Sugar beets belong to the Amaranthaceae family and are a white beet that is typically round in shape and 10-12 cm in diameter on average. It is primarily cultivated for commercial sugar production, however is occasionally home grown and can be consumed raw, boiled, sautéed or roasted. This beet is rich in fibre to help regulate the digestive system, and also contains small amounts of vitamin C, calcium and iron. Additionally it is an incredible source of TMG (Trimethylglycine or glycine betaine), which has been known to have positive effects of liver and heart function, as well as boosting athletic performance.
What is TMG?
TMG is a vital compound that consists of glycine with three attached methyl groups. It is found in the body and has many potential health benefits such as support heart health, increasing athletic performance and promoting healthy insulin levels.
May improve heart health
The TMG found in sugar beets has been shown to decrease blood levels of an amino acid called homocysteine. This amino acid can increase the risk of heart disease if the levels in the blood are too high. Research suggests that taking 4 grams of TMG per day for six weeks could lower homocysteine levels in the blood of healthy adults.
Could support athletic performance
It is reported that many athletes use TMG to enhance their performance during exercise, with it speculated to reduce fatigue, boost protein production and increase the production of creatine. However this is mostly speculation from athletes, and more research is needed.
May improve insulin resistance
Various studies suggest that TMG could improve insulin resistance, with one study of 2400 associating an increased intake of choline and betaine with decreased insulin resistance. Two other studies in animals found that TMG improve fat metabolism in mice on a high fat diet and could even reverse insulin resistance in the liver.
Sugar beets are rarely consumed raw, and are more commonly used for commercial sugar production. However to benefit from the TMG in sugar beets, we suggest taking it as a supplement, such as our TMG Powder.