The earliest known cultivation of beets and beetroots was in the Mediterranean region about 4,000 years ago. By the 9th century AD, beets had made their way into Chinese culture and dishes. It’s a versatile veggie powerhouse! In fact, beets can be added to soups, salads, and other dishes. Today, they are often used as a natural coloring agent. Beet health benefits include improved heart health, improved eye health, and even protection against certain cancers.
Beet Health Benefits
1. Improve Heart Health
The fiber beets contain helps to reduce cholesterol by increasing HDL levels. That’s a good thing! As a result, beet health benefits include a reduced risk for heart-related problems. Consuming beets on a regular basis can help protect the heart against conditions such as atherosclerosis, heart attacks and stroke. (1)
2. Reduce Birth Defects
Beet health benefits include a reduced risk of birth defects, making them a great food choice for pregnant women. For one thing, beets contain folate, and this important B vitamin aids in the development of the infant’s spinal column. Additionally, folate deficiency can lead to neural tube defects. (2)
3. Prevent Certain Cancers
Studies have shown that beet health benefits include the ability to protect the body from certain types of cancer. For example, beets contain a pigment called betacyanins, which counteract cancerous cell growth. Research has shown that beet juice also has the ability to slow tumor development. (3)
4. Prevent Respiratory Problems
Beet health benefits include the ability to help prevent respiratory problems. Beetroot contains Vitamin C, which works as a powerful antioxidant to boost the immune system and help prevent illness. Vitamin C helps defend the body from bacteria and fungi that can cause respiratory infections. Furthermore, beetroot juice can enhance athletic performance! (4)
5. Prevent Cataracts
Beets and beet greens contain beta-carotene, a form of Vitamin A that helps protect the eyes against cataracts and other age-related eye problems. Vitamin A works as a powerful antioxidant to help kill free radicals that cause damage throughout the body. Beet health benefits include natural protection against vision problems, not only thanks to the beta-carotene but also thanks to the antioxidant lutein. (5)
6. Acts as an Aphrodisiac
Beets have also been used as a natural aphrodisiac for centuries. They contain a mineral called boron that is known to help boost the production of sex hormones. Beet health benefits include the ability to help boost libido and increase fertility.
7. Boosts Energy
Beet health benefits include a natural energy boost. The carbohydrates they contain work to fuel the body without weighing it down. In fact, beets work to keep the metabolism functioning properly while providing the body with energy for physical activity. (6)
8. Prevent Strokes
Beets contain potassium, which plays an important role in heart health. Potassium works as a vasodilator to help relax the blood vessels and lower blood pressure levels. By helping to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, beet health benefits include a reduced risk of stroke.
9. Reduce Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is currently the leading cause of vision loss. The beta-carotene in beets helps to reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Fortunately, it can also help slow the progression of the disease. Beta-carotene works to protect the eyes against damage caused by free radicals. (7)
10. Improve Liver Health
Another benefit of beetroot is improved liver health. The vitamins and antioxidants that beets contain work to help the body naturally detox. Beet juice stimulates the functions of the liver to promote the detox of waste and other toxins to help keep the liver healthy. (8)