Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called belatains. Betanin and vulgaxanthin are the two best studied betalains from beets, and both have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. The detox support provided by betalains includes support of some especially important Phase 2 detox steps involving gluthathione. Although you can see these betalain pigments in other foods (like the stems of chard or rhubarb), the concentration of betalains in the peel and flesh of beets gives you an unexpectedly great opportunity for these health benefits.
In recent lab studies on human tumor cells, betanin pigments from beets have been shown to lessen tumor cell growth through a number of mechanisms, including inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes (specifically, cyclooygenase enzymes). The tumor cell types tested in these studies include tumor cells from colon, stomach, nerve, lung, breast, prostate and testicular tissue. While lab studies by themselves are not proof of beets anti-cancer benefits, the results of these studies are encouraging researchers to look more closely than ever at the value of betanins and other betalains in beets for both prevention and treatment of certain cancer types.
It's important to note two other areas of potential health benefits associated with beets: anti-cancer benefits and fiber-related benefits. The combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecules in beets make this food a highly likely candidate for risk reduction of many cancer types. Lab studies on human tumor cells have confirmed this possibility for colon, stomach, nerve, lung, breast, prostate and testicular cancers. Eventually, we expect to see large scale human studies that show the risk-reducing effect of dietary beet intake for many of these cancer types.
Beet fiber has also been a nutrient of increasing interest in health research. While many people tend to lump all food fiber into one single category called "dietary fiber," there is evidence to suggest that all dietary fiber is not the same. Beet fiber (along with carrot fiber) are two specific types of food fiber that may provide special health benefits, particularly with respect to health of our digestive tract (including prevention of colon cancer) and our cardiovascular system. Some beet fiber benefits may be due to the pectin polysaccharides that significantly contribute to the total fiber content.
One thing to note about beets is their incredible shelf life. Both beets and their greens can live in a fridge for much longer than other vegetables.
So, their nutrients remain effective for far longer than what is usually assumed.
As mentioned before, beets have the power to lower blood pressure. It can do this task in just a matter of hours.
Beets have the power to do this because of the nitric oxide the body converts from the nitrates in beets. With a lower blood pressure, people can relax because blood vessels dilate to improve blood flow throughout the body.
Beets can give you a stamina boost. Hence, beets are a great option for consumption prior to a workout.
Studies indicate that people who consume beets in some way before a workout are able to endure the exercise about 16% longer than when they have not consumed beets.
Once more, nitric oxide is the key factor in this situation. The body is able to convey more oxygen due to the increased blood flow, so it can endure high-intensity workouts much easier without losing stamina.
Again, beets contain a nutrient called betaine that performs as cell protection. Enzymes and proteins are also given additional help. Betaine is to thank for this occurrence. It also aids the body in fighting inflammation, which not only protects cells, proteins, and enzymes, but it mainly focuses on protecting internal organs. At the same time, reducing inflammation also means lowering the risk for chronic diseases.
As already suggested, another reason why beets are great at fighting inflammation is they inhibit production and activity of cyclo-oxygenase enzymes, which are necessary to create inflammation.
Moreover, beets should be an essential part of a diet for a person who has arthritis, especially the rheumatoid variety.
Removing inflammation from the body also means fighting off heart disease in the long run, so people who are at risk for this genetically should be sure to consume as many beet products as possible for their body. The same goes for people in regards to diabetes while consulting their physicians.
Beets are also great for fighting cancer. These phytonutrients that make beets their traditional, iconic, red-purple color also can prevent and fight cancer. They can reduce tumor formations with ease. The most common forms of cancer they can be used to fight are pancreatic, breast and prostate.
Beets are also full of anti-oxidants, which is another essential aspect of fighting cancer and other illnesses.
The fiber and Vitamin C in beets also serve to boost the body's immune system. Therefore, fighting infections like flu and colds becomes much easier.
These roots also contain a great deal of potassium, which is essential for muscle and nerve function. Potassium is also essential in rebuilding and repairing muscle tissue after a workout, so consuming beets before and after a workout can make exercise more beneficial in the long run.
One of the key nutrients in beets is folate. Most forms of beets contain a great deal of this nutrient. Folate plays a key role in reducing the risk of birth defects in pregnant women, so consuming beets throughout pregnancy and while breast feeding makes for a happier, healthier baby in the long run.
For people who are going through detoxification processes, beets can be rather helpful.
The betalin pigments are once more to thank. They help the body to break down toxins and break them apart from other molecules throughout the body, thus making them easier to flush out.
At the same time, beets play a key role in purifying the liver for the same reasons.
People suffering from a fatty liver or liver damage due to alcohol abuse will find that the betalins in beets can be life saving because of their effects on boosting liver healing and performance.
It has been suggested that people with anemia should consume beets in as many ways as possible to boost and maintain their iron levels.
People are at a high risk today for diseases from inflammation due to processed foods, higher amounts of refined and artificial sweeteners, and an overall lower nutrient consumption due to the typical diet and lifestyle of most Americans
Consuming whole foods like beets can undo these stressors to some degree.
The nitrate compounds found in beets and their greens are also great at lowering cholesterol levels, even though they contain a lot of sodium.
These nitrates are powerful enough to lower cholesterol in the long run, especially if beets or their greens are consumed on a regular basis.
It has been suggested as well that beets are well known for their sex drive enhancing powers.
This claim is mostly true thankful to the high levels of nitrates, and increased blood flow beets promote.
Due to the increased blood flow, reproductive organs are also benefited. Women who struggle to conceive should hence include more beets or beet greens in their diets if able.
Beets promote anti-aging properties too. Once more, the anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants, and detoxification enhancements are the ones to thank for this situation. Skin will tighten, and the aging process will slow down.
These roots are great at alkalizing the body by balancing pH. Since most diseases thrive in an acidic environment, beets can be helpful to remove that acid over time.
The fiber found in beets is also an essential benefit. They are great at helping the digestive tract to remain regular, which can benefit weight loss, too.
People who suffer from chronic constipation will also find consuming beets regularly a necessary part of their diet for the same reasons: fiber
Since beets help the body in the oxygenation process, other mental concerns like dementia can become less of a concern over time as well.
Beets contain a great deal of calcium, so they are great for bones. At the same time, newer research indicates that beets can help to repair liver and restore liver function.
Additionally, beets can give people an energy boost as it helps blood flow to many parts of the body
We have touched on some of the suggested health benefits of beets thus far. However, there are much more that have yet to be explored.
It has been suggested that people who are susceptible to kidney stones may want to use extra caution and consult your physician prior to added beet consumption because they are high in oxalates, which can build up in the body in the form of small crystals.
Oxalates can also be problematic for people who are susceptible to getting gout. The oxalates contribute to uric acid forming in the body which can cause gout to form in the joints.
Some people can have a color change in their urine or stool due to the natural colors found in beets. This symptom is more likely to occur in people who have iron deficiencies or an excess of iron in the blood.
Beets are a natural food, but with everything, some people may have allergies or adverse reactions as with any foods. Be your own advocate for your health. Investigate. Consult your physician about the pros and cons. The cons are few, the pros are many.
For me, I would one hundred times over prefer to use a vegetable with no additives, preservatives or fillers that has tons of benefits for my health verses taking one more pill from the pharmacy if I had that choice.
The information I have provided is for general consumer understanding, education and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical or veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment. Our products are not alternatives to any prescription drugs. If you are currently taking prescription drugs, consult your doctor before making any changes. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.