Heart Health Goodness
Beets have many health benefits but these 5 facts are all related to the heart for Heart Health Month!
We all love beets, but knowing exactly what they do for our bodies just might help you convince others to give them a try! It is easy to get confused by all the scientific jargon, so we will try to explain as simply as possible. Here are 5 ways beets lead to a healthier and happier heart:
- Beets are rich in potassium, which is one of the main minerals responsible for muscle contraction, including the contraction of the heart. A diet full of potassium-rich foods can help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Beets contain betaine, a substance that relaxes the mind and is used in other forms to treat depression. It also contains tryptophan, which is found in chocolate, that contributes to a sense of well-being. A happy mind makes a healthy heart!
- By widening blood vessels, the nitric oxide from beets helps increase blood flow and reduces the oxygen needed by muscles, thereby enabling them to work more efficiently. In addition, beets can increase exercise performance and stamina by allowing muscles to perform the same amount of work with less oxygen.
- Beets can help lower blood pressure through 2 important nutrients: potassium and nitrate. Potassium works with sodium to maintain the volume of blood in circulation steady. More sodium in the body means more water, more blood volume, and higher blood pressure. Consuming more potassium helps flush sodium out of our system, lowering blood pressure.
- For a history lesson, in the 16th century beets were given as a “blood builder” to people who were pale and rundown. At the time, doctors and patients may not have known why it was so efficacious, but health experts know now that the high iron content in raw beets can be helpful for people who suffer from anemia and fatigue.
The more you know, the smarter decisions you can make about what to feed your body. Heart disease is the number 1 cause of death for both men and women in the United States. So let us put an end to it by showing our hearts some love this Heart Health Month to create an un-BEET-able future for yourself!