Instead of using pharmaceuticals to address health issues, we have always believed in trying to replace what is missing from our diets to repair ailments. Beets are a natural source with many health benefits:
Beets have been grown for centuries, ancient cultures first consuming the leaves, then later discovering the benefits of consuming the root. As a member of the Chenopod family, the beetroot is bursting with nutrients. The root and green tops contain antioxidant pigments. The beet root's color is a complex mixture of nitrogen-containing water-soluble pigments called betalains (1). The betalains are powerful antioxidants, that act as anti-inflammatory molecules. Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress and inflammation linked to heart disease.
Bentaine is another beneficial compound in beet juice. In humans, betaine protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress such as dehydration, excess salt, or extreme temperature. As a methyl donor, betaine reduces dangerous levels of an amino acid called homocysteine. A high blood homocysteine level is a risk factor for heart disease due to its damaging effects in the blood vessels (1).
Beets are rich in Folate (folic acide), another methyl donor.
Beets also contain tryptophan. Tryptophan is the amino acid that builds serotonin in the body. Serotonin is well known for its importance in proper mood and sleep.
The mighty beet packs in the vitamins and minerals! Vitamins in A, C, K, and the B vitamins are just the beginning. For proper growth and development, beets rely on boron, for this reason, beets are a great source of this trace mineral. In addition to boron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus dominate, but beets also contain iron, zinc, copper, sodium, and selenium.
Beets contain simple carbohydrates lending natural sweetness, but beets are also very nutrient-dense which qualifies them as sensible energy fuel source. Beets deliver about 2 grams of protein per serving and have a low fat content (1).
The inorganic nitrate content of beetroot is one of the best concentrated sources. When ingested, nitrate is reduced to nitrite which then becomes the molecular powerhouse called nitric oxide (N-O). N-O regulates and controls blood flow to every organ and tissue. About 80% of the average adult intake of nitrates and nitrites comes from eating vegetables. Required for N-O production, nitrate helps to widen the blood vessels causing an increase in circulation and oxygen delivery to all cells. The influence of nitrate from beets occurs after it has been reduced to nitrite and further reduced to N-O. This reaction happens when and where there is a need for N-O in the body. N-O sends a signal to the blood vessel smooth muscles for relaxation. In addition to increasing circulation, beet nitrate through N-O acts to reduce the amount of oxygen needed by muscles in physical activity.
Understanding the importance beets can provide to health, Hakala Research has created a tablet containing 300mg of beet extract, Beet-L-Juice! We source our beet extract from United States Sabinsa. Our tablets are non-GMO, dye free, gluten free, and corn free. Health care providers recommend taking between 1-3 tablets per day.
1. Beet the Odds - Nathan S. Bryan , PhD and Carolyn Pierini, CLS, CNC