Every week there’s a new trendy Superfood advertised in markets or on social media. Beets, however, specifically red beetroots, have been a prominent health veggie for generations. It’s more recent that the many powerful benefits of drinking the juice have come to light.
Beet-ween You and I
Beets are an incredibly nutrient-dense vegetable. My Polish grandmother boiled them in with many of her cultural dishes. Our Russian neighbor made the most delicious Borsht soup. It was a tad sour, but she added a bit of bacon into the bowl, and that made it more appealing and flavorful. Beets can also be roasted, which tends to bring out more of their sweetness.
But if you want the vitamins and nutritional benefits from the red beetroot without the cooking hassle, perhaps the best form is juicing. In fact, beet juice has shown to lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease, decrease inflammation, and even improve athletic performance when ingested as a liquid supplement.
Skipping a Beat
Nitrates are chemicals that naturally occur in certain foods—beets being one of them. In truth, the highest nitrate levels are found in spinach, celery, lettuce, and beets! Nitrates convert into nitric oxide when they’re consumed.
Nitric oxide increases oxygen levels in our blood. It also helps open our blood vessels, which allows for improved blood flow. When our blood is oxygen-rich and flowing freely, our circulatory and respiratory systems can function at their peak. Think about what this could mean to an athlete. Or, imagine how this could positively affect your workouts?
If more oxygen is being fed to your muscles, your endurance can be increased. Skipping rope for two minutes won’t be as taxing if you drink some beet juice a couple of hours before.
Research from studies showing the effects of beet juice as a nutritional athletic supplement offer these suggestions:
- 2 cups of red beetroot juice is a healthy dose
- Drink your supplement approximately 120 minutes before engaging in your workout
Beet the Odds
Today’s environment requires that people take special note to eat nutritionally, exercise, but also to detoxify. Pollutions in all forms enter our bodies, regardless of how “clean” we live. Beets are natural detoxifiers.
Beets are high in vitamin C and K, folate, potassium, manganese, and fiber. They also contain betaine (a nutrient that helps protect cells), pectin, and assist the liver with its cleansing process. They are a rich source of antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and risk of disease. As mentioned, the nitrate level in beet juice helps decrease hypertension—that makes it a heart-healthy beverage.
No matter how you slice it, beets are the bomb! Before your next stroll or workout, think about toasting with a glass of beet juice.