot juice benefits regardless of your age. A 2011 study also found that the nitrates in beet juice boost blood flow to the brain, which appears to slow cognitive decline with age.
This study confirmed boosted blood flow to the frontal cortexes of people who drank beetroot juice. The frontal lobes are responsible for controlling behavior and cognitive thinking.
#3. Beet Juice Is an Excellent Source of Vitamins and Minerals
With its reputation as a superfood, it’s no surprise that this list of beetroot juice benefits includes its rich source of minerals and vitamins. Beet juice is high in potassium, an electrolyte that helps your muscles and nerves function properly without cramps.
It’s also a good source of vitamin C, an important antioxidant that protects you against free radicals and improves your immune system function. Beetroot juice is also high in zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and copper. All these elements support your teeth, bones, immune system, and brain function.
#4. Beetroot Juice Can Help with Weight Loss
Beets are good at supporting a healthy weight for many reasons. Beetroot juice without added sugar is low in calories with no fat. It makes an excellent addition to a smoothie or juice for added nutrition.
Beets can also help your body flush out water as water retention is a common reason for extra weight. If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain your weight, these beetroot juice benefits give you another reason to add beet juice to your diet.
#5. Beets May Boost Exercise Stamina
A study published in 2012 found that beetroot juice may help boost plasma nitrate levels in the blood. This can, in turn, improve physical performance. The study found that cyclists who drank two cups of beet juice every day improved their 10-km timed trial by 12 seconds.
#6. Beet Juice May Guard against Cancer
Beets get their dark red or violet color from antioxidants known as betalaines. These water-soluble antioxidants have been shown to possess protective benefits against certain types of cancer in clinical studies.
These antioxidants are believed to destroy unstable free radicals in the body. Further research is still needed to find out whether these beetroot juice benefits offer protection against other forms of cancer.
How to Make Beetroot Juice
Beetroot juice isn’t difficult to make yourself. You don’t even necessarily need a blender or juicer, although it does make it easier. Juicing beets allows you to concentrate the amount of nutrients and vitamins you drink. Here’s how to make beetroot juice at home.
Start by washing one to three fresh beets before cutting the beetroot into quarters. Push the pieces into a juicer. If you don’t have a juicer, peel the beets first and chop finely. Add up to three diced beets to a blender with 1/4 cup of water and blend well. You may need to add more water to reach the right consistency. Strain your juice mixture through cheese cloth to remove the pulp.
You can also add other fruits or vegetables to boost the nutrition and flavor of your beet juice. Many people enjoy the taste of beets with a pear and an apple. You can add apple, carrot, orange, ginger root, and green tea instead of water.
Where to Buy Beetroot Juice
If you don’t want to put in the effort necessary to make beetroot juice from scratch, you can also buy it. Curious where to buy beetroot juice in your area?
Most health food stores offer bottled beetroot juice. You can also buy organic beet juice at several major retailers like Target, Walmart, and Amazon. Start by looking in the juice section before checking the refrigerated area.
Despite its health benefits, be careful about drinking beet juice if you already have low blood pressure. You should also avoid beet juice if you have or are prone to kidney stones as the juice is high in oxalates that may form crystals in your urine.
Have you ever tried beetroot juice? Let us know your favorite ways to drink it and any tips you have to share about incorporating these beetroot juice benefits into your diet.