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Your Body on Beets

By Sara Butler

It’s winter and that means that root vegetables, such as beets, are in season. You’re probably used to seeing pickled beets on your grandparent’s dinner table or on the salad bar, but there is more to beets than meets the eye. In fact, they’re a goldmine of glorious health-boosting nutrients that are difficult to find anywhere else. And you don’t have to eat them pickled – unless you want to. Here are the surprising health benefits of incorporating beets into your winter (and summer and spring and fall) diet.

Improved Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is known as a silent killer, which is why eating a healthy diet and exercise are so important. Add a few beets to your meals and you may help to beat back this deadly condition. That’s because beets are full of nitrates. Nitrates found in some processed foods aren’t good for you, but the natural kind found in beets is converted by your body into nitric oxide, a compound that helps to relax the blood vessels, lowering blood pressure in the process. They can help to increase circulation too.

May Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Beets don’t just potentially impact blood pressure, but your heart too. That’s because they’re full of betaine, a plant alkaloid, along with folate, which together lowers blood levels of something called homocysteine. If you have too much homocysteine, then it puts you at higher risk of developing heart disease and damage to your arteries.

Improve Stamina

Athletes love beets. That’s because the nitrates in them are thought to boost endurance and performance. Studies have found increased stamina in cyclists who drink beet juice. So, if you’re going to work out, then throw a couple of beets in your smoothie two to three hours before you work out.

It’s Good for the Liver

Your liver does a lot of heavy lifting. It acts as a filter for your body, removing toxins from the blood and getting them out of your body. The betaine in beets has been found in research to reduce the buildup of fat in the liver. That helps improve liver function, may help to reduce cholesterol, and reduce the size of the liver, too.

Beets are an earthy and delicious food that is excellent for your health. Try them roasted at your dinner table tonight!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sandy, Utah.


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