Red beet, garden beet
Beetroots are full of essential nutrients, such as fibre, folate, manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin C. They have been associated with a number of health benefits, including improved blood flow, lower blood pressure and increased exercise performance – their high content of inorganic nitrates can be credited for many of these health benefits.
The vegetable mostly consists of water, carbs and fibre – with 100 grams containing 43 calories, 88% water, 1.6 grams of protein, 9.6 grams of carbs, 6.8 grams of sugar, 2.8 grams of fibre and just 0.2 grams of fat.
Reduced blood pressure
Fruit and veg that is rich in inorganic nitrates can cut the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and increasing nitric oxide formation. Studies show that blood pressure can be reduced by up to 3-10mm Hg over a period of a few hours when consuming beetroot. These effects increase levels of nitric oxide, which causes blood vessels to relax.
Enhanced physical performance
Many studies show that nitrates in beetroot can improve physical performance by improving the efficiency of the mitochondria, especially during high-intensity endurance exercise. Research proves that drinking 500 ml of beet juice daily for six days extended time to exhaustion during high-intensity exercise by 15-25%, beetroot is also thought to improve cycling and athletic performance and increase oxygen use by 20%.
May support cognitive function
A reduction in blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain may contribute to the natural mental and cognitive function decline with age. It is thought that the nitrates that beetroot contains may improve cognitive function by encouraging the dilation of blood vessels and therefore increasing blood flow to the brain, this is particularly effective in the front lobe of the brain which is associated with decision making and working memory.
Beetroot can be consumed in a number of ways including juiced, roasted, steamed or pickled. It is also available in a supplement, such as our Beetroot Extract 6% Nitrates Made with TruBeet® – we suggest a dosage of 4 capsules 30 minutes before activity, or as directed by a healthcare practitioner.