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8 Reasons Nutrient Rich Beets Should be a Dietary Staple

by Amy Goodrich, Natural News:

In ancient times, beets were used to treat fever, constipation and other digestive complaints. The Romans consumed beets to boost their libido and improve their sex life. Legend has it that if a man and woman eat from the same beetroot, they will fall in love.

Beets (or beetroots) contain a variety of unique health-promoting nutrients that you may not be getting elsewhere. They house a broad range of vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients, including carotenoids, lutein, glycine, betaine, anthocyanins and dietary fiber.

Below you’ll find some good reasons why you should enjoy their sweet, earthy flavor, all while improving your health and well-being.

1. Naturally reduce blood pressure

Beets contain two important nutrients, namely potassium and nitrates, that lower blood pressure naturally. They both play a major role in the relaxation of blood vessels. A 2015 study found that people who consumed 250 ml (or approximately 1 cup) of beet juice on a daily basis were able to reduce their systolic blood pressure by 8 points. Amazingly, beets do a better job at reducing blood pressure than the commonly prescribed drug hydrochlorothiazide, which reduces blood pressure by 6.5 points.

2. Detox the liver

In the 19th century, betaines were discovered in the juice of sugar beets. Researchers found that these little molecules stimulate the function of the liver and prevent fat accumulation which can lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

3. Improve brain health

In addition to strengthening the liver, betaines also protect the brain by reducing homocysteine concentrations. Elevated homocysteine levels have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, dementia, neural tube defects and other metabolic disorders.

Betaine is often used to treat depression and other mental health issues. In addition to betaines, beets also contain a decent amount of tryptophan to relax and soothe the mind.

4. Boost energy levels

Beets are an excellent low-calorie source of carbohydrates to provide the body with energy. An article published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that beetroot juice significantly enhanced cycling performance of trained cyclists, making beet juice the perfect sports drink.

5. Prevent cancer

Betacyanins are a group of powerful antioxidants that give beets their intense crimson color. These pigments have been shown to prevent skin, lung and colon cancer. Beet juice neutralizes the effect of nitrates used as preservatives in meats, inhibits cell mutations, and slows down tumor growth.

6. Treat constipation

Consuming fiber-rich food is one of the best natural ways to prevent and treat constipation or irregularity. Beets are an excellent source of dietary fiber. One cup of beets packs about 4 grams of fiber.

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