How This Helps

Heart:
Beets increase the levels of HDL cholesterol and reduce triglyceride levels. High triglycerides increase the onset of several heart diseases. Beets also contain a compound, betaine, which reduces the levels of homocysteine, a hormone that attacks the blood vessels and the walls of the hearts. Beets reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and strokes.

Cancer Care:
Beets are rich in an antioxidant compound, betacyanins, which counters the growth of cancerous cells. Many nitrates present in meats can stimulate the production of the nitrosamine compounds in the body, which can cause mutations and result in cancer. Beets prevent the mutations due to these harmful compounds and slow the rate of tumor development.

Respiratory Diseases:
Beets contain high amounts of Vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant compound and prevents several respiratory disorders like the flu, coughs, and asthma. Vitamin C boosts immunity, stimulates the production of white blood cells and even prevents the occurrence of cancers like lung cancer.

Instructions

Useful in:
High Blood pressure | Improves Stamina | Antioxidants | Inflammatory diseases | Cancer | Detoxification | Metabolism, and Nutrition | Digestion | Gallbladder | Macular Degeneration | Improves circulation | Lungs and Respiratory

What are Beets good for?

Beets are known in botany as Beta vulgaris and are a root vegetable that slightly resembles turnips. They usually have a rough outer skin that covers their origin, which may be attached to their long green leaves and stem.

Early studies show that beet greens were used for food, whereas the sources had medicinal uses. Using beets for sugar now done using sugar beets began in the 18th century.

If you've ever handled beets, you're acquainted with their ability to color everything they touch. This feature made them perfect for decorative uses throughout the 1800s. Beet pigment is now a natural alternative to commercial food colorings and utilized in tomato paste, candy, and jams. Famous for their deep red color, beets come in several forms. But the most common ones are red beets.

See: Functional medicine for Heart Disease

Beets nutrition facts

Beetroots are high in folate, manganese, and aluminum. Folate is vital for DNA synthesis and preventing neural tube defects in babies. It's been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and depression. Manganese is required for enzymatic processes in your body, in addition to metabolism, healthy bones, and wound healing. Beet greens are packed with vitamins A, C, K, and B2. Red beets obtain their abundant pigment from phytonutrients called betalains. The two most well-known betalains are vulgaxanthin and betanin, which have antioxidant, cancer-fighting, and anti-inflammatory properties.


Nutrients:

Serving size: 100 g


Nutrients Amount

Water 87.58 g

Energy 43 kcal

Protein 1.61 g

Total lipid (fat) 0.17 g

Carbohydrate, by difference 9.56 g

Fiber, total dietary 2.8 g

Sugars, total 6.76 g

Minerals

Calcium, Ca 16 mg

Iron, Fe 0.8 mg

Magnesium, Mg 23 mg

Phosphorus, P 40 mg

Potassium, K 325 mg

Sodium, Na 78 mg

Zinc, Zn 0.35 mg

Vitamins

Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 4.9 mg

Thiamin 0.031 mg

Riboflavin 0.04 mg

Niacin 0.334 mg

Vitamin B-6 0.067 mg

Folate, DFE 109 µg

Vitamin A, RAE 2 µg

Vitamin A, IU 33 IU

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.04 mg

Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 0.2 µg

Lipids

Fatty acids, total saturated 0.027 g

Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.032 g

Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.06 g


Source: USDA Nutrient Database No. 28



See: HbA1c test & Normal Level

Beets health benefits

Beets have some significant benefits for you:

1. Heart health

Beetroot can help decrease blood pressure. A 2015 analysis of 68 individuals with high blood pressure analyzed the effects of drinking 250 milliliters of beetroot juice daily. Researchers found that action lowered blood pressure significantly after ingestion. They indicate that this antihypertensive effect was due to the elevated levels of nitrate from the beet juice. They recommend consuming high nitrate vegetables as a practical, low-cost approach to help treat hypertension. Nevertheless, people shouldn't stop taking prescribed blood pressure medicine without first talking to a doctor.

Reducing high blood pressure can help prevent heart failure, stroke, heart attacks, and other life-threatening complications of CVD. It can be done by making dietary changes and through other lifestyle modifications. High blood pressure is identified as a significant risk factor for CVD (cardiovascular disease). 

