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Benefits of Beetroot
11. Beetroot for the brain and dementia
Drinking beetroot juice increases blood flow to the brain in older people, which may be able to fight the progression of dementia, a 2010 study suggested. Beetroot contains high concentrations of nitrates, which are converted into nitrites by bacteria in the mouth. Nitrites help open blood vessels in the body, increasing blood flow and oxygen to places lacking in oxygen.
Researchers at Wake Forest University have found that drinking juice from beetroot can improve oxygenation to the brain, slowing the progression of dementia in older adults. According to Daniel Kim Shapiro, director of Wake Forests Translational Science Center, blood flow to certain areas of the brain decrease with age and leads to a decline in cognition and possible dementia. Consuming beetroot juice as part of a high nitrate diet can improve the blood flow and oxygenation to these areas that are lacking.
Beets contain an antioxidant known as alpha lipoic acid, which has been shown to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and prevent oxidative stress induced changes in patients with diabetes. Studies on alpha lipoic acid have also shown decreases in peripheral neuropathy and/or autonomic neuropathy in diabetics.
14. Digestion and regularity
Because of its high fiber content, beetroot helps to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract. Beets are highly nutritious and
Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient in beetroot that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.
16. Exercise and athletic performance
Beetroot juice supplementation has been shown to improve muscle oxygenation during exercise, suggesting that increased dietary nitrate intake has the potential to enhance exercise tolerance during long term endurance exercise. Quality of life for those with cardiovascular, respiratory, or metabolic diseases, who find the activities of daily living physically difficult because of lack of oxygenation, could be improved. Beetroot juice improved performance by 2.8% (11 seconds) in a 4 km bicycle time trial and by 2.7% (45 seconds) in 16.1 km time trial.
17. Potential health risks of consuming beetroot
If improperly stored, nitrate containing vegetable juice may accumulate bacteria that convert nitrate to nitrite and contaminate the juice. High levels of nitrite can be potentially harmful if consumed. A high nitrate diet may interact with certain medications such as organic nitrate (nitroglycerine) or nitrite drugs used for angina, sildenafil citrate, tadalafil, and vardenafil. Drinking beetroot juice may cause red urine or stool. It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health. It is better to eat a diet with variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.
18. Extensively cultivated
Beetroot is extensively cultivated on the coasts of Europe, North America, and Asia and in the muddy maritime marshes of England. Beetroots are not just available in one single colour, as most people assume; it is also available in other colours like white, golden and even multi colour.The leaves and roots attached to the beets are also edible and are highly nutritious.
19. Amazing source of sugar
The popularity of beets grew leaps and bounds when it was discovered that they are an amazing source of sugar. Historical evidence suggests that when the British restricted the use of sugar cane for sugar production, Napoleon ordered beet to be used for the production of sugar, which increased its popularity.
20. Naturally sweet in taste
The deep red roots of beets can be cooked, boiled or baked as a vegetable. In India, it is mostly eaten raw in salads. Another common form of consuming this vegetable is by extracting its juice. Beetroot juice is naturally sweet in taste with a plethora of health benefits. Other vegetables like carrot, apples or even beet leaves are added to the beetroot juice to reduce its strong effect. You can also add herbs to enhance the flavour of the juice.
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