We all know that beetroot is good for us. But how many of us actually eat it on a regular basis – let alone understand its health benefits? After reading this short article, you will know far more about why beetroots are such a health powerhouse, and may even be inspired to go out and eat them every day. (Well, you never know.) You will also understand why beetroot is a key ingredient in so many CrystalNutri products.
A little beet of history
The root vegetable that we’re discussing is the beet (Beta vulgaris), a member of the Chenopodiaceae family that has been cultivated for centuries and is the source of sugar beet. It is a more recent relative of Beta maritima, the sea beet, which grows wild along the coasts of southern Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East and India. The sea beet is also the ancestor of golden beetroot and the mangelwurzel or mangold. Apart from being one of the most wonderful words in the entire English language, even if it was borrowed from German, the mangelwurzel is most famous today as a feed for farm animals.
Clues from Nature
When assessing the health benefits of beetroot, it’s instructive to look at the clues left to us by Nature in the form of the ‘doctrine of signatures’. This theory states that the appearance or structural features of a plant can guide the observer as to the medicinal properties of that plant. When we cut beets and observe their deep-red pigmentation, we are immediately reminded of blood, leading us to believe that beets are good for the heart, blood and the whole circulation. This intuition from Nature is entirely correct! Take a look at some of the health benefits that beetroot offers:
- Naturally lowers blood pressure
- Improves digestion
- Benefits blood–sugar regulation
- Lowers cardiovascular disease risk factors, including heart failure, heart attack and strokeS
- Increases oxygen uptake by the muscles during exercise.
Rich mix of phytochemicals
Beetroot contains high levels of the antioxidants betacyanin (red-violet pigment) and betaxanthin (yellow-orange pigment), which together give beetroot its distinctive blood-like, dark red-purple colour. Betanin, the most common betacyanin, plays a role in detoxification and has been shown to prevent oxidation of ‘bad’ cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol) and DNA damage.
Other health benefits of betacyanin include:
- Antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal
- Improves ratio of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, ‘good’) cholesterol to LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol
- Lowers blood glucose levels
- Improves mitochondrial function
- Protects liver health
- Naturally lowers blood pressure
Beetroot is rich in vitamin B9 AKA folate, manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, iron and vitamin B6 or pyridoxine. The natural folate and iron content in beetroot offers benefits for those who suffer from low energy and low mood associated with anaemia and heavy menstrual periods, as well as inflammation, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases. Due to its high iron and antioxidant content, it helps in formation of red blood cells and their regeneration.
Beetroot and nitrate
Beetroot is also a natural source of nitrate (NO3–), which is transformed in the gut and circulation into nitric oxide (NO). Because NO is a potent vasodilator, i. e. it relaxes blood vessels walls and increases their blood-carrying capacity, increasing the body’s NO levels via the nitrate found in beetroot increases oxygen flow to the brain. The potential benefits for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are clear.
Studies have demonstrated that beetroot juice can enhance exercise performance. Dietary nitrate has profound effects on the function of mitochondria, the energy producers of our cells. Increasing nitrate intake by consuming beets improves both endurance exercise and running performance.
A key ingredient
Unsurprisingly then, we love beetroot and use it in many of our super-concentrated crystal blends . It is one of only two ingredients in RootSynergy, along with carrot. Why ’RootSynergy’? Simple: studies from Hungary have shown that combining beetroot with carrot greatly increases the absorption of both ingredients, compared with either beetroot or carrot alone. These synergistic ingredients are perfect partners for optimum health!