Beets are one of those vegetables that have a bad reputation. They look odd, and when you mention them to some people, you get a grimace in return. They may look a little strange, but beets are packed with lots of benefits. Beets can be eaten raw, cooked, cold, or hot. You’ll gain the same benefits no matter how you consume them. What are the health benefits of eating beets?
They’re a great source of energy due to their high carbohydrate count. Carbohydrates are often thought to be “bad”, but consuming appropriate amounts of carbohydrates keep your body running efficiently. Carbohydrates are essentially what fuels the body. Beets make an excellent food to eat before a workout. They provide the body with the fuel it will need to keep going. They would also be good to eat after a workout to replenish the energy that was used up. Incorporating beets into a meal before or after your workout will help to re-energize you.
Calcium & Iron
Beets contain many essential nutrients that promote good bodily health. These include calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, and iron. Two of the nutrients that most people don’t get enough of are calcium and iron. There’s about 10% of the daily recommended amount of iron in one cup of boiled beets. You’ll also get about 3% of the daily recommended amount of calcium in one cup of boiled beets.
Helps During Pregnancy
Another essential vitamin found in beets is B vitamin folate. This vitamin is vital for normal tissue growth, A diet rich in folate is particularly important for pregnant women. Without enough folate during pregnancy, the spinal column of the infant doesn’t develop properly. Pregnant women should aim to get 400 micrograms of folate each day. One cup of boiled beets has 136 micrograms of folate.
Beets contain the pigment betacyanin that can help fight cancer. Studies have been done on beets and their relationship with cancer, and the results from these studies show that the vegetable can guard against colon cancer and stomach cancer. The red pigment of beets increases levels of anti-oxidant enzymes of the liver, and could promote detoxification within the liver, blood, and the intestines. Colonic CD 8 cells are able to find and remove abnormal cells. Beets can increase these colonic CD8 cells.
Protects Against Heart Disease
Studies have shown that beets can help protect the body from developing heart disease. Beets are able to help lower both the bad type of cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides. This is due to the amounts of folate that are found in beets. They can also promote good health toward the gall bladder, and the colon.
Healthy bones not only require calcium, they also require magnesium. Magnesium promotes bone production and helps the bones to maintain their stability and strength. Because of their high levels of magnesium, beets are great for anyone who has osteoporosis. Eating beets regularly could even prevent the onset of osteoporosis. Beets contain a metabolite of choline, called betanine, which can help reduce joint inflammation. Not only does this help people with osteoporosis, but it helps people suffering from arthritis as well.
Good For Your Brain
Certain cognitive disorders, such as senile dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented by anti-oxidants. Vegetables that have dark skins, like the beet, have high levels of anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants help to avert free radicals that can damage cells, including those cells located in the brain. Due to the anti-oxidants present, beets are a great food to help stave off the aging process, and help you to feel and look younger.
With all of the health benefits of eating beets, it’s a wonder why this vegetable gets strange looks from people. This strange looking vegetable can help with many health issues and can leave you feeling healthier longer.
Photo by Darwin Bell