As a growing consciousness emerges regarding the necessity of leading healthy lifestyles, people have started incorporating various superfoods to their diets. Yes, we’re talking about Kale, Moringa, Broccolli, Avoccado and the like. However, unknown to a lot of people, the humble beetroot is as powerful a superfood as any other. This purple root has many health benefits that will keep you fit, strong, and healthy.
1. Reduces LDL Cholesterol and Prevents Plaque Formation
Betroot contains large amounts of soluble fibres, flavanoids, and betacyanin – the compound that gives it its purplish-red color. Being a powerful antioxidant, It helps reduce the oxidation of ‘bad’ cholesterol and does not allow it to deposit on the walls of the artery. This protects the heart from potential heart attacks and stroke reducing the need for medication.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure Levels
Had a bad day at work and feel your blood pressure hitting the sky? Drink some beetroot juice. Beetroot is a great source of nitrates, which when consumed, is converted to nitrites and a gas called nitric oxides. Both these components help widen the arteries and as a result, lower blood pressure.
3. Beats Osteoporosis
This supwer food is packed with Silica, the mineral that makes it easy for the body to use calcium efficiently. Calcium is the building block of our bones and teeth. Hence, a glass of beetroot juice a day could keep osteoporosis and brittle bones at bay.
4. Keeps Diabetes Under Check
Beetroot is a medium glycaemic index vegetable, beetroot releases sugars very slowly into the bloodstream. This aids in maintaining low blood sugar levels while satiating sugar cravings. Also, this vegetable is low in calories and fat-free making it a perfect vegetable for diabetics.
5. Treats anaemia
It is a common myth that because of beetroot’s reddish colour, it replaces lost blood and is therefore good to treat anaemia. While this may sound a bit outrageous, there is a partial truth hidden in the myth. Beetroot contains a lot of iron. Iron helps in the formation of haemagglutinin, which is a part of the blood that helps transport oxygen and nutrients to various parts of the body. However, it is the iron content and not the colour that helps treat anaemia.
6. Helps Relieve Fatigue
A study presented at the American Diabetics association’s conference stated that beetroot helps boost a person’s energy. Due to its nitrate content it helps dilate the arteries thereby helping in the proper transportation of oxygen to various parts of the body, increasing a person’s energy. Another theory is that because the root is a rich source of iron, it helps in improving a person’s stamina. Whatever the source, a pick-me-up at the end of a tiring day can be just what you need.
7. Protects against cancer
The betacyanin content in beetroot has another very important function. In a study done at the Howard University, Washington DC, it was found that betacyanin helped slow the growth of tumours by 12.5 percent in patients with breast and prostate cancer. This effect not only helps in the diagnosis and treatment of cancers but it also helps cancer survivors remain cancer-free longer.