Beets are a food that people generally love or hate — but did you know they also have some amazing health benefits? While you may enjoy the occasional beet salad, you might want to consider ingesting beets every day. Here’s why.
When did humans start eating beets? The earliest evidence of beet consumption dates to the Neolithic era. Charred beet roots have been found and recorded at Neolithic sites. But it was during Roman times that the leaf and root began to be used in folk medicine. The Talmud even recommends consumption of beetroot as a way to maintain vibrant health.
In ancient times, the beet had an elongated root that resembled a carrot. But 300 years of cultivation and hybridization have produced the round red beet we recognize today.
Beet Root Can Boost Stamina
A 2009 study by Andrew Jones and colleagues, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology (abstract), recorded results from a sample of men 19–38 years old cycling on exercise bikes. Those who consumed a half-liter of beet root juice daily for a week were able to bike 16% longer than their untreated counterparts before becoming tired.
A more recent study by Jones and coworkers reported that the beet root juice doubled the amount of nitrate in the blood, which provides more oxygen for cells and helped the muscles to operate more efficiently. A 2012 study by Murphy and colleagues, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, showed that consumption of beetroot juice improved running performance in a sample of healthy adult women.
Benefits of Beetroot Powder
The benefits don’t stop there: beets are also naturally high in several essential vitamins and minerals, including:
- Folate (Vitamin B9)
- Vitamin C
Despite being rich in natural sugars, beets have a low glycemic load of only 5. Glycemic load is a measure of how a food affects blood sugar. For example, a typical apple carries a glycemic load of 6.
Beet root is a true medicinal food with many health-related qualities such as:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Good for the heart
- Improves oxygen supply to the muscles
- Helps the liver remove toxins (beets are high in iron & antioxidants) and protects the liver from oxidative damage.
- Boosts energy and stamina
- Fights inflammation
- Improves brain health
- Stabilizes blood sugar
- Aids digestion
- Folates benefit pregnant women
- May also have anti-aging properties due to carotenoids
As you can see, the benefits of beet root are enormous. This is why we’ve included it in our Greens First formulas such as Greens First.