Most people often forget about or don’t even consider including beets as part of a healthy diet. It hardly makes the list for the grocery store maybe because they aren’t front and center in the produce section and popularity hasn’t quite hit the dining out menus. Beets are a superfood that we shouldn’t neglect. Here are a number of reasons you may want to pick up some beets the next time you shop:
1. Low in calories – Every 100 grams of beets only has 43 calories. They don’t have any fat either. Adding them to a salad or in a smoothie makes it easy to consume them. This can help with weight loss by sticking to lower calories options.
2. Low in carbohydrates – in 100 grams of beets there are only 10 carbs. Compared to other foods, especially fruits that often go into smoothies or juices, this is a low amount. Less carbs can be conducive to achieving weight loss. This means they’re also lower on the glycemic index which is good for diabetics. Their score is only 8.3 which means you would have to eat a whole lot of beets for them to impact blood sugar levels.
3. Fight cancer and premature aging – Because beets are loaded with antioxidants (phytonutrients) they are able to ward off damage to the cells. This can keep cancerous cells away and cells that damage our skin, especially since antioxidants are powerful for repairing damaged cells.
4. Vitamin A – Beets contain beta carotenoids which can improve learning, cognition, and mitochondria performance. This means you get more energy.
5. Inflammation – Beets contain betaine which protects the cells from various environmental stressors. Reduction of inflammation can ward off achy joints, arthritis, depression, and brain fog.
6. Improve respiratory system – Beets have been said to heal respiratory issues such as asthma. They can reduce both the risk of asthma and the number of attacks a person has.
7. Fiber – In 100 grams of beets, there are 2.8 grams of fiber which is 11% of the daily recommended value. It is soluble fiber that gets absorbed into the bloodstream so we can reap the benefits of reducing blood sugar levels and lowering blood pressure. This can also lead to lowering your cholesterol.
8. Potassium – Beets are a great source of potassium which can help improve physical performance. Beet juice is considered an isotonic drink because it has sodium and calcium that help replenish and nourish the body for performance and recovery.
9. Performance enhancing – Beets are vasodilators which means that they widen the arteries and the veins. This makes it easier for our body to get blood and oxygen. More blood and more oxygen moving more freely in our body means more energy. Beets act as vasodilators because they contain nitric oxide. In our body, nitric oxide is needed for the body to perform at optimal levels. That is why many athletes eat beets or drink beet juice before events.
10. Brain power – Another area of the body that benefits from the nitric oxide in beets is the brain. More blood flow to the brain improves memory and mood.
11. Lower blood pressure – Because beets expand the diameter of the blood vessels, this lowers blood pressure. The heart doesn’t have to pump as hard, so blood pressure goes down with less work.
12. Improve recovery time- Again, the widening of the blood vessels also allows more nutrients to be delivered to the muscles more quicky. Those little micro tears in the fibers can be repaired quicker and muscles can feel the gains faster.
13. Reduce the risk of heart disease – Lower blood pressure of course leads to a healthier heart with less risk for heart disease. This is important because heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. Beets also have lots of antioxidants which help fight cellular damage from free radicals.