Drinking beet juice, also known as beetroot juice, is a tasty way to improve your heart health, help prevent cancer and boost your exercise performance. The ruby-red drink made from beetroots is a powerhouse of phytonutrients as well as natural pigments called betalains that have superior free radical scavenging ability.
According to MindBodyGreen, you can buy beet juice in the grocery store or use a blender, juicer or food processor to make the juice at home. Here are some of the benefits:
• Lowers blood pressure. The nitrates and polyphenols in beet juice relax the blood vessels to ensure greater blood flow. “This helps decrease the force of blood pushing against your artery walls,” says Marie Spano, a sports dietitian and author. High blood pressure can damage your arteries, but recent reviews say that drinking from 2.3 to 8.4 ounces of beet juice from three to 60 days can help lower blood pressure.
• Helps brain health. The relaxation of blood vessels also increases circulation to the brain which may benefit brain health. “By increasing oxygen delivery to the frontal cortex of the brain, regular consumption of beet juice may improve mental and cognitive function,” says Kelly Jones, a registered dietitian. Jones explains that one study found that a compound in beets called betaine may reduce inflammation in Alzheimer’s patients.
• Boosts athletic performance. Jones says that the dietary nitrates in beets and their blood vessel dilating functions are also linked to improvements in exercise performance. “This can improve circulation of oxygen and nutrients to, and waste products from, the muscle cells so they may be more energetically efficient during exercise. Studies show beets can improve endurance performance, muscle power, and strength,” says Jones.
• May support detoxification of the liver. Beet juice is rich in antioxidants that may support your liver’s natural detoxification process. The antioxidant betaine, in particular, can help prevent or reduce fatty deposits in the liver to ward off a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, says Healthline.
• May reduce cholesterol. A study on rats found that beetroot extract lowered total cholesterol and triglycerides and increased HDL “good” cholesterol. Scientists believe that beetroot’s cholesterol-lowering potential is likely due to its phytonutrients, such as flavonoids.
• Fights cancer. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, beets inhibit the production of carcinogens and increase production of immune cells and body enzymes that help fight cancer development. They are an excellent source of folate, a B-vitamin that is both heart healthy and, because of its role in producing and repairing DNA, may help prevent cancer.
Important: If you have low blood pressure, drinking beet juice regularly may increase the risk of your pressure dropping too low. If you are prone to kidney stones, don’t drink beet juice. According to Healthline, beets are high in oxalates, which are naturally occurring substances that form crystals in your urine that may lead to stones.
But if you want to see how beet juice can benefit your health, research shows that a cup daily has no adverse side effects and is a good place to start, says MindBodyGreen. If you don’t like the earthy flavor, mix the beet juice with lemon juice or other juices such as carrot, apple, or orange juice.
You can also mix the juice with sparkling water for a refreshing health-boosting cocktail.
© 2023 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.