If you had told me I’d be writing to you twice in a single year about the health benefits of beets, I’d probably have told you that was just crazy talk. Yet here I am again about to share some exciting news about beets and your health.
Yes, I am fully aware of just how absurd it sounds to put the words beets and exciting together in the same sentence. But bear with me here, because I promise you that the news really IS exciting, especially if you are a senior or suffer from heart or lung disease.
If you’ve been following the natural-health news this year, you probably already know that the simple beet has become something of a rising star in the world of functional foods. I told you before about beet juice’s capacity to fight high blood pressure and dementia by widening blood vessels and increasing blood flow.
Well, it’s the root vegetable’s ability to assist in reducing blood pressure that’s the key to its latest-to-be-discovered health benefit as well.
Earlier this year, researchers at the University of Exeter (UOE) found that beet juice enables athletes to exercise for up to 16% longer. Now, the same UOE scientists, building on the findings from the previous study, have found that not only athletes can benefit from the juice.
In the new study, published in the most recent edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology, the scientists found that volunteers given the juice used less oxygen while walking. In fact, they reduced their efforts to perform the low-intensity exercise by 12%!
The really exciting part, however, is how this finding can apply to our own lives.
As we age, our cardiovascular systems are affected. Over time, the amount of oxygen we can take in when performing tasks starts to drop. Certain illnesses that involve the heart or lungs can accelerate this process. In fact, for some people even just walking can eventually become difficult.
But beet juice by reducing the amount of oxygen you require may actually help you do things you weren’t able to do before. At the very least it can make your normal everyday tasks a bit easier to get through.
In other words, beets are all-natural-side-effect-free performance enhancers!
(Oh, and did I mention that beet juice is thought to be a cancer fighter and that it’s being mixed with salt to deice roads more effectively?)
Now, you have to admit that kind of power packed into an unassuming little beet is pretty exciting after all—right?
If you have a juicer you can make your own fresh beet juice. Or you can buy an organic brand like Biotta from your local health-food store or online.