We’re hearing more and more about superfoods these days. And for good reason. Superfoods such as kale, broccoli, blueberries and salmon bring an extra big boost of nutrition, and benefits, to the dining table.
Perhaps you’ve even started adding some of them to your own diet. (We hope so!)
But there’s one superfood that often gets overlooked. A veggie that seldom gets the praise it deserves.
In fact, if you’re like a lot of folks you yourself may already be ignoring it at salad bars, and passing it by in the produce section.
But the humble beet, it turns out, has earned its spot on the superfood list. Because packed with good-for-you nutrients this simple root veggie can help keep you healthy, offering protection from head to toe.
5 super reasons to eat MORE beets
No matter whether you bake, broil, pickle or juice them it’s time to start making beets a part of your regular routine.
1. Boost brain health:
We’ve learned a lot in the last few years about what triggers dementia, and what we can do to combat the condition. And researchers say one major factor in the development of this devastating disease is declining blood flow to the brain as we age.
Impaired blood flow to the brain means we’re getting less oxygen and fewer of the nutrients that we need to stay sharp.
But thanks to their high levels of nitrates, which your body converts to blood-vessel expanding nitric oxide, beets can help boost blood flow. And that means they could also help you maintain cognitive function.
One small, but exciting, study out of Wake Forest University revealed that beet juice not only increased blood flow to the brain, but also increased it to the specific parts of the brain needed to help slow cognitive decline.
2. Fights aging:
Experts say chronic inflammation and oxidative stress are at the heart of aging, as well as the age-related diseases we’re becoming more at risk for with each passing year including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
But beets could turn out to be the easiest way ever to put the brakes on both.
Beets are natural inflammation fighters, plus they’re packed with powerful antioxidants. Which means putting them on the menu more often could help slow aging down to a crawl, and reduce your risk for all kinds of chronic diseases.
3. Helps heart health:
Beets are loaded with heart friendly nutrients, starting with the nitrates we mentioned earlier. Your body transforms the nitrates into the building blocks of nitric oxide. The nitric oxide then relaxes blood vessels, opening them up to encourage healthy blood pressure and circulation.
But beet’s heart benefits don’t end there.
This earthy, red, root vegetable also contains betaine and folate, two nutrients that help keep your arteries healthy, and protect against heart disease. And research has also revealed eating beets is linked to healthy cholesterol levels.
4. Turbocharges sex drive:
Better circulation to the brain and heart aren’t the only areas where beet’s better blood flow benefits come in handy. Both men and women need strong “down there” circulation to get the most out of their sex lives.
Plus the fact that beets are high in nitrates and boron means they can help your body produce, and regulate, the hormones that contribute to an enthusiastic sex drive.
5. Dials back blood sugar:
Beets are bursting with alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), which is linked to better blood sugar. And ALA has been shown to help your body use insulin more effectively.
In other words, putting beets on the menu regularly could help you put up a fight against type-2 diabetes.
Why not pick up some beets on your next shopping trip and give them a whirl? Try cutting them up into cubes, tossing with some olive oil and your favorite spices (such as rosemary, thyme, sea salt and pepper), and popping them into a 400 degree oven on a cookie sheet for 35 minutes. Delicious!
Beets truly are an unsung superfood, and it’s high time we start giving them the respect they deserve.