6 Amazing Health Benefits of Beets
In my eyes, there are fewer foods more miraculous than beetroot, or beets. The vibrant, earthy root tastes just as delicious in a cold-pressed juice as it does when roasted and tossed in a salad, and even the greens (which are normally discarded) are a nutritious addition to any meal. Beets come in many different colors, which each bring their own unique benefits to the table, but they’re perhaps the most recognizable in their deep magenta shade, which can also be used to dye (or stain) clothes and as a natural alternative to food coloring.
As they are one of the staple ingredients in our Food Matters Juice Detox, I wanted to take the time to share 6 of the most amazing health benefits of beets, so you can understand why I love them for more than just the taste, and why they feature so heavily in the program!
1. Packs Lots of Nutrients into Few Calories
Unsurprisingly, beets themselves contain a well-rounded and supportive nutrient profile. A simple 100g serving of cooked beetroot contains only 44 calories (if it’s necessary for you to count for health or dietary reasons). They are low in fat (0.2g), have a balance in protein (1.7g), and contain 2g of necessary dietary fiber. This serve of beets also contributes to 20% of the average RDI for essential folate, as well as providing water-soluble vitamins C and B6, and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, and iron. So really, in a single-serve of beets, you’re getting all of the good stuff!
The jury is still out on whether beets may be more nutrient-rich when raw, and ultimately this will depend on not only the research you read but also on your own bio-individuality.
2. Beet Greens Are Nutritious (And Versatile)
The brightly colored root isn’t the only part of the beet we should be consuming. In fact, the beet greens are thought to be even more nutritious (in different aspects) than the beet itself. A closer analysis of their composition has shown that they are rich in Vitamin A, which is necessary for helping the immune system work properly, helping vision in dim light, and keeping skin and the lining of some parts of the body, such as the nose, healthy. Beet greens also contain more iron than spinach, and despite their strong and distinct flavor, they can easily be tossed through a salad for an extra punch, or sauteed as you would any other leafy green! You’re also helping out the planet by cutting down on your food waste, so it’s a win-win-win.
3. High-Fiber Food (Promotes Good Digestion & Healthy Bowels)
As mentioned in their nutrient profile, beets have a great intake of dietary fiber per serve. Fiber is a necessary (but often overlooked) need in our diets, as it helps to form the bulk which eliminates wastes throughout the digestive system. This process is crucial, especially while detoxing, as we want to be continually supporting our bodies to get rid of the nutrients (and other nasties) that they don’t need, through our natural pathways. To consider fiber further, maintaining regular movement with fiber intake also supports healthy bowels and shifts any toxins that may be lying dormant in the lower part of our digestive tract, before they lead to disease.
4. Regulates Blood Pressure
Beets are perhaps one of the best naturally-occurring blood tonics because of their inherent ability to regulate blood pressure. Heart disease, including heart attacks, heart failure, and stroke, is one of the leading causes of death worldwide - which is oftentimes influenced by high blood pressure. This can be caused by any number of dietary, lifestyle, and medical factors, but taking steps to help regulate blood pressure is something that we can all do.
Beets are a fantastic dietary addition to support this process, with some studies suggesting that beets can significantly lower blood pressure by up to 4–10 mmHg over a period of only a few hours. This is believed to be due to the high concentration of nitrates in beets which are converted into nitric oxide, a molecule that dilates blood vessels and supports the lowering of blood pressure. However, these effects often only last for 6 hours as the nitrates are dissipated from the body, suggesting that beets may only be a temporary solution - unless consumed regularly.
5. Supports Energy the Natural Way (Caffeine-Free)
In society, we’ve definitely developed a dependence on our morning (and lunchtime, and sometimes evening) cup of coffee for energy and performance throughout the day. But what if there was a less-addictive way to support our levels? Some athletes even depend on beets for their energy and performance, with benefits stemming from the same nitrates that regulate blood pressure. This is because nitrates are thought to enhance the efficacy of the mitochondria, which are responsible for producing energy in the body’s cells. It’s for this reason that you often feel a spike of energy after consuming beets, whether whole or in their concentrated juiced form, and it’s another reason why beets form the basis of our signature Energizing juice.
6. Betalains Fight Inflammation (The Root Cause of All Disease)
Detoxes and cleanses are best when they nourish the body with anti-inflammatory foods, as by addressing inflammation within the body, in turn, we’re addressing the most common cause of chronic disease. Betalains are one of the distinguishable pigments of beets which, when broken down, are responsible for the food’s anti-inflammatory properties. Although more human-based studies are needed, there is currently substantial evidence to suggest that betalains derived from beets may be beneficial in reducing kidney inflammation, and the pain and discomfort associated with the condition.
Beets, in all their brightly colored glory, are wonderful for more reasons than just their taste. They provide us with the nutrients required to support detoxification within the body and heal from disease, the natural way.
If you’re interested in learning more about detoxification and some of the simple foods you can use to support it, tune in to James’ FREE audio masterclass, where he breaks down everything you need to know.