What is Beetroot?
Beetroot, also known as beets, is a root vegetable that is commonly used in cooking and also has several potential health benefits. It is typically a dark red or purple color, although there are varieties that are yellow or white. Beetroot is rich in a variety of nutrients, including fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, and vitamin C. It is also high in antioxidants and has been associated with a number of health benefits, such as improved exercise performance, lower blood pressure, and improved digestion.
What are the benefits of Beetroot?
Beetroot has a variety of potential health benefits, including:
- Lowering blood pressure: Several studies have shown that drinking beetroot juice can help lower blood pressure, potentially due to its high nitrate content.
- Improving exercise performance: Beetroot contains nitrates which may improve exercise performance by increasing blood flow to muscles, reducing the oxygen needed for exercise, and enhancing energy production.
- Supporting digestion: The fiber in beetroot can help promote healthy digestion by supporting regular bowel movements and feeding beneficial gut bacteria.
- Boosting brain function: The nitrates in beetroot may also improve cognitive function, particularly in older adults.
- Fighting inflammation: Beetroot is high in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and protect against chronic disease.
- Supporting liver health: Beetroot contains betaine, which has been shown to help support liver health by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.
- Promoting healthy skin: The high vitamin C content in beetroot can help support collagen production, which is important for maintaining healthy skin.
Overall, beetroot is a nutrient-dense vegetable that can provide a variety of health benefits when consumed as part of a balanced diet.
What research is on Beetroot?
There is a substantial body of research on the health benefits of beetroot. Some examples of research on beetroot are:
- Blood pressure: A meta-analysis of 22 randomized controlled trials found that drinking beetroot juice can significantly reduce blood pressure, particularly in people with high blood pressure.
- Exercise performance: A review of 23 studies found that nitrate-rich beetroot juice supplementation improved exercise performance in both endurance and high-intensity activities.
- Cognitive function: A study of older adults found that consuming a high-nitrate diet, including beetroot juice, improved cognitive function and blood flow to the brain.
- Inflammation: An animal study found that beetroot extract can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the liver.
- Digestion: A study of healthy adults found that consuming beetroot juice can increase the production of stomach acid, which can help improve digestion.
- Skin health: A study of healthy women found that consuming beetroot juice can improve skin color and appearance, likely due to the high vitamin C content.
These are just a few examples of the many studies that have been conducted on the potential health benefits of beetroot. Overall, the research suggests that beetroot can have a variety of positive effects on health, although more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms of action and optimal dosage.
What is the mechanism of action of Beetroot?
The mechanism of action of beetroot is thought to be related to its high content of dietary nitrates. When consumed, the nitrates in beetroot are converted by bacteria in the mouth and digestive tract to nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that can have a variety of physiological effects.
One of the main effects of nitric oxide is to dilate blood vessels, which can improve blood flow and oxygen delivery to tissues throughout the body. This is thought to be one reason why beetroot consumption has been shown to improve exercise performance and reduce blood pressure.
Nitric oxide may also have anti-inflammatory effects, which could explain why beetroot consumption has been associated with reduced inflammation in some studies.
In addition to its nitrate content, beetroot is also rich in antioxidants and other beneficial compounds, which may contribute to its health benefits through a variety of mechanisms.
What is the typical dosage of Beetroot?
The typical dosage of beetroot can vary depending on the form in which it is consumed.
For fresh beetroot juice, studies have used doses ranging from 70 to 500 mL per day, with some studies suggesting that doses of 250 mL or more may be needed to achieve significant health benefits.
For beetroot powder or supplements, typical doses range from 1 to 3 grams per day, although some studies have used doses as high as 8 grams per day.
It's important to note that individual tolerance and response may vary, and it's always a good idea to follow the dosage instructions on any beetroot supplement or product you may be using, or to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.
What food are rich in Beetroot?
Beetroot is a root vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is a good source of several nutrients, including fiber, folate, manganese, and potassium. In addition to its nutrient content, beetroot is also a rich source of dietary nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide in the body and have been associated with several health benefits.
Some foods that are high in beetroot or contain beetroot extracts include:
- Fresh beetroot: This can be eaten raw or cooked, and is a great source of dietary nitrates.
- Beetroot juice: This is a concentrated source of dietary nitrates, and is commonly used in studies investigating the health benefits of beetroot.
- Beetroot powder: This can be added to smoothies, drinks, or recipes for a convenient way to consume beetroot.
- Pickled beetroot: This is a popular way to consume beetroot in many cultures, and it is also a good source of dietary nitrates.
- Beetroot supplements: These are available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, and powders, and can be a convenient way to supplement with beetroot extracts or concentrates.
Clifford, Tom et al. “The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease.” Nutrients vol. 7,4 2801-22. 14 Apr. 2015, doi:10.3390/nu7042801