Beets contain the compound betaine which helps the liver to function. When the liver is functioning properly, the body is able to digest, absorb and process food to detoxify chemicals and metabolize food.
The phytosterols, or plant sterols, present in beets, are structurally similar to cholesterol and can help to lower LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol. In the body, phytosterols compete with the cholesterol to decrease the amount of cholesterol absorbed and lower harmful LDL cholesterol.
Anemia & Fatigue
In the 16th century, it was given as a “blood builder” to people who were pale and run down. At the time, doctors and patients may not have known why it was so efficacious, but health experts now know that the high iron content in raw beets can be helpful for people who suffer from anaemia and fatigue.
Beets contain two important nutrients that can help lower blood pressure: potassium and nitrates. Potassium helps flush sodium out of the blood to lower blood pressure. Nitrates are converted to nitrite, and then to nitric oxide in the body, which also helps to relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
Exercise & Stamina
The naturally occurring nitrates in beets are converted to nitric oxide in the body, which helps to relax blood vessels, increase blood flow, and reduce the amount of oxygen needed by muscles in exercise. This allows the muscles to work more efficiently using less oxygen, improving overall exercise tolerance and performance.
Folate, or folic acid, is a B vitamin that is crucial to the development of a baby’s spinal cord and can help prevent spinal cord defects. Women who are pregnant or trying to conceive can get nearly 70% of the Recommend Dietary Allowance (RDA) of folate from three baby beets. Cooked beets have lower levels of folate than raw beets, but are still a good source of the nutrients!
Increased Sex Drive
Since Roman times, beets have been viewed as an aphrodisiac. They contain high amounts of boron, which helps to increase the half-life, bioavailability and efficient use of sex hormones.
Beets are rich in potassium, antioxidants and phytochemicals, which help to protect against heart disease. Potassium helps muscles to contract, regulate the heartbeat, and prevent a build-up of plaque on the arteries. Beets also contain the antioxidant, beta-carotene, and the phytochemicals, flavonoids, both which help protect the body and decrease risk of cardiovascular disease.
Beets contain the naturally occurring mineral silica. Evidence suggests that silica helps with mineral balance in the bones and collagen formation to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.