Beets contain potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A, B and C, beta-carotene, beta-cyanine and folate (a B-vitamin). Beets contain a large range of beneficial micronutrients, but most are only in small amounts.
Beeets also contain betanin a phytonutrient that is helpful for reducing inflammation and detoxification of the body, plus it is an antioxidant. The journal Nutrients refers to beets as a health promoting functional food. Let's examine some of those health benefits.
Beets Help With Digestion And As A Detox Aid
The liver cells need the plant compound betaine for ridding the body of intra-cellular toxin build-up and other toxins.
Betaine not only protects the bile ducts but it helps ensure that the liver is functioning properly by thinning the bile, thereby allowing the bile to flow easily from the liver to the digestive tact.
It also helps lower inflammation in the body and fights against fatty liver.
Pectin, which is a fiber found in beets, helps clean the toxins that have been removed from the liver, allowing them to be flushed out of the system instead of reabsorbed by the body.
The pectin also aids in digestion.
Be sure to add a variety of beet colors to your diet. They are available from nature in dark red, golden orange or yellow, white and the Chioggia (when cut open it looks like a candy cane).
Make sure to eat beets raw, or juice them raw, as betain is most active in beets raw form.
Reduce Tumor Cell Growth
Studies conducted on tumor cells showed that betanin pigments have the ability to lessen or reduce the growth of tumor cells which is done by inhibiting pro-inflammatory enzymes.
The studies were conducted on many types of tumor cells such as those that grow in the stomach, nerves, lungs, testicles, prostate and breasts. Although more research is still needed, experts are already looking at the possibility that the betanin content of beets can be beneficial for preventing and treating different types of cancer.
Human and Health published an article entitled: Cancer Dies In Just 42 Hours, This Juice Has Cured Thousands Of People!
Here is the recipe:
- 5 organic beets
- 2 stalks organic celery
- 2 organic carrots
- 1 organic lemon
- 1 thumb organic ginger
- 1 thumb organic turmeric
- Juice all of ingredients
- Take 2 times a day on an empty stomach
The Dietary Fiber Definition Committee to the Board of Directors of the American Association Of Cereal Chemists submitted a study in 2001 stating that the fiber content of produce works effectively at increasing the levels of good HDL cholesterol levels while lowering bad LDL cholesterol levels.
The fiber in beets has shown to help reduce cholesterol plaques by as much as 30% and prevents the plaques from building up in the aorta.
Beets contain flavonoids and carotenoids which help prevent bad cholesterol from being oxidized and left in the arteries to form plaques.
Beets contain a high concentration of nitrates, which are converted into nitric oxide, a molecule that dilates blood vessels, causing blood pressure to drop. This may lead to a reduced risk of heart attacks, heart failure and stroke.
Stable Blood Sugar Levels
All the colors of beets are a high Glycemic Index (GI) food, which is 64 on a scale of 1 to 100. But their Glycemic Load (GL) is 5, which is low, and the reason being that there is more fiber in beets than carbohydrates.
This means that beets are converted into sugar in a steady, usable manner thus preventing sugar spikes and keeping blood sugar levels stable. Also they contain the mineral magnesium, which not only helps maintain muscles and nerves, but also regulates blood sugar levels.
As mentioned beets contain magnesium which is important for building healthy bones and preventing bone loss. Magnesium plays a crucial role in regulating calcium levels in the body among 300 other functions.
Other bone building nutrients that are found in beets include vitamin-C, copper and manganese.
Vitamin-C is necessary for the production of collagen that helps maintain healthy cartilage and bones while manganese is needed for the synthesis of those connective tissues found in bones and cartilage.
Copper serves as an active enzyme in the production of tissue proteins, elastin and collagen. All these are essential for bone development and maintenance.
Ensures A Healthy Pregnancy
Beets are rich sources of vitamins A, B and C. They also serve as powerhouses of phosphorous, fiber, potassium, beta-cyanine, magnesium, iron and folate, all necessary nutrients to ensure a healthy pregnancy
These nutrients are crucial for the development of new growth cells and a woman’s need for iron alone doubles when she is pregnant.
Adding beets during pregnancy can also help to ensure that the hemoglobin carries oxygen to the placenta and other parts of the body.
More Reasons To Eat Beets
As if all of the benefits just mentioned are not reason enough to eat beets on a regular basis, consider the following additional benefits.
- Beets were used by the ancient Romans as an aphrodisiac, and modern science backs this up. The vegtable root contain high levels of boron, which help produce and balance human sex hormones.
- They support mental health. As already noted, beets contain betaine, which is used as a treatment for depression, and the natural relaxant, tryptophan, which may help reduce blood pressure levels.
- Test your stomach acid level by eating red beets. If you urine turns pink, you acid levels are balanced. If your urine is still clear, eat more beets, including the leaves, to get acid levels back in balance.
An added benefit of beets is that you can eat its roots, stems and leaves as they are all packed with vitamins and minerals.