2. Diabetes

Beets contain an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid. This chemical may help lower glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity. A review of research looked at the ramifications of lipoic acid on diabetic neuropathy symptoms. Researchers found that the administration of lipoic acid supplements caused a reduction in symptoms of peripheral and autonomic neuropathy for those with diabetes. One element to note is that the majority of the doses in these studies were much higher than the ones that can be found in beetroot. The effects of smaller dietary dosages aren't yet clear from the available research.

3. Digestion

Consuming enough fiber is critical for smooth digestion and gut health. One cup of beetroot packs 3.81 grams of fiber. 

According to USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), one cup of beets can supply more than 8.81 percent of a person's daily requirement of fiber, based on their sex and age. Including beetroot from the diet is one way a person can increase their fiber intake.

4. Athletic performance

Some studies show that beetroot juice supplementation can enhance the amount of oxygen that muscles consume during exercise. A study found that high doses of beetroot juice improved the time trial results of seasoned cyclists.

Another study analyzed 12 recreationally active female volunteers. However, the researchers didn't discover that beetroot juice supplementation enhanced the participants' athletic performance. Further study is needed to confirm these advantages of beetroot on exercise performance.

5. Cancer Care

A recent review of studies found that certain compounds in beets can interrupt the cancerous mutations of cells. Such chemicals include betalains, which are pigments that provide beets their red and yellow color.

Although additional research is essential before caregivers can advocate beets as a replacement for other standard cancer risk reduction procedures, they might have some role in reducing the risk of this illness.

6. Infection

The betalain in beets can help reduce inflammation. Researchers think it is partially due to interfering with the inflammatory signaling process. The anti-inflammatory effects are quite encouraging.  Some researchers believe beetroot extracts in supplements may do the job of certain synthetic drugs. Inflammation is a critical problem in many health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and obesity.

One study of individuals with knee pain discovered that a twice-daily dose of focused betalain decreased pain with improved joint function in people suffering from osteoarthritis in their knee joints. Another group was given oat bran powder to get a placebo.  The group who were given the oat bran powder saw much less growth.

7.  Brain

Many cognitive disorders appear to be triggered by an interruption in nitric oxide pathways. It's logical then that nitrates in beets can help improve brain function by boosting oxygen circulation. A study published at the Journal of Gerontology demonstrated the capacity of beet juice to boost blood flow to the brain during exercise. None of the participants often exercised, and all were on blood pressure medication.

They've been asked to exercise for 50 minutes, three times per week, for six weeks, on a treadmill. Half drank high-nitrate beet juice concentrate prior to exercise, and half an identically flavored and colored placebo drink with nearly zero nitrates. Individuals who consumed the beet juice drink showed improved function in the regions of the brain connected to engine control, emotion, and cognition, compared to those in the placebo group.

8. Immunity

Beets are high in copper, zinc, and vitamins A and C nutrients have proven to boost immunity. Vitamin A stimulates your white blood cells, which help ward off infections. Beets also include iron, which is necessary to carry oxygen through your body, keep your cells healthy, and enhance immune defense.

9. Libido

Beets have been used as an aphrodisiac from the time of the Romans.  Beets are rich in boron that may play a role in sex hormone production. The efficacy of dietary nitrates in beets to boost blood flow can reap sexual health too. And some studies suggest beet juice might be useful in treating erectile dysfunction.

10. Eyes

It is not surprising that eating fruits and vegetables is terrific for the eyes -- especially people with rich pigments.

Beets include lutein and zeaxanthin, which are well-studied for their positive impact on eyesight. Consuming these carotenoids can slow and stop the growth of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of adult vision loss in the united states.

 11. Liver

Beets have loads of nutrients that keep your liver healthy -- such as antioxidants, iron, vitamin B, and betaine. Beetroot may help protect the liver from inflammation and oxidative damage. This is attributed to the betaines in beets that help the liver eliminate toxins. And betalains promote the detoxification process. Furthermore, pectin, a water-soluble fiber in these root vegetables, helps flush out toxins from the liver.



See: Ayurvedic herbs for detoxification

Beets side effects

While beets have many benefits, they may have a few drawbacks and side effects to consider:

- They are quite high in oxalates that can reduce the absorption of some nutrients like calcium and iron. If you have beets in your diet, you may need to find iron and calcium from other sources. Too many oxalates can also increase the likelihood of kidney stones, especially in people with a predisposition.

