Beets or beetroots, as they are often called, belong to the Chenopodiaceae family. Beetroots are one of the varieties of the Beta vulgaris species.
Health benefits of this vegetable are as follows.
1 – Lower blood pressure (beets are plentiful in dietary nitrates which are converted into nitric oxide to help relax and dilate the blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure).
2 – Improve athletic performance (beet juice is shown to increase oxygen uptake hence improve athletic performance in runners, swimmers and cyclists).
3 – Anti aging (high in folate and vitamin C which helps in the optimal functioning and repair of cells. Also prevent premature aging and adding natural glow to the skin).
4 – Bone health (minerals in beets such as boron, copper, and magnesium help bones develop normally and boost bone metabolism).
5 – Prevent strokes (beetroot is rich in potassium which helps lower the risk of stroke and other heart issues since potassium relaxes the body vessels and reduces blood pressure throughout the body.)
6 – Brain health (beets improve brain neuroplasticity due to the nitrates present in them. Nitrates help increase oxygenation of the somatomotor cortex, a brain area that is often affected in early stages of dementia.)
7 – Prevent anemia (Red beetroots have a significant amount of iron, which helps prevent anemia and boosts the regeneration of red blood cells. Furthermore, vitamin C in beets aids in boosting iron absorption.)
8 – Liver detoxification (betaines, in beets, stimulate the functions of the liver and keep it healthy. Also, pectin, a water-soluble fiber in this vegetable helps flush out toxins from the liver).
9 – Reduce birth defects (Beets are good for pregnant women since they are a source of B-vitamin folate, which helps in the development of the infant’s spinal column.)
10 – Prevent cataracts (The presence of beta-carotene, which is a form of vitamin A, in beets helps prevent age-related blindness called cataracts.)
11 – Capillary fragility (The vitamin C and flavonoids in beets help support the structure of capillaries, which are the smallest blood vessels in the body.)
12 – High source of fiber (Beets is rich in fiber (soluble and insoluble) which helps prevent chronic diseases. Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol while insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation).
13 – Anticancer potential (Beets may be good at preventing lung, skin and colon cancer since they contain the pigment betacyanins, which counteracts cancerous cell growth. Also the beta-carotene in beetroot may help to prevent lung cancer).
14 – Promote weight loss (magnesium and potassium in beets help to detoxify the body and flush out excess water, preventing bloating. These nutrients help to optimize metabolism and lose excess weight.)
15 – Improve heart health (beets contain betaine which is a powerful bioactive compound that helps lower the level of homocysteine in the body. High levels of homocysteine can cause cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks, and strokes).
16 – Acts as aphrodisiac (beets contain significant levels of the mineral boron which helps boost the production of sexual hormones. This may lead to a boost in libido, increased fertility, improved sperm motility.)
17 – Prevent respiratory problems (Beetroot is a source of vitamin C that can help prevent asthma symptoms. The vitamin also stimulates the activity of white blood cells, which are the body’s main line of defense).
Side effects of over eating beets are:
1 – Gout: They are high in oxalates which can build up uric acid in the body, leading to gout.
2 – Flatulence: Over eating beets can cause indigestion, stomach upset, loose stools, and flatulence due to high-fiber content.
3 – Low blood pressure: Due to its ability to lower blood pressure, people on blood pressure medications should exercise caution when eating beets.
4 – Allergy: Some people develop rashes, hives, itchiness, or even chills when they eat beets.
5 – Kidney stones: Beets contain oxalates, which when eaten in excess can cause kidney and bladder stones.
6 – Beeturia: They can cause your urine to turn pink. It is important to note the pink urine from beets as an indication that you may be deficient in iron.
7 – Colored stools: Beets can cause the stools to look pink or red due to their natural pigments but if it continues for a few days, you should avoid beets to stay safe.
8 – Blood sugar spike: Beets are high in sugar and also moderately high in the glycemic index list. Too much intake can cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels.