Beetroot Juice Benefits
Beetroots are a relatively hardy long season vegetable crop. They grow quickly and come in numerous varieties. They are simple to grow and are a sensible choice for Northern gardens as they can survive frosts and temperatures of almost 0⁰C. They can be eaten grilled, boiled, steamed or roasted and can be a delicious accompaniment to a salad when cooled and mixed with vinegar. As an alternative, beetroot juice is and extremely nutritious and tasty alternative to the more acidic citrus fruits.
Benefits of beetroot juice:
Beetroots are rich in acute dietary nitrates which have been proven to lower blood pressure both in individuals with an already low nitrate content, and in individuals with a regular nitrate content with in their diet (Coles & Clifton, 2012). The consumption of nitrates results in the reduction in blood pressure by causing vasodilation, the widening of the arteries, and therefore may be a good supplement for angina sufferers if consumed in addition to prescribed medications. A study carried out at the University of Exeter also found that when compared with individuals who were given blackcurrant cordial to drink, those drinking beetroot juice had a resting blood pressure which was 2% lower, and that they were able to sustain the cycling test for longer due to an increase in the uptake of oxygen (Wylie, et al., 2013). This increase in oxygen uptake can increase brain function and may even slow the onset of dementia.
High in iron
Beetroots also have a substantial iron content, which is extremely beneficial to sufferers of anaemia. Iron is required in the diet to make and maintain Haemoglobin, a protein found within your red blood cells which carries oxygen around the body. An abundance of iron in your diet may even speed up recovery after surgery and the natural laxative effect cause by the wealth of fibre within beetroots can provide a natural remedy for constipation, a common side effect of surgery.
High in folic acid
One of the other beetroot juice benefits are also abundant in vitamin B9, most commonly known as folic acid, which forms a critical part of a pregnant lady’s diet. Folic acid are essential for foetal development and help prevent Neural Tube Defects – defects of the brain and spinal cord such as spina bifida (Scholl & Johnson, 2000). Beetroots should be considered and accompaniment and important part of a healthy pregnancy diet and not the only source of folic acid. However even the healthiest diet may struggle to provide enough folic acid, so doctors recommend taking supplements in addition to a nutrient rich diet to ensure the recommended dose is still consumed. Mums-to-be may receive a benefit of endurance boost themselves anyway from the beetroot juice.
Beetroot juice provides a sensible drink for diabetics. It is sweet to taste, has no fat content, is low in calories and causes sugars to be released gradually into the blood (Sampath, 2013).
To Summarise Beetroot Juice Benefits:
So begin your day with a refreshing and nutritious glass of beetroot juice. It mixes well with carrot and apple juices, but beware – consuming beetroot juice daily can cause reddening of urine but you can rest in the knowledge you have gained many beetroot juice benefits!
Coles, L. T. & Clifton, P. M., 2012. Effect of beetroot juice on lowering blood pressure in free-living, disease-free adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Nutrition Journal, 11(116).
Sampath, P., 2013. Amazing health benefits of beetroot. [Online] Available at: http://health.india.com/diseases-conditions/amazing-health-benefits-of-beetroot/
Scholl, T. O. & Johnson, W. G., 2000. Folic acid: influence on the outcome of pregnancy. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 71(5), pp. 1295-1303.
Wylie, L. J. et al., 2013. Beetroot juice and exercise: pharmacodynamic and dose-response relationships. Journal of Applied Physiology, 115(3), pp. 325-36.