- They're relatively high in natural sugar. Beets have a reasonably high glycemic load. But, one serving of 1/2 cup of beets has a negligible effect on blood glucose.

- They can surprise you that the next day in urine & feces color. Do not be concerned, but I feel it necessary to let you remember when you eat beets. Beets not only stain countertops and garments; they also pass through the digestive tract through the next day or two. This is such a frequent occurrence known as beeturia.

How red your urine or feces will become depends on a few things:

- portions you eat,

- how long beets remain in your system,

- your stomach acid at the moment, and 

- the presence of lactic acid in your body

See: Insulin Side Effects

How do you store beets?

How to Store Beets

Proper storage is essential for keeping beets fresh. Avoid beets with wilted greens since this reduces shelf life. 

Scrub beets first and then dry them thoroughly before placing them in a bag. Store them in the drawer of your refrigerator. They could stay firm for around a few months. Beet greens are tasty and nutritious as well and might be utilized in much the same manner that you might use chard or spinach. To maintain beet greens, wash, dry, and wrap them in a paper towel and keep them in the fridge. They should be just fine for up to two weeks.

See: Herbs to lower high blood pressure

Summary

Beets give many benefits from the heart to your mind to your overall disease-fighting immunity. But consider the minor side effects before going all out on a beet diet.

See: Signs of diabetes in men

References

1. Salehi, B., et al. (2019). Insights on the use of α-lipoic acid for therapeutic purposes.  ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723188/

2. Wickham, K. A., et al. (2019). No effect of beetroot juice supplementation on exercise economy and performance in recreationally active females despite increased torque production [Abstract].   ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30653856

3. Choline: Fact sheet for health professionals. (2019).   ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Choline-HealthProfessional/

4. Diabetes and dietary supplements. (2018).  nccih.nih.gov/health/diabetes/supplements#hed5

5. Lechner, J. F., & Stoner, G. D. (2019). Red beetroot and betalains as cancer chemopreventative agents. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6515411/

6. Listen to your heart: Learn about heart disease. (n.d.).  nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/education-and-awareness/heart-truth/listen-to-your-heart

7. Rokkedal-Lausch, T., et al. (2019). Chronic high-dose beetroot juice supplementation improves the time trial performance of well-trained cyclists in normoxia and hypoxia [Abstract].  ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30685420

8. Golbidi, S., et al. (2011). Diabetes and alpha-lipoic acid.  ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3221300/

9. Kapil, V., et al. (2015). Dietary nitrate provides sustained blood pressure lowering in hypertensive patients: A randomized, phase 2, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.  ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/hypertensionaha.114.04675

10. Appendix 7. Nutritional goals for age-sex groups based on dietary reference intakes and Dietary Guidelines recommendations. (n.d.).

health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-7/

11. Beets, raw. (2019).  fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/342598/nutrients

12. Nitrate and Nitrite: Health Information Summary, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Sciences.

https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/pip/factsheets/ard/documents/ard-ehp-16.pdf

13. Plasma nitrate and nitrite are increased by a high nitrate supplement, but not by high nitrate foods in older adults, Nutrition Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3319660/

14. Anaphylaxis to beetroot (Beta vulgaris): a case report, Clinical and Translational Allergy, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3354182/

15. ToxGuideTM for Nitrate (NO3-) CAS# 14797-55-8 and Nitrite (NO2-) CAS# 14797-65-0, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download;jsessionid=FB74D6005F52552224C7CA32C5F3E06E?doi=10.1.1.731.7221&rep=rep1&type=pdf

16. EFFECTS OF BEETROOT JUICE, PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTATION, AND

RESISTANCE TRAINING ON STRENGTH IN OLDER ADULTS, Wake Forest University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. https://wakespace.lib.wfu.edu/bitstream/handle/10339/57158/Tweedie_wfu_0248M_10734.pdf

17. Black or tarry stools, US National Library of Medicine. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003130.htm

18. What color-Mari are your stools?, BMJ, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1255795/

19. Nutritional Management of Kidney Stones (Nephrolithiasis), Clinical Nutrition Research, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4525130/

20. Extreme consumption of Beta vulgaris var. Rubra can cause metal ion accumulation in the liver, Acta Biological Hungarica, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17899785

21. Beeturia, National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537012/

See: Signs of diabetes in women

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