Sunday June 29 2014

Amazing health benefits of beetroot

By Henry Wanyama

Beetroot has always been included in most recommended vegetables list, although it is in the “use sparingly” category because of the high carbohydrate levels.

Although it has the highest sugar content of all vegetables, beetroot can be safely eaten a few times a week enjoying not only their sweet, earthy flavour but also their powerhouse nutrients that may improve your health in the following ways.

Lower your blood pressure
Drinking beetroot juice may help to lower blood pressure in a matter of hours. One study found that drinking one glass of beetroot juice lowered systolic blood pressure by an average of four to five points. The benefit likely comes from the naturally occurring nitrates in beets, which are converted into nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide, in turn, helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.

Boost your stamina
If you need a boost to make it through your next workout, beetroot juice may again prove valuable. Those who drank beetroot juice prior to exercise were able to exercise for up to 16 per cent longer. The benefit is thought to also be related to nitrates turning into nitric oxide, which may reduce the oxygen cost of low-intensity exercise as well as enhance tolerance to high-intensity exercise.

Anti-cancer properties
The powerful phytonutrients that give beetroot their deep crimson colour may help to ward off cancer. Research has shown that beetroot extract reduced multi-organ tumour formations in various animal models when administered in drinking water, for instance, while beetroot extract is also being studied for use in treating human pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancers.

Detox support
The betalin pigments in beet root support your body’s detoxification process, which is when broken down toxins are bound to other molecules so they can be excreted from your body. It helps to purify your blood and liver.