Beetroot is a health hero. It is great for boosting stamina and making muscles work harder. It also contains potassium, magnesium and iron as well as vitamins A, B6 and C, and folic acid. On top of that, it also contains carbohydrates, protein, powerful antioxidants and soluble fibre.
Just three baby beetroots are equivalent to one of your recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. In this article, we share 8 other health facts and why it should become part of your daily diet.
Boost Your Health With Beetroot
1. Reduces blood pressure and the risk of heart attacks and strokes
Research has shown that this vegetable can help reduce blood pressure as well as its associated risks such as heart attacks and strokes. This is because the high content of nitrates in beetroot produces a gas called nitric oxide in the blood, which widens blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. A daily dose of 250ml of juice or 1 to 2 cooked beetroots (approx. 100g) can help dramatically reduce blood pressure and its associated risks.
2. Powerful antioxidant properties
Betacyanin, the pigment that gives beetroot its colour, is also an antioxidant. Antioxidants are believed to help reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, in turn protecting artery walls and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
3. Folic acid
This hero vegetable contains folic acid, which is essential for normal tissue growth. Folic acid is important for the development of a baby’s spinal cord during the first three months of pregnancy and can help prevent spinal cord defects such as spina bifida.
Beetroot also contains iron, so it is a good pick-me-up for mums-to-be suffering from fatigue during pregnancy.
4. Reduces risk of osteoporosis
This vegetable contains the mineral silica. This helps the body to utilize calcium, which is important for musculoskeletal health and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
5. Lowers cholesterol
It also contains soluble fibre, which has also been shown to have cholesterol-lowering capabilities. It also contains carotenoids and flavonoids, which help prevent LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol from being oxidised and deposited in the arteries.
6. Stabilises blood sugar
Beetroot is virtually fat free and low in calories. Although it has a ‘medium’ GI (Glycaemic Index) of 64, it has an extremely low GL (Glycaemic Load) of 2.9 which means it’s converted into sugars very slowly and therefore helps to keep blood sugar levels stable.
7. Treats anemia and fatigue
Beetroot’s iron content means it’s good for those with anemia and fatigue.
8. May slow the progression of dementia
A study by Wake Forest University in North Carolina, USA has shown that the high content of nitrates in beetroot may also help fight the progression of dementia, as nitric oxide in the blood (produced by the nitrates in beetroot) also helps increase blood flow to the brain.